Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

Fri Oct 4, 2013 4:04pm EDT

Oct 4 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:

** Sotheby's adopted a "poison pill" to ward off an unwanted takeover, two days after activist investor Daniel Loeb's Third Point LLC said it had raised its stake in the auctioneer and called for its chief executive to step down. The shareholder rights plan - better known as a poison pill - will be triggered if any one investor, with exceptions, buys more than 10 percent of Sotheby's common shares.

** American Pacific Corp shares rose nearly 11 percent on Friday morning after Reuters reported that the chemical company was considering a sale. The company, which makes chemicals used in the pharmaceutical and aerospace industries, has hired KeyBanc to advise on the sale, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

** Bank Rossiya is considering taking part in a deal for a stake in Russian telecoms operator Tele2 AB, the St Petersburg-based bank said in response to a report that companies representing the bank have asked permission to buy 50 percent of the business. State-controlled VTB Bank OAO bought 100 percent of Nordic telecom Tele2's Russian business in April for $3.55 billion.

** French private equity firm Ardian, recently spun off from insurer AXA SA, expects to make two more deals before the end of the year after closing its latest buyout fund, one of its executives told Reuters. Ardian, which has committed almost a quarter of the 2.4 billion-euro ($3.27 billion) fund, is riding a pickup in interest in European assets from foreign investors and is eyeing mid-sized targets in France, Germany and Italy that have international exposure and growth potential.

** Singapore-listed LionGold Corp is in advanced discussions to buy small Latin American gold miner IRL , IRL confirmed.

** Some investors received token allocations on the 320 million euro ($435.1 million) leveraged loans backing the buyout of Campbell Soup's European businesses after the deal raised more than 1 billion euros in syndication, investors said.

** Britain is set to price the sale of its Royal Mail postal service towards the upper end of its original range, two sources close to the deal told Reuters, potentially valuing the company at up to 3.3 billion pounds ($5.34 billion). The sale of as much as 60 percent of Royal Mail is now expected to price between 300 pence and 330p per share, up from 260p-330p per share, enabling the company access to private capital to modernize and compete in a thriving parcels market.

** Talks between Kenya and India's Essar Energy Plc over the company's plans to sell its 50 percent stake in a Mombasa refinery to the government are yet to be concluded, Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said on Friday.

** Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey on Friday extended the time period for a foreign investment decision on Archer Daniels Midland Co's acquisition of Australian grain handler GrainCorp Ltd, which is now due by Dec. 17. The A$3.0 billion ($2.8 billion) deal will be the first major decision of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and for Hockey since the election of Australia's new conservative government.

** Warsaw-listed real estate developer Global Trade Centre SA (GTC) agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in a shopping mall in the southern Polish city of Cracow for 90 million euros ($123 million). Together with its partner Avestus, GTC will sell full ownership of Galeria Kazimierz, which has almost 40,000 square meters of leasable area, to Nellia, a unit of Grupa Invesco.

** Rosneft's buyout of minority shareholders in TNK-BP Holding OAO is in line with the law and good corporate governance practice, a board member of the energy giant said On Friday, rejecting complaints that the price is not high enough. Rosneft said on Monday it planned to buy out the remaining holders of ordinary shares in TNK-BP Holding for about $1.5 billion, at a rate of 67 roubles ($2.07) per share and 55 roubles per preferred share.

** Aerospace and defense group Finmeccanica SpA has agreed to sell a controlling stake in power engineering company Ansaldo Energia to state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), a defense ministry official said on Friday. The company expects to raise 400 million euros ($545 million)from the deal.

** French flooring maker Tarkett, which is 50 percent owned by U.S. private-equity firm KKR & Co LP, has submitted a registration filing for an initial public offering (IPO) of shares, the company said. A listing on the Paris stock exchange could value Tarkett at as much as 2.5 billion euros ($3.4 billion) including debt, according to a report in the Financial Times, citing an unnamed source close to the situation.

** Turkey's Yildiz Holding said it had completed the sale of a 20 percent stake in Ulker Biskuvi and said the unit targeted sales of 4.5 billion lira ($2.25 billion) in 2016.

** Croatia should consider purchasing the near-50 percent stake that Hungarian oil and gas group MOL holds in its Croatian peer INA to prevent damage to bilateral relations, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. Relations between MOL and the Croatia government have been strained over management influence and other issues since MOL tried and failed to become majority owner of oil and gas firm INA in early 2011.

** Ikaria Inc, a private equity and venture capital-backed company whose products are focused on critically ill patients, is exploring a sale that it hopes could value it at more than $2 billion, said three people familiar with the matter. Ikaria, whose owners include New Mountain Capital LLC, ARCH Venture Partners LP and Venrock Associates LP, is working with Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse Group AG on the possible sale, two of the people said.

** Italy's UniCredit will face competition from France's BNP Paribas and Spain's Banco Santander in the race to acquire Poland's No.11 bank BGZ in a deal worth $1.2 billion, market sources told Reuters. UniCredit, Italy's largest bank by assets, said on Thursday it had submitted a preliminary offer to buy BGZ, whose parent is Dutch-based Rabobank, through its Pekao unit, Poland's No.2 lender.

** La Scogliera, a company controlled by the founder and chairman of Italian lender Banca IFIS, said on Friday it had completed the sale of around 11 percent of the bank at 9.1 euros per share. Proceeds from the sale are aimed at boosting the free float of the bank, the company said in a statement.

** Philippine conglomerate JG Summit Holdings said it raised 12.1 billion pesos ($280 million) by selling some of its stake in Universal Robina Corp to help fund the purchase of part of the country's biggest power utility.

JG Summit, in a disclosure to the stock exchange, said it will hold 55.7 percent of URC after selling 105 million shares, or 12 percent of URC's outstanding stock, through an accelerated overnight equity placement at 115 pesos per share.

** Shares of Forgame Holdings Ltd, China's largest developer of Web games, soared more than a third in their Hong Kong trading debut on Thursday, underscoring investor optimism for technology companies that have fueled rallies on the Nasdaq this year. Forgame's offer generated strong interest from small investors and was priced near the top of a marketing range, raising about $206 million.

** The Philippines' Travellers International Hotel Group Inc has cut the maximum price for its planned listing on Manila's stock exchange to 11.88 pesos per share from 23.38 pesos, underwriter UBS Philippines said on Friday. The country's fourth and biggest listing this year may offer up to 1.57 billion primary shares to raise up to 18.7 billion pesos ($434 million).

** Ireland has agreed to sell a 20-year national lottery operating license for 405 million euros ($552 million) to a joint venture that includes the owner of British operator Camelot, said Ireland's spending minister Brendan Howlin on Friday. The deal is the first step in a privatization drive agreed under Ireland's EU-IMF bailout that aims to bring in 3 billion euros, which will be used to pay down debt and to fund a jobs stimulus program.

** A group of South African farmers petitioned the government against the proposed $258 million management-backed buyout of Afgri by a Mauritian investment firm, AgriGroupe, the Business Day reported. Afgri, which produces animal feed and extends financial services to farmers, has been in business for 90 years.

** Singapore's Keppel Corporation Ltd, the world's biggest offshore jackup drilling rig builder, said it plans to build its first yard in Mexico jointly with its national oil company, to expand in Mexico's fast-growing offshore oil and gas sector. The total cost of the yard is estimated at $400 million, the company said in a statement.

** Bankers are putting together about 700 million euros ($954 million) of debt financing to back a sale of German medical patch maker LTS Lohmann, banking sources told Reuters. LTS, in which Novartis owns a 43 percent stake, was put up for sale in July and is expected to fetch more than 1 billion euros.

** Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd's utility Power Assets Holdings is raising a HK$37.5 billion ($4.84 billion) loan to back the spinoff of Hongkong Electric (HKE), bankers told Thomson Reuters Basis Point.

In September, Power Assets had said it planned to reduce its 100 percent shareholding in HKE through a spinoff and a separate Initial Public Offering (IPO).

** French media and telecoms group Vivendi is "on track" to deliver several asset sales and decide on a spin-off of French mobile network operator SFR, Vivendi's outgoing chairman told Le Monde. The conglomerate is seeking to re-shape itself as a media group focused on music and pay-TV and is selling out of Maroc Telecom and video games publisher Activision.

** Singapore's Blumont Group Ltd said it had dropped a proposed takeover of Australian-listed coal explorer Cokal Ltd, hours after saying it had agreed terms on a proposed takeover of a foreign-listed coal firm.

** Slovakia is pressing ahead with plans to sell its 49 percent stake in Slovak Telekom whether or not majority shareholder Deutsche Telekom takes up its option of first refusal, the government said on Friday.

The sale of the minority stake could raise 600 million-800 million euros to help finance a single, state-run health insurance system the centre-left government plans to introduce next year, according to Slovak media reports.

** European, U.S. and Far Eastern funds have bought 20 percent of Turkish food maker Ulker Biskuvi for $431 million, its parent company Yildiz Holding said on Friday.

** Anima Educacao SA, a Brazilian education company, plans to sell at least 348 million reais ($158 million) worth of its shares in an initial public offering later this month to strengthen its capital position, the company said.

The offering of 21.1 million is expected to be priced within the range of 16.50 to 22 reais, reported the Valor Economico newspaper.

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