REFILE-Market Chatter- Corporate finance press digest

Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:47am EST

Nov 19 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:

* Sony Entertainment, under pressure from hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb to improve the profitability of its film studio, has hired consultancy Bain & Company to help identify more than $100 million in cost cuts through layoffs and other means, according to a source with knowledge of the move.

* Alitalia may cut up to 2,600 jobs in its first mass lay-offs since the airline was privatised, union sources said on Monday, citing a restructuring plan the company approved last week to cut costs and keep its planes in the air.

* Goldman Sachs plans to resume talks with parties interested in buying its metals warehousing business now that new exchange rules have been released, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

* TriArtisan Capital Partners is in the lead to acquire CKE Inc, the restaurant group that owns the Carl's Jr and Hardees fast food chains, in a deal approaching $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co and U.S. government officials have agreed on terms of a $4 billion consumer relief package that is to be part of a $13 billion deal to settle the bank's liability to government agencies over mortgage securities, according to a person familiar with the matter.

* Russian tycoon-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov plans to buy 21.75 percent stake in the world's largest potash miner Uralkali from the company's main owner, Suleiman Kerimov, two sources familiar with the discussions, told Reuters on Monday.

* French utility GDF Suez, oil firm Total and private equity fund Hellman & Friedman plan a February IPO for their jointly-owned unit GTT, the world's No. 1 maker of cryogenic hull linings for LNG tankers, French financial daily Les Echos said on Monday.

* Fast-growing file-sharing and storage startup Dropbox Inc is trying to raise $250 million in additional funding in coming weeks, which would value the six-year-old company at more than $8 billion, Bloomberg Businessweek reported on Monday.

* Royal Bank of Scotland said it was in talks to sell its retail investor products and equity derivatives (IP & ED) business, as it slims down its investment bank.

* OneWest Bank FSB, which emerged from the failed lender IndyMac, plans to pay a $1 billion dividend to backers ahead of an initial public offering next year, Bloomberg News reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

* Taiwanese tycoon Richard Tsai and Chinese financier Xiao Jianhua are in talks to help fund a long-delayed $4.2 billion purchase of U.S. insurer American International Group Inc's aircraft-leasing unit, Bloomberg reported.

* The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is probing the use of personal accounts by foreign exchange traders amid allegations that traders used these accounts to trade their own money ahead of clients' orders, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing two sources close to the investigation.

* The committees that control consolidated data feeds for Nasdaq OMX Group and NYSE Euronext are looking at ways to strengthen the internal backup systems for their respective streams, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the situation. ()

* Bloomberg LP's news division will lay off about 50 people or about 2 percent of its newsroom, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the company's plans, the latest financial news and data provider to make job reductions. ()

* India's GMR Group has shown interest in setting up a semiconductor fabrication unit (fab) - a complex technology project costing about 25,00 crore rupees ($4.00 billion), out of which 40 percent is sponsored by the Centre.

According to two officials aware of the matter, GMR has approached the Department of Electronics and

* State-run reinsurer General Insurance Corp of India and four other general insurers will vote against the 3,500 crore rupees Ambuja-Holcim deal as it is against the interest of minority shareholders, the Economic Times said. ()

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