Notable Mergers and Acquisitions 8/10: (DIS) (INTC) (SU)

August 10, 2016 10:17 AM EDT

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*** The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced that it is acquiring a 33% stake in BAMTech, a leading technology services and video streaming company previously formed by Major League Baseball (MLB). As part of the transaction, BAMTech was separated from MLB’s broader digital business, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM).

Under the terms of the transaction, Disney will pay $1 billion in two installments, now and in January 2017, and has the option to acquire majority ownership in the coming years.

Disney’s investment in BAMTech – already a global leader in direct-to-consumer streaming services, data analytics and commerce management with nearly 7.5 million total paid subscribers to its clients’ OTT products – will provide capital to accelerate growth of its proprietary video-delivery platform, deliver greater flexibility to clients and develop new technologies and capabilities.

As part of the transaction, BAMTech will become a key partner for Disney in the delivery and support of streaming video and other digital products from Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN, as well as future digital initiatives across the Company.

“Our investment in BAMTech gives us the technology infrastructure we need to quickly scale and monetize our streaming capabilities at ESPN and across our company,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We look forward to working closely with BAMTech as we explore new ways to deliver the unmatched content of The Walt Disney Company across a variety of platforms.”

Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. stated, “Every day the powerful partnership of technology and content becomes more important to consumers. We are excited to get to work with Disney and our longtime partners at ESPN in the important and ever-changing area of content distribution.”

BAMTech will also collaborate with ESPN to launch and distribute a new ESPN-branded multi-sport subscription streaming service in the future. The direct-to-consumer service will feature content provided by both BAMTech and ESPN, and include live regional, national and international sporting events.

Current content on ESPN’s linear networks will not appear on the new subscription streaming service. More details about the new service will be announced in the months ahead.

“Bringing a multi-sport service directly to fans is an exciting opportunity that capitalizes on BAMTech’s premier digital distribution platform and continues ESPN’s heritage of embracing technology to create new ways to connect fans with sports,” said John Skipper, ESPN President and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks. “As WatchESPN continues to grow and add value to the multichannel video subscription, this new service will be an outstanding complement.”

Following Disney’s acquisition of a stake in BAMTech, the National Hockey League received a minority interest in BAMTech, as the result of a previous agreement.

*** Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) posted the following to its website on Tuesday:

Artificial Intelligence (AI): Intelligence exhibited by machines

Intel is a company that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices. Thanks to the pervasive reach of cloud computing, the ever decreasing cost of compute enabled by Moore’s Law, and the increasing availability of connectivity, these connected devices are generating millions of terabytes of data every single day. The ability to analyze and derive value from that data is one of the most exciting opportunities for us all. Central to that opportunity is artificial intelligence.

While artificial intelligence is often equated with great science fiction, it isn’t relegated to novels and movies. AI is all around us, from the commonplace (talk-to-text, photo tagging, fraud detection) to the cutting edge (precision medicine, injury prediction, autonomous cars). Encompassing compute methods like advanced data analytics, computer vision, natural language processing and machine learning, artificial intelligence is transforming the way businesses operate and how people engage with the world.

Machine learning, and its subset deep learning, are key methods for the expanding field of AI. Intel processors power >97% of servers deployed to support machine learning workloads today. The Intel® Xeon® processor E5 family is the most widely deployed processor for deep learning inference and the recently launched Intel® Xeon Phi™ processor delivers the scalable performance needed for deep learning training. While less than 10% of servers worldwide were deployed in support of machine learning last year, the capabilities and insights it enables makes machine learning the fastest growing form of AI.

Adding Nervana Systems to the Intel AI Portfolio

Success in this space requires continued innovation to deliver an optimized, scalable platform providing the highest performance at lowest total cost of ownership. Today, I’m excited to announce that Intel signed a definitive agreement to acquire Nervana Systems, a recognized leader in deep learning1. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in San Diego, California, Nervana has a fully-optimized software and hardware stack for deep learning. Their IP and expertise in accelerating deep learning algorithms will expand Intel’s capabilities in the field of AI. We will apply Nervana’s software expertise to further optimize the Intel Math Kernel Library and its integration into industry standard frameworks. Nervana’s Engine and silicon expertise will advance Intel’s AI portfolio and enhance the deep learning performance and TCO of our Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors.

At Intel we believe in the power of collaboration: the goodness inherent in exchanging fresh ideas and diverse points of view. We believe that bringing together the Intel engineers who create the Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors with the talented Nervana Systems’ team, we will be able to advance the industry faster than would have otherwise been possible. We will continue to invest in leading edge technologies that complement and enhance Intel’s AI portfolio.

We will share more about artificial intelligence and the amazing experiences it enables at our Intel Developer Forum next week. I hope to see you there!

*** Suncor Energy UK Limited, a unit of Suncor (NYSE: SU), announced it will acquire a 30 per cent participating interest in the U.K. North Sea Rosebank project from OMV (U.K.) Limited.

Under the terms of the agreement, Suncor will make an initial payment of US$50 million on closing. The transaction is subject to conditions, including regulatory approval, and is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

In the event the co-venturers approve the Rosebank project final investment decision and Suncor elects to participate, Suncor could pay additional consideration to OMV (U.K.) Limited of up to US$165 million, subject to adjustments according to the terms of the agreement.

The Rosebank project, located approximately 80 miles (130 kilometres) northwest of the Shetland Islands in water depths of approximately 3,600 feet (1,110 metres), was discovered in December 2004 and is considered one of the best and largest remaining undeveloped resources in the U.K. North Sea. The project is currently in the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) phase and has a design capacity of 100,000 barrels of crude oil and 80 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.The project is expected to be complementary to Suncor's existing UK portfolio. Subsequent to the successful close of this transaction, joint venture parties would be operator Chevron North Sea Limited (40 per cent), Suncor (30 per cent), OMV (U.K.) Limited (20 per cent) and DONG E&P (U.K.) Limited (10 per cent).

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