The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1000 GMT on Wednesday:
** Aramco Overseas Co (AOC), a unit of state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco, said it had agreed in principle to buy Hanjin Group’s 28.4 percent stake in South Korean refiner S-Oil Corp for about $1.95 billion.
** Roche Holding AG said it would pay up to $1.725 billion to buy SeragonPharmaceuticals, a privately held U.S. biotech company that researches breast cancer treatments.
** Italian broadcaster Mediaset said it was in talks with Qatari-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera and other players on a potential collaboration in pay TV business in Italy, its vice chairman said.
** Orange has ditched plans to take part in any tie-ups in the French telecoms market, the former monopoly said on Wednesday, causing share prices across the sector to drop on the prospect of the cut-throat competition continuing.
** Spain’s Telefonica won EU antitrust clearance for its 8.6-billion-euro ($12 billion) takeover of KPN’s German mobile arm, giving it a stronger position in Europe’s largest phone market and marking a milestone in telecoms consolidation.
** France’s Total is in talks with PetroChina to sell its stake in a Chinese refinery after nearly two decades of investment, in what could be the latest foreign energy firm giving up on a vast but tightly regulated oil market in China.
** German fashion house Hugo Boss is taking full control of its store network in China and Macau as it seeks to improve the way its brand is presented, a move that mirrors a broader trend by luxury goods groups in emerging markets.
** Malaysian billionaire Robert Kuok’s Wilmar International Ltd has convinced Goodman Fielder Ltd to accept a lower takeover offer, as the Australasian food firm warned of a massive impairment charge due to pressures on its baking unit.
** Telecom Italia is in favour of keeping its controlling stake in Brazilian unit TIM Participacoes because it supplies one third of its group revenue, but it does not rule out a sale, Chairman Giuseppe Recchi told Il Sole 24 Ore.
** China said it approved, with conditions, a proposed joint venture between Primearth EV Energy Co, two other Toyota units , Hunan Corun New Energy and Changshu Sinogy Venture Capital Co.
** Australian regulators said South Africa’s Woolworths should provide an independent valuation of Country Road Ltd due to concerns investor Solomon Lew may benefit unfairly from selling Woolworths his stake in the Australian apparel retailer.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) raised its concern about Woolworths Holdings Ltd’s A$213 million ($201.5 million) offer to buy the billionaire investor’s 11.88 percent stake in Country Road in a Federal Court application on Wednesday.
** The world’s third-largest discount supermarkets group Dia said on Wednesday it would buy Spanish groceries chain El Arbol for a symbolic one euro, and assume the company’s debt worth up to 150.8 million euros ($206 million).
** China Offshore Oil Engineering Company (COOEC) and Norway’s Kvaerner are setting up a joint venture in China to conduct oil engineering projects worldwide in the second international cooperation deal for the Chinese firm in six months.
** Celltrion Inc said on Wednesday its top shareholder is no longer considering a sale of a stake in the biotechnology company.
Founder and Chief Executive Seo Jung-jin last year said he would seek a buyer among multinational drugmakers for his controlling interest in the company.
** Polish cable television operator Vectra has offered to buy 33 percent of shares in telecoms firm Netia at 5.31 zlotys ($1.75) per share, or 4.1 percent above Tuesday’s market closing price, the brokerage involved in the deal said on Wednesday.
** Wienerberger, the world’s biggest brickmaker, has agreed to increase its stake in Austrian roof tilemaker Tondach Gleinstaetten to 82 percent for 41 million euros ($56 million).
** U.S. mother and baby product retailer Destination Maternity has not abandoned its pursuit of struggling British peer Mothercare after revealing on Wednesday it had two bid proposals rejected.
** Vopak, the Dutch oil and chemicals storage company, said on Wednesday it will divest from 15 primarily smaller terminals as part of a structural review.
** Commercial Bank of Qatar will buy out the remaining publicly owned shares in Turkey’s Alternatifbank and then delist the lender from the Istanbul bourse, it said on Wednesday.
** Korean Air Lines Co Ltd said on Wednesday that its Hanjin Energy Co Ltd unit will sell all of its stake in South Korean refiner S-Oil Corp for 1.98 trillion Korean won ($1.96 billion) to improve the financial structure of the parent firm.
** French pharmaceutical firm Nicox said on Wednesday it had agreed to acquire U.S. company Aciex Therapeutics Inc as it seeks to create an international ophthalmic company around therapeutics and diagnostics.
** The fourth richest Pole Michal Solowow wants to sell his entire 45 percent stake in real estate developer Echo Investment , Puls Biznesu daily reported on Wednesday, citing several sources. The stake is worth 1.2 billion zlotys ($394.3 million).
** United Envirotech Ltd, a Singapore-based water treatment company, said on Wednesday it was in talks with a potential buyer, but did not give any details.
** China’s Huaxia Dairy Farm Ltd said on Wednesday it has received $106 million in investment capital from a consortium led by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and private equity firm Olympus Capital, to expand its farming operations and retail dairy business.
** Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd has hired Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs to handle a share sale in Indonesian internet service provider PT Link Net Tbk, which could raise at least $500 million, people familiar with the matter said.
** Proposed purchases by China’s Lenovo Group Ltd of IBM Corp’s low-end server unit and Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility business should be completed by year-end, Lenovo Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing said on Wednesday.
**Real estate owner Store Capital, backed by private equity firm Oaktree CapitalManagement LLC, has retained banks to explore an initial public offering or a sale to another landlord, said people familiar with the situation.
** Italian state-backed private equity fund Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI) and Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) have created an investment company with assets and commitments worth 2.185 billion euros ($2.98 billion), FSI said on Tuesday.
** Investment bankers are jostling to win plum roles from the founding Lee family of Samsung Group, South Korea’s top fee-payer, as it prepares to hand the baton to the next generation in a restructuring that could land more than $100 million in advisory fees alone.
Foreign and Korean investment banks are bringing in their chief executives and top deal makers to pitch for a glut of deals as the $407 billion Samsung Group untangles an empire that ranges from electronics to financial services.