Deals of the day – Mergers and acquisitions

 

The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1330 GMT on Monday:

** London-listed drugmaker Shire Plc said it was ready to recommend a new 31 billion pounds ($53 billion) takeover offer from AbbVie Inc, entering talks after receiving a fifth bid from the U.S. firm.

** Generic drugmaker Mylan Inc said it would buy Abbott Laboratories’ specialty and branded generics business in developed markets outside the United States in an all-stock transaction valued at about $5.3 billion.

** Engineering design firm AECOM Technology Corp on Sunday said it would pay about $4 billion to acquire engineering and construction services firm URS Corp.

** Whiting Petroleum Corp said on Sunday it would acquire Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp for $3.8 billion in stock, to become the largest producer in North Dakota’s Bakken shale oil formations, eclipsing Harold Hamm’s Continental Resources Inc.

** Hospital operator Kindred Healthcare Inc raised its offer for Gentiva Health Services Inc to $16 per share, valuing the home healthcare services provider at about $2.53 billion.

** Shareholders of iconic Australian retailer David Jones Ltd approved a $2 billion takeover from South Africa’s Woolworths Holdings Ltd, voting overwhelmingly to create a southern hemisphere department-store giant.

** Brazilian investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual is buying Swiss private bank BSI for a knock-down 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.7 billion), extending an overseas push by the Sao Paulo-based lender controlled by billionaire financier Andre Esteves.

** Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital has struck a deal with Gondola Group to buy Britain’s Pizza Express chain for about 900 mln pounds ($1.6 billion), the companies said on Saturday.

** Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp is in advanced discussions to buy insurance claims services provider York Risk Services Group Inc for more than $1.3 billion, people following the situation said on Friday.

** Crumbs Bake Shop Inc may get a second chance if a bankruptcy judge approves a deal for the owner of Dippin’ Dots ice cream and the star of a reality television show to buy and reopen the U.S. cupcake chain, according to a court document.

** Swiss chocolate maker Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli said it had agreed to acquire family-owned U.S. candy business Russell Stover, giving it a bigger presence in the world’s largest chocolate market.

** Indonesian telecommunication tower operators PT Solusi Tunas Pratama Tbk and PT Tower Bersama Infrastructure Tbk are considering bidding for the tower assets of PT XL Axiata Tbk.

** Printer maker Lexmark on Monday raised its bid for Swedish software firm Readsoft to 50 crowns per share, topping a bid from software firm Hyland.

** Austrian real-estate company Immofinanz is interested in buying UniCredit’s 16.8 percent stake in peer CA Immobilien, Immofinanz’s chief executive said.

** Malaysia’s state Employees Provident Fund and RHB Capital have hired investment banks to advise on the country’s biggest banking merger, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

** Portugal’s financially troubled Espirito Santo family loosened its grip on the country’s largest listed bank, announcing a stake sale and hastening management change after prompting from the central bank which is trying to calm investors.

** Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state government said on Monday it appointed UBS AG and Deutsche Bank AG to study the potential privatization of its A$20 billion ($19 billion) electricity network.

** Barrick Gold said on Sunday it was forming a joint venture with Saudi Arabian Mining Co to run its Jabal Sayid copper asset in the kingdom, a move that could see the long-delayed mine finally begin production in late 2015.

** Russia’s Rosneft, the world’s biggest listed oil company by output, has agreed to buy drilling and well-servicing assets of oil and gas service company Weatherford International in Russia and Venezuela, the company said on Sunday.

** Abraaj Investment Management, an affiliate of United Arab Emirates’ Abraaj Capital, has made an approach to buy at least a 51 percent stake in Egypt’s snack maker Bisco Misr, Bisco Misr said in a statement on Sunday.

** Saudi Arabia-based Olayan Financing Co said on Sunday it had acquired a majority stake in Gulf Union Foods Co from a group of investors including private equity firm Jadwa Investment.

** Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar’s largest Islamic bank by market value, said on Sunday it had agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in Seef Lusail Real Estate Development Co to the real estate arm of the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund.

** Austrian investor Rene Benko is not interested in taking control of German department store chain Karstadt, Focus magazine reported on Sunday, citing company sources.

** Brazil’s government does not believe a planned merger of Grupo Oi SA and Portugal Telecom SPGS SA is at risk, three sources with direct knowledge of the situation said on Friday, as tensions grew over Portugal Telecom’s debt deals with troubled Banco Espírito Santo SA.

** Buyout group KKR has launched an offer to take full control of German cutlery and coffee-machine maker WMF , which it then would delist from the Frankfurt stock exchange.

** Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Co, a venture between Coca-Cola Co and Saudi Arabia’s Aujan Industries, said it had acquired a majority stake in National Beverage Co, a maker and distributor of Coca-Cola and other drinks in Lebanon.

** Indonesia’s Lion Air Group is in talks with Qantas Airways Ltd about buying the Australian carrier’s stake in the Singapore-based affiliate of its budget airline Jetstar, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

** Global commodity trader Noble Group Ltd has joined forces with a private equity group to set up an energy investment fund run by a former Royal Dutch Shell executive, its second such arrangement in a year.

Deals of the day – Mergers and acquisitions

 

The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1415 GMT on Friday:

** U.S. cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc is in talks to acquire rival Lorillard Inc in a multi-billion dollar deal that would include the sale of some brands to Britain’s Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, the companies said.

** Some top investors in Shire Plc are urging it to engage with AbbVie to discuss the U.S. drugmaker’s $51 billion takeover bid as a prolonged silence from the London-listed drugmaker adds to uncertainty over a possible deal.

** FLSmidth said it had sold its German subsidiary Phaff Maschinenbau GmbH to Abag Anklagentechnik GmbH for an undisclosed price.

** Australian gas pipeline owner Envestra Ltd on Friday declared a final dividend earlier than planned, potentially throwing into doubt a A$2.2 billion ($2.07 billion) takeover offer from Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd (CKI).

** Whirlpool Corp, the world’s largest maker of home appliances, said it will buy 66.8 percent of voting stock of Italian white goods maker Indesit Co SpA for about 758 million euros ($1.03 billion) to spur its growth in Europe.

** Friends Life Group Ltd announced disposal of its Lombard unit to Blackstone Group for an initial consideration of 317 million pounds ($532 million).

** Malaysian upstream oil and gas company Sumatec Resources Bhd has agreed to buy Borneo Energy Oil And Gas in a cash and share deal worth $250 million, Sumatec said.

** Pernod Ricard has spent almost $100 million to gain majority control of Avion Spirits LLC, owner of top-of-the-range tequila brand Avion, as part of plans to expand in the United States, its largest market, the French firm said.

** Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) downplayed a report that rival Rheinmetall could offer to buy the tank maker, saying it was barred from starting talks as long as it was in merger negotiations with France’s Nexter.

** Dutch software company Exact Holding is in sale talks with a series of private equity funds, including Apax and KKR, in a deal to take the company private that could be worth around one billion euros ($1.4 billion), several sources said on Friday.

** German utility EnBW said on Friday it would buy the 50 percent stake owned by Italy’s Eni in a jointly held gas grid company, taking full ownership of an asset that is expected to generate stable returns over the coming years.

** Onexim, the holding company of Russian tycoon-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov, is interested in buying Russian newspaper Vedomosti, the paper reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources. Onexim had sent a letter to Citibank, which is seeking buyers on behalf of Finnish media company Sanoma, expressing interest in buying Vedomosti, the paper and Russian agency Prime reported.

** Getin Holding SA plans takeovers in central and eastern Europe to benefit from low valuations and build regional presence, the Polish bank’s chief executive was quoted as saying.

Deals of the day – Mergers and acquisitions

The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1330 GMT on Thursday:

** It could take until 2016 before Lufthansa’s joint venture with Air China is fully up and running due to the time needed for anti-trust approval, the German airline’s chief executive said.

** Malaysia’s Genting Bhd, a gaming-to-plantations conglomerate, has completed the disposal of its 51 percent stake in Fujian Pacific Electric Co to Chinese government-owned SDIC Power Holdings Co Ltd for RMB 694 million ($112 million), it said on Thursday.

** Portugal’s securities market watchdog, CMVM, is analysing a major investment by Portugal Telecom in the debt of Rioforte, a holding company of the Espirito Santo banking family whose companies are under regulator scrutiny, sources said.

** State-owned Myanmar Petrochemical Enterprise (MPE) is seeking a partner to upgrade and expand the Thanlyin refinery, a tender document showed on Thursday.

The joint-venture partner will also handle the import, distribution and storage of petroleum products, MPE said in the tender issued on its website.

** Italian state holding company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) aims to raise around 4-5 billion euros from selling its stakes in various companies, its chief executive said on Thursday.

** Qatar has sold a 5 percent stake in the London Stock Exchange for 260.1 million pounds ($442.6 million), cutting its holding by a third and making a profit of around 20 percent, according to Reuters calculations.

** France’s competition watchdog will give its ruling on the purchase by cable firm Numericable of mobile player SFR in the third quarter, following an in-depth review, the regulator’s boss said on Thursday.

** Malaysia’s second-largest bank CIMB Group Holdings Bhd said on Thursday it plans to merge its business with fourth-biggest lender RHB Capital Bhd and to create a larger Islamic bank with smaller rival Malaysia Building Society Bhd.

** Standard Chartered Bank said its private equity arm led a $124 million investment to buy a 28 percent stake in a commercial real estate project in China even as real estate prices ease.

** A planned merger of the Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has been shelved for the foreseeable future as terms for the politically sensitive move could not be agreed, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

** A subsidiary of Chinese state oil giant China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has signed an around $1.6 billion deal to build equipment for a liquefied natural gas project in Siberia, the company said late on Wednesday.

** German retailer Metro is not interested in bringing together its Kaufhof department stores with the struggling Karstadt chain, its chief executive said.

** The majority owner of MV Agusta, Italy’s Castiglioni family, is looking to float up to 30 percent of the Italian motorcycle maker on the stock exchange, German daily Boersen-Zeitung reported on Thursday, citing financial sources in Milan.

It also said that German carmaker Daimler had approached MV Agusta, a rival of Volkswagen’s Ducati, in recent weeks, seeking to acquire a minority stake.

** Oilfield service firm Ezra Holdings Ltd said it is injecting its offshore support services division, EMAS Marine, into its associated company, EOC Ltd, in a stock-and-cash deal worth $520 million.

** Idemitsu Kosan Co acquired a 12 percent stake in Indonesia’s PT Mitrabara Adiperdana by purchasing shares in the coal miner on Thursday, the Japanese energy company said.

** Belgian medical supplies group Arseus will sell its IT unit Corilus to fully concentrate on medical compounds, Belgian business unit De Tijd wrote on Thursday.

** South Korea’s LS Nikko will set up a $96 million joint venture with Chilean state miner Codelco to recover gold and silver coming from Codelco’s smelting complex, LS Nikko said on Thursday.

** France’s CNP Assurances said on Thursday it had reached a 290 million euro ($396 million) deal with Spain’s Banco Santander creating a long-term strategic partnership in insurance in Europe.

** Banca Generali said it had reached an agreement to buy the Italian affluent and upper affluent private banking operations of Credit Suisse Italy.

** Veolia Environnement said it had reached a deal to sell its water, waste and energy services in Israel to Oaktree Capital Management as it seeks to refocus its geographical presence and trim debt.

** India’s Essar Global Fund Ltd is selling the U.S. operations of Aegis, its outsourcing and technology portfolio unit, to Paris-based rival Teleperformance SA for $610 million as the European company looks to boost its presence in the United States.

** New Zealand’s biggest unlisted property investment trust said it had sold a portfolio of 18 commercial and office buildings to Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board for more than NZ$1.0 billion ($881 million).

** Australian agribusiness GrainCorp Ltd said it has bought a 10 percent stake in Egypt’s largest private flour miller, Five Star Flour Mills Co, strengthening its relationship with the world’s largest importer of wheat.

** Global investment company Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP has joined with Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) to ready a joint bid for compliance company SAI Global, Australian media reported on Thursday.

** Private equity firm Endless LLP is on the verge of sealing a deal to buy Wm Morrison Supermarkets’ online baby goods retailer, Sky News reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

** The Australian Financial Review in an online report said Glencore Plc is understood to have made an “informal approach” that could value graphite and vanadium prospector Syrah Resources Ltd at up to A$2 billion ($1.89 billion).

Deals of the day – Mergers and acquisitions

The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1330 GMT on Wednesday:

** Germany’s monopolies commission urged the government to sell its 17 percent stake in Commerzbank, which the state purchased as part of an emergency bailout during the financial crisis.

** Poland’s largest refiner, PKN Orlen, told Reuters in emailed comments it had no plans to sell the Kralupy refinery, in the Czech Republic, which it owns through its Unipetrol subsidiary.

** Norway is beginning the privatisation of Mesta, the Nordic country’s largest operator of roads, the industry ministry said. Oslo-based brokerage Arctic Securities will be the ministry’s financial adviser.

** Bankers are lining up two separate debt financing packages worth 3.2 billion euros ($4.36 billion) to back the acquisitions of healthcare firms Quiron and Generale de Sante , banking sources said on Wednesday.

** Israeli real estate developer Azrieli Group said Shlomo Holdings Ltd called off a deal to buy Sonol Israel due to the sudden death of Shlomo’s chairman and controlling shareholder, Shlomo Shmeltzer.

** Romanian investment fund Fondul Proprietatea said it raised 212.7 million lei ($66 million) for its 13.5 percent stake in state-owned power grid operator Transelectrica through an accelerated bookbuilding process.

** Billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil said on Tuesday it is ready to divest assets in an unprecedented step to cut its market share in Mexican telecoms below 50 percent and escape the burden of tougher regulations.

** Chinese steel giant Baosteel Resources and Australian rail operator Aurizon Holdings Ltd said they will make a compulsory acquisition of Aquila Resources Ltd after raising their joint stake to over 90 percent.

** Empire Co Ltd, the operator of Canadian grocery chain Sobeys Inc, said it will sell its dairy manufacturing plants in Western Canada to Agropur Cooperative for $356 million.

** The International Finance Corp (IFC), the World Bank’s private investment arm, is seeking an independent analysis of Brazilian bank Itaú Unibanco Holding SA’s planned takeover of Chile’s CorpBanca, in which the IFC holds a 5 percent stake.

** U.S. drugmaker AbbVie Inc has been forced to retract comments by its chief executive about shareholder support for its bid for Shire Plc after being caught out by British takeover rules.

Under UK Takeover Panel rules a company attempting to acquire a rival is not allowed to claim support for its bid unless it has this in writing from shareholders. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bangalore)

Deals of the day – Mergers and acquisitions

The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1000 GMT on Tuesday:

** Omega Pharma NV, a Belgian healthcare products distributor, said any speculation about the future of the company was premature as no decision had yet been taken, following a report that it could sell itself.

** Singapore sovereign investor Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd said on Tuesday it intends to keep investing in Chinese banks even as it reported a slowdown in its portfolio growth due to a drop in the value of some of its bank holdings.

** Romanian investment fund Fondul Proprietatea plans to sell its 13.5 percent stake in state-owned power grid operator Transelectrica through an accelerated bookbuilding process, it said on Tuesday.

** Italy’s state-lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) said on Tuesday it had completed the placement of a 1.913 percent stake in insurer Assicurazioni Generali at a price of 15.7 euros per share.

** Finnish chemicals company Kemira said on Tuesday it would buy rival Akzo Nobel’s paper chemical business for 153 million euros ($209 million).

** Carrefour SA will shut its Indian operations and close its wholesale stores in the country as the French retail giant pulls out of underperforming markets to focus on reviving flagging sales at home.

** India plans to sell a 5 to 10 percent stake in state-run energy explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp in a deal that could fetch it as much as 350 billion rupees ($5.84 billion) at current market price, the Economic Times newspaper reported on Tuesday.

** Australian agribusiness Elders confirmed on Tuesday it has received a number of approaches about its business, pushing its shares to a more than 18-month high, but said its board was not currently considering any offer.

** A creditor who hopes to rescue the bankrupt New York City Opera filed an objection on Monday to delays in consideration of his bid and called for an independent trustee to be put in charge.

Businessman Gene Kaufman made an undisclosed offer six months ago to buy “the people’s opera” and salvage the venerable cultural institution.

** Macquarie Infrastructure Co LLC said it would buy the 50 percent stake in liquids storage provider International-Matex Tank Terminals (IMTT) that it does not control for $1.03 billion in cash and stock. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bangalore)

Deals of the day – Mergers and acquisitions

The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1330 GMT on Monday:

** U.S. agricultural commodities group Archer Daniels Midland said it is buying food flavors and specialty ingredients company Wild Flavors for 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) in cash and will assume about $136 million of net debt.

** Global miner Anglo American Plc said it would sell its 50 percent stake in Lafarge Tarmac to Lafarge for a minimum consideration of 885 million pounds ($1.51 billion) in cash, on a debt and cash free basis.

** Global brewer SABMiller said it would dispose of its $1 billion stake in Tsogo Sun, the South African-listed gaming, hotel and entertainment group. SABMiller has a 39.6 percent shareholding in Tsogo Sun valued at about $1.09 billion.

** Australian gaming machine maker Aristocrat Leisure Ltd has agreed to buy privately owned U.S. peer Video Gaming Technologies (VGT) for $1.28 billion in a deal that will help Aristocrat grow in the United States.

** Billionaire Petr Kellner’s PPF Group raised its stake in phone operator O2 Czech Republic by 7.16 percent to 73.1 percent in a mandatory buyout offer to minority shareholders, PPF said.

** Sweden’s Tele2 has agreed to sell its Norwegian mobile telecoms business to rival TeliaSonera for 5.1 billion Swedish crowns ($744 million), in a deal that will test the resolve of competition regulators amid a wave of telecoms industry consolidation.

** U.S. travel giant Expedia Inc said it agreed to buy Australian online travel agent Wotif.com Holdings Ltd for $660 million, with Wotif saying that fierce competition in an uncertain market had helped convinced it to sell.

** Egypt’s Beltone Financial and billionaire Naguib Sawiris refused to accept an offered 9.5 percent stake in EFG Hermes, less than half the amount sought, they said.

** Business software firm Hyland said it had raised its bid for Sweden’s Readsoft, topping a bid from U.S. printer maker Lexmark.

** Orbotech has agreed to acquire SPTS Technologies Group, a UK-based manufacturer of equipment for the microelectronics industry, from European private equity firm Bridgepoint and others for $370 million in cash.

** Touchscreen chipmaker Atmel Corp said it would buy Newport Media, a maker of low-power Wi-Fi and bluetooth gear, for $140 million to gain ground in a technology that helps connect everything through the Internet.

** Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has agreed to buy an 11.1 percent stake in the Italian pay-TV business of Silvio Berlusconi’s media group Mediaset for 100 million euros ($136 million), Mediaset said on Monday.

** Australia’s Poseidon Nickel Ltd has agreed to acquire the Black Swan nickel project from Russia’s Norilsk Nickel, the firm said on Monday.

** France’s Areva and Spain’s Gamesa finalised their joint venture to develop offshore wind farm projects and laid out an objective to win close to 20 percent of the market in Europe by 2020.

** Cement makers Lafarge and Holcim on Monday proposed a series of asset sales across Europe, including all of Holcim’s French activities and Lafarge’s German and Romanian ones, as they seek approval from regulators for their merger.

** Dutch construction company BAM Group on Monday promised cost savings and property divestments of some 200 million euros ($272 million) a year in response to losses at two building projects in Germany and Britain.

** Swiss insurer Helvetia said on Monday it had agreed to buy Nationale Suisse to create an insurance company with estimated annual profits of more than 500 million Swiss francs ($560 million).

** French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots (CDC) on Sunday said it was not mulling a counter bid for French resort operator Club Mediterranee in which it was a shareholder.

** Bulgaria, one of five EU states that depend totally on Russia for nuclear fuel, is set to take a step towards diversifying its suppliers when Westinghouse Electric Company buys a stake in a state-controlled firm building new atomic units.

** Israel Corp said on Sunday it would move ahead with a restructuring plan for its subsidiary shipping company Zim after a court ruled last week that the government must be more flexible with its “golden share” in the company.

** Six potential bidders, including Dutch commodity trader Trafigura and Hong Kong-listed MMG Ltd, are looking at the books of BHP Billiton’s Australian nickel unit, the Australian Financial Review reported on Sunday, without saying where it got the information.

** Israeli conglomerate Delek Group signed a memorandum of understanding to sell a controlling 47 percent stake in Israeli insurer Phoenix Holdings for nearly 1.7 billion shekels ($498 million) to New York-based Kushner Group.

** Kuwait Food Co (Americana) said on Sunday it had no knowledge of any firms interested in buying its business, contrary to recent media reports.

** India’s new government will seek to raise up to a record $11.7 billion in asset sales in its maiden budget this week, a senior government source said, bolstering state finances and buying time for structural reforms to revive a weak economy. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bangalore)

Deals of the day – Mergers and acquisitions

The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1000 GMT on Thursday:

** Outgoing Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek said on Thursday she plans to stop all privatizations until a new government is formed after the July 13 snap election.

State investment firm SDH is in charge of selling 15 firms that were earmarked for sale last year and include the second largest bank Nova KBM and airport operator Aerodrom Ljubljana .

Europe’s biggest construction and concessions company, Vinci , had said on Thursday that it was bidding to buy the Slovenian airport operator.

** Hungary’s government plans to make further acquisitions in the energy sector and is also in advanced talks to buy Bombardier Inc’s stake in Hungarian rail transportation firm Bombardier MAV Kft, the development minister said on Thursday.

** AbbVie Inc Chief Executive Richard Gonzalez has pressed the case for his $46 billion pursuit of drugmaker Shire Plc in discreet meetings with shareholders in London this week and is now weighing his next move, according to people familiar with the matter.

** Ousted American Apparel Inc Chief Executive Officer Dov Charney has handed over his entire stake and voting rights in the struggling retailer to Standard General LP, enabling the fund to negotiate directly with the independent directors over the company’s future, two sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.

** Fiat SpA said late on Wednesday it had called a shareholder meeting on Aug. 1 to approve the merger between the Italian carmaker and its U.S. unit Chrysler.

** RSA Insurance Group Plc has reached an agreement to sell its business in China for 71 million pounds ($119 million), one of several smaller asset sales aimed at shoring up the British company’s finances.

** German automaker Volkswagen AG on Thursday denied rumors that it was planning to bid for U.S. truck maker Paccar next year.

Volkswagen was preparing to launch a takeover bid for U.S. Paccar next year, Daimler Trucks Chief Wolfgang Bernhard told analysts at Bernstein Research.

** Lululemon Athletica Inc founder Dennis Wilson’s advisers have been talking to private equity firms including Leonard Green & Partners to find out if they are interested in buying the fashionable yoga gear maker, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.

** Japan’s Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co Ltd will issue up to 275.9 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in new shares to help fund its planned acquisition of U.S. peer Protective Life , according to a regulatory filing with the finance ministry.

** German retailer Metro AG is no longer ruling out selling its stake in Media-Saturn Holding to the electronics chain’s founder Erich Kellerhals, a newspaper reported on Thursday, citing a senior Metro executive.

** German sports-car maker Porsche said on Thursday it raised its stake in engineering company Bertrandt AG to about 29 percent.

** Swedish centre-right government will in coming months unveil a new list of additional state-owned holdings in companies it will seek to sell during a possible third term in office, Finance Markets Minister Peter Norman said on Wednesday.

** Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya said on Thursday reports that exclusive talks had ended with Qatar Islamic Bank over acquiring a stake in the Turkish lender did not reflect the truth.

** Zurich Insurance Group AG said it would take a hit of around $300 million to net income after selling its Russian retail business to the OLMA Group, part of the insurer’s strategy to shed underperforming units.

** Indonesian coal miner PT Bumi Resources Tbk has transferred a 19 percent stake worth $950 million in its unit, Kaltim Prima Coal, to China Investment Corp as part of its debt repayment to the sovereign wealth fund.

** Privately held Weinstein Company is looking to spin off its television division into a separate company, seven months after the film studio decided to expand that business, the New York Times reported.

** Occidental Petroleum Corp has failed to sell a stake in its Middle East business and now plans to sell some assets piece by piece, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

** Russia’s Rosneft has submitted details of a deal to buy an oil trading unit of Morgan Stanley to a confidential U.S. committee that evaluates national security risks, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a source familiar with the matter

** Commercial real estate broker BR Properties SA sold a stake in a real estate investment trust managed by investment banking firm Grupo BTG Pactual SA for 418.6 million reais ($188 million), according to a securities filing on Wednesday.

** State-run Caixa Econômica Federal, Brazil’s largest mortgage lender, is considering selling a pool of distressed consumer loans to investors, the first step in a broader plan to get rid of bad loans and free up capital, a source said on Wednesday.

About 3 billion reais ($1.35 billion) worth of defaulted loans could be sold to funds that specialize in dealing with distressed assets, the source said.

Deals of the day – Mergers and acquisitions

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.

Deals of the day – Mergers and acquisitions

The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1330 GMT on Tuesday:

** AirAsia Bhd said on Tuesday it would set up a low-cost airline with Japan’s biggest online retailer Rakuten Inc and other firms, marking the budget carrier’s second attempt to tap one of Asia’s lucrative air travel markets.

** Singapore’s Frasers Centrepoint Ltd, a company backed by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has reached a deal to buy Australia’s Australand Property Group for about A$2.6 billion ($2.46 billion).

** Private-equity firms KKR & Co LP and TPG Capital are among the groups looking to buy a majority stake in food retailer Kuwait Food Co SAK, better known as Americana, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

** Kindred Healthcare Inc on Tuesday urged Gentiva Health Services Inc shareholders to vote for its offer to buy the home healthcare service provider. Gentiva’s board on Monday rejected Kindred’s offer, saying it significantly undervalued the company.

** Amherst Securities Group LP and Pierpont Securities LLC are set to merge in a deal aimed at creating a bigger player in underwriting and trading mortgage-related securities, businesses that some larger banks have retreated from in recent years, the Wall Street Journal reported.

** Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena does not intend to pursue tie-ups after completing its 5 billion euro ($6.8 billion) rights issue, its CEO said in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday.

** Privately held senior care center operator CareOne LLC said on Monday it was working with an investment bank to explore a sale of its real estate assets in an auction that people familiar with the matter said could fetch as much as $2 billion.

** Online money transfer company Optimal Payments Plc said it would buy two U.S.-based online payments firms for $225 million to expand its operations in North America, sending its shares up 8.6 percent.

** Germany’s Fresenius has sold a 5 percent stake in German hospitals chain Rhoen-Klinikum for 23.20 euros per share, a person familiar with the transaction said on Tuesday.

** Greek telecoms company OTE said on Tuesday it had submitted a non-binding offer of 250 million to 300 million euros to acquire rival Forthnet’s pay TV operations.

** Kenyan diversified financial services company British American (Britam) said on Tuesday it planned to buy a 24.75 percent stake in mortgage provider Housing Finance that is held by Equity Bank.

** Medical device maker Cooper Cos Inc said on Monday it would buy European contact lens-maker Sauflon Pharmaceuticals Ltd for $1.2 billion.

** Hormel Foods Corp said it would buy CytoSport Holdings Inc for about $450 million, to add Muscle Milk sports nutrition products to its portfolio of brands.

** BSkyB, Britain’s largest pay-TV company, is in talks to take a majority stake in Love Productions, which produces shows such as “The Great British Bake Off” and “Benefits Street,” the Times reported, without citing sources.

** Home healthcare service provider Gentiva Health Services Inc said its board had rejected an unsolicited offer from Kindred Healthcare Inc, saying the offer significantly undervalued the company.

** Generic drugmaker Actavis Plc has won U.S. approval to buy specialty pharmaceuticals company Forest Laboratories on condition it sell or relinquish the rights to four generic medicines, the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday.

** New Zealand insurance company Tower Ltd said on Tuesday it had sold its remaining life insurance business to a private company, Foundation Life Holdings Ltd, for NZ$36 million ($31.5 million).

** Isle of Capri Casinos Inc is in advanced talks to sell itself to casino real estate owner Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc, people familiar with the situation said on Monday.

Deals of the day – Mergers and acquisitions

The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1330 GMT on Monday:

** Paint maker Consorcio Comex SA de CV agreed to be acquired by chemicals maker PPG Industries Inc for $2.3 billion, after the Mexican company’s deal with U.S. rival Sherwin-Williams Co fell through earlier this year.

** Pickle maker TreeHouse Foods Inc said it will buy Flagstone Foods, a maker of private-label health snacks, for $860 million from Gryphon Investors.

** UK fund manager Henderson Global Investors has agreed to the purchase of privately held Geneva Capital Management for as much as $200 million, its most important move yet in a strategy to expand in the United States.

** Philips is to merge its lighting components businesses into a separate unit worth up to 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) which may be listed – a major step in its ongoing strategy to refocus on healthcare and high-end lighting systems.

** Britain’s Carphone Warehouse and entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Group have agreed to sell their joint venture, mobile virtual network operator Virgin Mobile France, to Numericable for an enterprise value of 325 million euros.

** South Africa’s Anglo American Platinum said it was reviewing options for its Rustenburg operations, which were hit by a crippling five-month strike that ended last week.

Amplats’ parent Anglo American has signaled its intention to possibly dispose of some its aging platinum assets in South Africa and Britain’s Sunday Times reported it had put them up for sale.

** European newspaper publisher Mecom Group Plc said it had reached an agreement to sell itself to Belgium-based media group De Persgroep NV for 196 million pounds ($333.5 million).

** InterOil Corp has agreed to sell its Papua New Guinea oil refinery and petroleum products distribution business to Singapore-based Puma Energy Group for $526 million to focus on gas exploration.

** Petrochemicals group Ineos agreed to buy BASF’s 50 percent stake in Styrolution for 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) to take full control of the maker of styrenic plastics, BASF said on Monday.

** Germany’s Merck KGaA, the world’s largest maker of liquid crystals, said it is buying the shares it does not already own in Dutch company Peer+ to boost the development of electronically dimmable window panes.

** Domstein’s board of directors has recommended to accept R.Domstein&Co’s voluntary offer to acquire all shares in the Norwegian fishing company at 10 crowns ($1.62) per share, the firm said on Monday.

** Indonesia’s PT Bumi Resources Minerals Tbk is in talks to sell a 29 percent stake in its zinc and lead mining unit to a Chinese firm to pay off debt, a top company official said on Monday.

** Abraaj Group has mandated Citigroup to evaluate options for its indirect stake in Pakistani utility K-Electric , the Dubai-based private equity firm said on Monday.

Abraaj bought a controlling stake in KES Power, the majority shareholder in K-Electric, in 2009.

** German retailer Metro is selling its 12 Real hypermarkets in Turkey to Ankara-based supermarket chain Haci Duran Begendik as it focuses on turning around the struggling business in Germany.

** A pact between Telekom Austria’s two biggest shareholders has gained the necessary regulatory approvals, meaning that America Movil’s offer for the outstanding shares is now unconditional.

** Hon Hai Precision, the world’s biggest electronics component maker, said it had bought a 4.9 percent stake in South Korean IT services firm SK C&C for 381 billion won ($376.59 million).

** Germany’s ThyssenKrupp said late on Sunday it had agreed to sell its submarine shipyard in the south of Sweden to Swedish defence firm Saab for 340 million Swedish crowns ($50.48 million).

** Egypt’s Beltone Financial and billionaire Naguib Sawiris said on Sunday they would not change their offer to buy 20 percent of EFG Hermes investment bank at 16 Egyptian pounds ($2.24) per share.

** Israeli conglomerate Delek Group said on Sunday its subsidiary Delek Europe Holdings signed an agreement to sell Delek Europe BV to a foreign fund for 355 million euros ($484 million).

** Abu Dhabi investment firm Waha Capital said on Sunday it had bought a 20.56 percent stake in Dubai-based oilfield services firm National Petroleum Services for $76 million, as part of an increased emphasis on the region’s energy sector.

** U.S. hospital operator Kindred Healthcare Inc said on Friday it was prepared to revise or withdraw its offer to buy Gentiva Health Services Inc, after reports that the home healthcare services provider may be trying to buy rival Amedisys Inc.

** Wireless venture LightSquared LP has reached a deal to end its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but its largest creditor, satellite operator Charles Ergen, is not on board and “wasted the parties’ time,” according to a report from the court-appointed mediator.

** Bumble Bee Foods is preparing a sale process that could value North America’s largest producer and marketer of canned tuna and sardines at as much as $1.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

** Carlos Slim’s real estate firm, Inmobiliaria Carso, will buy AT&T Inc’s equity stake in America Movil, tightening the Mexican tycoon’s control of his flagship telecommunications firm, according to a filing with Mexico’s stock exchange on Friday. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bangalore)