The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1430 GMT on Thursday:
** Merck, the world’s largest maker of liquid crystals for flat panel displays, said it had agreed to buy Britain’s AZ Electronic Materials for 1.6 billion pounds ($2.61 billion) in cash to diversify its offering.
** BNP Paribas has agreed to buy the Polish business of its Dutch rival Rabobank for $1.4 billion, as the French bank returns to the acquisition trail after a period of re-structuring and seeks growth outside the eurozone.
** Russian bank VTB Bank OAO sold its 50 percent stake in Tele2 Russia for 40.4 billion roubles ($1.2 billion), the bank disclosed in its third quarter accounts statement.
** Credit Suisse Group AG said it will sell its private bank in Germany to Frankfurt-based Bethmann Bank, part of state-owned ABN AMRO, for an undisclosed price.
** French private equity firm Wendel SA said that its building materials business Materis is in exclusive talks to sell calcium aluminates maker Kerneos to buyout firm Astorg Partners for 610 million euros ($827 million).
** Lactalis, Europe’s biggest dairy group, is close to sealing a deal to buy a 70 percent stake in South Indian dairy company Tirumala Milk Products, French daily Les Echos said.
A deal, which could be signed by the end of the month, would value the company at around 220 million euros, the paper said.
** Danish brewer Carlsberg upped its stake in China’s Chongqing Brewery to 60 percent, strengthening its foothold in the world’s largest beer market by volume, and hopes to further increase its holding, the latter said.
Carlsberg completed its purchase of an additional 30.3 percent for 2.9 billion yuan ($476 million).
** Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank, said it was examining the possibility of buying rival Israel Discount Bank’s New York unit.
** Austrian lender Erste Group Bank’s biggest shareholder, Erste oesterreichische Spar-Casse Privatstiftung, has cut its stake to 21.7 percent from 23.6 percent by selling 8.5 million shares to institutional investors in a private placement, it said.
** Hungary’s biggest bank OTP is interested in German state-backed lender BayernLB’s troubled Hungarian unit MKB, OTP’s chief executive was quoted saying in business magazine Forbes in an interview.
** Private equity group KKR & Co LP has struck a deal to restructure the debt of loss-making German car repair chain Auto-Teile Unger, drawing a line under an ill-fated investment. The companies have agreed on a debt-for-equity swap with ATU’s main creditors.
** French water and waste company Veolia Environnement VE SA plans to put its SADE unit up for sale, French daily Les Echos said.
** Finnish media group Sanoma has no plans to sell its stake in Dutch TV company SBS, it said, despite a buy-out offer from media tycoon John de Mol.
Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad earlier on Thursday said De Mol, known for creating the hit television franchise Big Brother, wants to take full control of SBS by offering 373 million euros for Sanoma’s majority stake.
** Private Chinese company China Kingho Energy Group has offered a hefty 110 percent premium in a $60 million bid for Australian coal explorer Carabella Resources Ltd, which said it had also received expressions of interest from other parties.
** McKesson Corp said it launched a tender offer to buy outstanding shares of German peer Celesio AG, as the largest U.S. drugs wholesaler moves ahead to prevent hedge fund Elliott International from potentially blocking the multi-billion dollar deal.
** A unit of Dubai World has sold its Atlantis resort, which sits at the head of a palm tree-shaped island in the emirate, as the state-owned group raises funds to meet huge debt repayments after a $25 billion restructuring in 2011.
Investment Corp of Dubai, a holding company of some of the emirate’s top groups which is also state-owned, has bought the resort from the unit, Istithmar World, for an undisclosed sum.
** Chilean shipper Compania Sud Americana de Vapores said late Wednesday it was in merger talks with German container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd, confirming a newspaper report.
** South Africa’s state pension fund will not sell its stake in Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd to Bidvest, a source familiar with the fund’s thinking said, a setback to the local conglomerate’s attempt to block a Chilean takeover offer.
The Public Investment Corporation, which has also rejected a $1.2 billion offer for Adcock from Chile’s CFR Pharmaceuticals , is the biggest shareholder in the drugmaker.
** Privately-held Czech airline Travel Service will take a 34 percent stake in national carrier Czech Airlines under a deal that will keep Korean Air Lines Co Ltd as the largest shareholder, companies involved in the deal said.