Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions

Thu May 2, 2013 4:01pm EDT

May 2 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:

** New York-based private equity firm Lightyear Capital has emerged as the lead bidder to buy SunTrust Banks Inc's RidgeWorth Investments asset management unit, three sources familiar with the situation told Reuters this week. Lightyear is likely to pay between $250 million to $300 million for RidgeWorth, one of the sources said.

** Ireland's "bad bank" has sold its first portfolio of Irish commercial property loans to a consortium led by private real estate investor Starwood Capital Group.

** Thailand's largest entertainment group, GMM Grammy Pcl , has sold all of its stake in newspaper publisher Matichon Pcl in big-lot transactions with an estimated value of 470 million baht ($16 million), sources said on Thursday.

** Royalty Pharma submitted its $11.25 per share bid for Elan to the Irish drugmaker's shareholders, standing by its reduced price in the face of the target's insistence it is worth more.

** The private equity arm of OMERS, one of Canada's largest pension plans, has hired Barclays Plc and Harris Williams & Co to explore a sale of United States Infrastructure Corporation, three people familiar with the matter said this week.

** JP Morgan and Greenhill & Co Inc have been appointed to advise GlaxoSmithKline on the sale of its soft drinks brands Lucozade and Ribena, which analysts believe will fetch more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion).

** Italian insurer Unipol has received 10-15 expressions of interest for 1.7 billion euros ($2.24 billion) in assets it must sell as part of a merger with peer Fondiaria-SAI , the company's CEO said on Thursday.

** Archer Daniels Midland Co defended its plan to buy Australia's GrainCorp Ltd for A$3.0 billion ($3.1 billion), promising the grain handler was a good fit to help feed growing markets in Asia and the Middle East. ADM, one of the world's top grain traders, said on Wednesday it has completed a due diligence review of GrainCorp's books and intends to move forward with a cash offer to acquire the Australian firm.

** France Telecom on Thursday castigated the government, its largest shareholder, for derailing its plan to sell a majority stake in video-sharing website Dailymotion, reigniting debate about state interference in the French economy. U.S.-based web portal Yahoo had been in talks to acquire a 75 percent stake in Dailymotion.

** Turkey's CarrefourSA, a joint-venture between Sabanci Holding and Carrefour, will look into buyout opportunities including Migros, Sabanci retail group head Haluk Dincer said on Thursday.

** Merchant bank Kirchner Group and Crestline Investors Inc, a hedge fund secondary buyer with $7.3 billion under management, have teamed up to launch a joint venture aimed at taking over management of so-called zombie funds from their original private equity sponsors.

** Marine Harvest, the world's biggest fish farmer, took its $1.7 billion hostile bid for state-controlled rival Cermaq directly to Norway's trade minister on Thursday after the firm's board rejected its initial bid.

** Private equity firm Sun Capital Partners plans to merge five of its plastic packaging portfolio companies to form what it says will be the sixth-largest plastic packaging company in the world.

** The Portuguese government on Thursday gave the go-ahead to the privatization of the insurance arm of state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depositos, expecting to complete the process before the end of the year.

** UniCredit has sold its Kazakh unit ATF Bank for around $500 million, a source close to the deal said, as it seeks to restore profitability after being hit hard by the euro zone debt crisis.

** After years of on-off talks, months of brinksmanship and often bitter negotiations, Glencore's head Ivan Glasenberg gets to complete the $30 billion acquisition of Xstrata on Thursday, the mining industry's biggest takeover yet.

** Italy's Lottomatica said it would invest in Greek betting company OPAP by taking a minority stake in the investment fund which bought the 33 percent Athens sold as part of an international bailout.

** Debt-laden SolarWorld is close to securing financial backing from a Qatari investor, its chief executive said on Thursday, the second major move in a week in its efforts to get back on its feet.

** Montana-based brokerage D.A. Davidson & Co plans to acquire smaller Los Angeles-based rival Crowell, Weedon & Co in a deal that would create one of the largest regional brokerage firms on the West Coast, with $43.5 billion in client assets under management.

** Murphy Oil Corp has changed it mind and will not sell its 5 percent stake in Alberta's Syncrude oil sands project and its shale-gas properties in Western Canada, the company said on Thursday.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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