Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions
Sept 5 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** British soft drinks group Britvic said it was in talks with Irn-Bru maker AG Barr about a 1.3 billion-pound ($2.1 billion) merger, a move that could see it attract interest from private equity or rivals such as PepsiCo .
** The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc on Tuesday said it would sell its retirement plans business to life insurer MassMutual for $400 million cash, part of The Hartford's plan to shed assets and focus on its property insurance business.
** Technology products distributor Tech Data Corp will buy several distribution companies from UK-based IT services provider Specialist Computer Holdings for about $350 million.
** China's Lenovo Group Ltd agreed on Wednesday to buy Brazilian consumer electronics maker CCE, as the world's No. 2 PC maker by sales looks toward Brazil's promising consumer market to boost profit growth, which has been slowing.
** AirAsia has held "serious talks" with Serbian officials, Transportation Minister Milutin Mrkonjic said on Wednesday, though Asia's largest budget carrier denied it was considering the purchase of Serbia's indebted JAT Airways.
** Kirby Corp, the largest U.S. inland tank barge operator, will buy the assets of Allied Transportation Co for $116 million as it looks to grow the petrochemical segment of its offshore operations.
** South Korean rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI Co Ltd said on Wednesday it would pay $95 million to buy its German partner's 50 percent stake in electric battery maker SB LiMotive Co Ltd, ending a joint venture formed in 2008 with Robert Bosch GmbH.
** 3M Co said it is not dropping the purchase of Avery Dennison Corp's office products groups, in response to the U.S. Justice Department's statement on Tuesday that the company is abandoning the plan following threats of a civil lawsuit by antitrust authorities.
** European Union antitrust regulators cleared on Wednesday a scheme by British mobile operators Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere to set up a joint venture allowing users to make payments and purchases via their phones.
** The debt-laden owners of Partner Communications said Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa must go through with a deal it has tried to abandon to buy back the Israeli mobile phone operator.
** British luxury jewellery designer Theo Fennell Plc , whose customers include celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Helen Mirren, confirmed it was in preliminary takeover talks with EME Capital LLP.
** Private equity fund Mid Europa Partners (MEP) plans to sell healthcare group Lux Med by the end of the year after building it up into one of Poland's top providers of medical services, one of the fund's partners told Reuters.
** Diebold Inc said it bought Gas Tecnologia to expand security expertise in Brazil for an undisclosed amount.
** Perform Group PLC said it bought German sports media company Sportal GMBH.
** German solar equipment maker Centrotherm has sold its subsidiary Michael Glatt Maschinenbau GmbH to Buechl Handels- und Beteiligungs- KG as it tries to claw its way out of insolvency.
** Western Potash Corp, a junior mining company looking for outside capital to help build a potash mine in Western Canada, said on Wednesday that it was talking about a joint venture with India's Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd, among others.
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