Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions
May 25 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals involving European, U.S. and Asian companies were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical Co have agreed to go ahead with a $7 billion expansion of the Rabigh II petrochemical project in the kingdom, the Japanese firm said on Friday, quelling doubts about the future of the delayed project.
** Dell Inc is in talks to buy Quest Software Inc , which had earlier agreed to be bought by Insight Venture Partners for $2 billion, Bloomberg reported, quoting sources.
** Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc said it would acquire the remaining 26.5 percent of apartment company Archstone that it didn't already own from Barclays Capital and Bank of America Corp for $1.58 billion.
** Yuanta Financial has pulled out of talks on a deal worth up to $1.25 billion to buy Carlyle Group-backed Taiwanese bank Ta Chong, dealing a blow to the private equity fund's hope to exit its Taiwan investment for a profit.
** Canada's Intact Insurance and German insurer HDI-Gerling International Holdings have emerged as top contenders to buy 26 percent stake in the non-life insurance business of India's Reliance Capital, the Mint reported on Friday. The deal could be valued around 15 billion rupees ($268 million), the newspaper said, quoting two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
** Takeda Pharmaceutical, Japan's top drugmaker, is to buy Brazil's Multilab for up to 540 million Brazilian reals ($265 million) in a deal highlighting global drugmakers' appetite for emerging market sales.
** Shares of Talbots Inc plunged as much as 39 percent on Friday after exclusive negotiations with Sycamore Partners ended without an agreement for the private equity firm to buy the women's apparel retailer, which can now look for other deals.
** NBCUniversal is in talks to buy out Microsoft Corp's 50 percent stake in joint venture MSNBC.com, media reports said. NBCU parent Comcast Corp is conducting due diligence and the partnership with NBC News could be unwound by this summer, said Adweek, which first reported the talks.
** Privately held packaging company Pact Group has hired Deutsche Bank to examine options including the sale of a stake in a deal likely to attract private equity and rival international firms, two sources familiar with the situation said.
** Royal Dutch Shell may join a Gazprom -led initiative to extract gas from the Arctic seabed off Russia's coast, several sources said, in an attempt to inject new impetus into the huge project delayed by years of talks over financing.
** Banco Santander, Spain's largest lender, is considering the sale of a stake on its Brazilian unit to raise capital to cover mounting losses in its home market, a local newswire said on Friday.
** Informa Plc has hived off its non-core Robbins Gioia division, a business that one analyst said had been troublesome for the British business media group.
** The German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg wants French utility EDF to pay back 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) that it feels it overpaid for a 45 percent stake in Germany's third-biggest utility ENBW, EDF said on Friday.
** The owners of Primacom are accelerating efforts to sell the German cable company, two people familiar with the matter said, adding to a string of deals in Germany's once-fragmented cable market.
** Private equity firm Cinven is expected to buy a majority stake in Turkish security systems company Pronet, two sources close to the deal told Reuters on Friday.
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