The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1330 GMT on Wednesday:
** Billionaire investor Carl Icahn promised Dell Inc shareholders that the company would buy back up to $16 billion of stock if they join his campaign to stop the computer maker from going private.
** Vodafone is discussing a bid of about $10 billion with Germany’s No. 1 cable operator Kabel Deutschland and is confident its raised all-cash offer and absence of antitrust issues put it in a better position than rival Liberty Global, two sources familiar with its thinking said on Wednesday.
** Buyout firm BC Partners has agreed to take over German publisher Springer Science+Business Media for about 3.3 billion euros ($4.4 billion) in the largest private-equity acquisition in Germany in seven years.
** SunGard Data Systems Inc, the computer software maker that was taken private in 2005 for $11.4 billion, is exploring a sale of its data managing operations that could fetch up to $2 billion, several people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
** Sweden has sold nearly half its remaining stake in Nordea , the region’s biggest bank, raising $3.0 billion which will be used to pay down debt as the centre-right government heads into an election next year.
** A New York City real estate company offered to buy the Empire State Building for $2 billion, a written offer showed, significantly below the skyscraper’s appraisal price and about three weeks after investors in the iconic building approved a plan to take the tower public in a real-estate investment trust.
** Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group said it would spend $1.6 billion to buy British yacht maker Sunseeker and develop an upmarket London hotel, the latest example of a trend for Chinese companies to acquire top luxury global brands.
** CITIC Securities’ $1.25 billion agreement to buy brokerage CLSA from Credit Agricole has hit a snag in Taiwan, according to people familiar with the matter, as regulators resist the plan for a Chinese company to own an entity on Taiwanese turf.
** Wanda Group, China’s largest commercial real estate developer, aims to invest about $1 billion to build a five-star hotel in New York as its third major investment outside its home market, Chairman Wang Jianlin said on Tuesday.
** Chinese network equipment and cellphone maker Huawei Technologies Co said it “has no plans to acquire Nokia” , responding to a Financial Times report that it would consider buying the Finish phone maker.
** Japan’s SoftBank Corp cleared a major hurdle in its attempt to buy U.S. wireless provider Sprint Nextel Corp , as rival bidder Dish Network Corp declined to make a new offer after SoftBank sweetened its own bid last week.
** Australia’s Nathan Tinkler has handed his stake in Whitehaven Coal Ltd to lenders to pay off most of a $634 million debt, in a deal that may eventually put one of the country’s biggest independent coal miners into play.
** Russia is considering selling its 53 percent stake in state-controlled telecoms operator Rostelecom to the company’s domestic rivals MTS, MegaFon and Vimpelcom, Kommersant reported on Wednesday.
** Russia’s Gazprom is set to sign a letter of intent to acquire a generating plant in Belgium from Italy’s Enel, a Gazprom source told Reuters on Wednesday. The letter is to be signed this week during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russia’s answer to Davos forum.
** Telecom Italia aims to reach a deal with Italy’s telecommunications regulator AGCOM on the spin off of its domestic fixed line network by early next year, the company’s chairman said on Wednesday.
** Private equity firms Apax Partners and LBO France have started exclusive talks to sell French furniture store chain Maisons du Monde to Bain Capital, two sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.
** European aerospace group EADS said on Wednesday the window for a merger with BAE Systems was “closed”.
** Canadian investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings will raise its stake in Greek real estate firm Eurobank Properties to 42 from a current 19 percent, parent Eurobank said in a bourse filing on Wednesday.
** Indonesia’s biggest media conglomerate, MNC Group , is set to buy free-to-air television station ANTV, owned by Bakrie group’s PT Visi Media Asia.
** Trading firms RGM Advisors LLC and Allston Trading LLC are in early merger discussions to combine their automated trading on stock and futures markets, the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday, quoting people familiar with the matter.
** Austrian construction firm Porr said on Wednesday it was in talks to buy parts of FCC unit Alpine Bau, which has filed for insolvency.
** Dubai private equity group Abraaj said on Wednesday it will acquire African dairy firm Fan Milk International, tapping into fast rising consumer spending in six west African countries.
** A majority stake in Saudi fast food chain Kudu has been put up for sale and private equity firm KKR is among the bidders, four banking and industry sources said on Wednesday.