Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions

Tue Mar 5, 2013 4:03pm EST

March 5 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Tuesday:

** Giant U.S. food and grain-handling companies ConAgra Foods Inc, Cargill and CHS Inc plan to combine their North American flour milling businesses into a new venture that would control more than a third of U.S. capacity, dwarfing all competitors in size and market reach.

** RWE, Germany's second-biggest utility, has put its oil and gas exploration unit up for sale in a move that could raise close to 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) for its drive to cut debt.

** The McGraw-Hill Cos Inc said the $2.5 billion sale of its textbook business to private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC is now an all-cash deal. The company will receive $150 million in cash at closing instead of being issued $250 million of unsecured notes.

** HSBC Holdings Plc has agreed to sell two portfolios of consumer loans in the United States for $3.2 billion in cash as part of a strategy to slim down its U.S. operations.

** Private equity firm Electra's sale of Allflex is attracting a lot of interest and around a dozen buyout firms are set to bid for the livestock identification company, banking sources said.

Buyout house Electra hired Rothschild earlier this year to explore a sale or refinancing of Allflex, which could fetch around $1 billion.

** G4S, the world's biggest security firm, said it would sell its high-level U.S. government business by the end of the year after budget cuts and delays hit revenues in the division.

** French financial holding company Eurazeo said it is selling its 10.2 percent stake in French vouchers and pre-paid cards group Edenred through a private placement.

** Allscripts Healthcare Solutions acquired health management software and service providers dbMotion and Jardogs LLC under a wider plan to invest about $500 million this year, as it seeks to breathe new life into its product portfolio after dropping plans to sell itself.

** A few buyers are left in the running for German insulation firm Armacell after Goldman Sachs Private Equity and Equistone dropped out of the auction process, banking sources said. Private equity firms Charterhouse, HgCapital and Pamplona are preparing to submit second round bids. Armacell is expected to fetch up to 500 million euros

** Private equity firm KKR & Co LP is nearing a deal to buy industrial machinery maker Gardner Denver Inc and could announce the agreement in the next few days, two people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

** China's Sinopec is looking for oil and gas assets in North America to expand its business, its chairman said on Tuesday.

** Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will form a joint venture for securitizing home loans that could end up replacing the two government-controlled mortgage finance giants, their regulator said on Monday.

** Malaysia's Genting Bhd said it would purchase an unfinished resort on the Las Vegas strip from Boyd Gaming Corp for $350 million, marking the Asian gaming group's first push into the U.S. gambling mecca.

** U.S. oil and gas explorer Anadarko Petroleum Corp and Indian billionaire Venugopal Dhoot have launched the auction of a 20 percent stake in a Mozambique gas field that could fetch $4.5 billion, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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