Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:00pm EST

Dec 24 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1800 GMT on Tuesday:

** Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP is nearing an agreement to acquire Johnson & Johnson's ortho clinical diagnostics unit, four people familiar with the matter said on Monday, in a deal expected to be worth around $4 billion.

** Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC was named as British Land's new partner in London's Broadgate office and retail complex, buying out U.S. private equity group Blackstone Group LP for around 1.7 billion pounds ($2.8 billion).

** Italian insurer Unipol said it had received an offer to buy the insurance business with 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) worth of premiums which it must sell to meet conditions set by the local competition watchdog to clear its merger with peer Fondiaria-SAI.

** South Africa's state pension fund has increased its stake in Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd to over 22 percent, putting the asset manager in a strong position to block a $1.2 billion takeover of the drugmaker by Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals .

** South Korea's Woori Finance Holdings picked NongHyup Financial Group Inc as the preferred bidder to buy controlling stakes in three of its units including the country's largest securities brokerage by assets, Woori said.

Last week, NongHyup submitted a price of about 1.1 trillion won ($1.04 billion) for controlling stakes in Woori Investment & Securities Co Ltd and three other units including a life insurance joint venture with Aviva Plc, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

** Canada's Sherritt International Corp said it would sell its coal business for C$946 million ($893 million) to focus on its nickel and oil businesses.

** Malaysian builder Gamuda Bhd has raised its offer to buy out co-investors in highway toll operator Kesas Holdings by 12 percent to 980 million ringgit ($300 million).

** Torq Energy Logistics, an affiliate of privately held Torq Transloading Inc, said that private equity firm KKR & Co has agreed to invest C$250 million to fund Torq's capital program and acquisition strategy.

** Tribune Co said it will buy Sony Corp's unit Gracenote Inc, best known for a large database of music data that is used by music services, for $170 million, reported the Wall Street Journal.

** Chinese education company Noah Education Holdings Ltd said it received an offer from some shareholders to take the company private for about $105 million.

** Chile's largest beer brewer Compania Cervecerias Unidas said it was entering the Paraguayan market via the purchase of stakes in a drinks company and a distributor. It did not give financial details but said the companies it was buying had sales of $45 million in 2013.

** A unit of South Africa's Blue Label Telecoms Ltd , which provides pre-paid cellular airtime, has acquired cellular data provider RMCS in a deal worth around $30 million, Blue Label said.

** Cosmo Oil Co Ltd, Showa Shell Sekiyu KK , TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK, and Sumitomo Corp aim to integrate their liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) wholesale and import businesses to become Japan's top LPG distributor, the four companies said.

** Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc's top shareholder, Sardar Biglari, said he was considering a bid for the restaurant chain, the activist investor's latest attempt to take control of the company.

** Centerra Gold Inc said it had agreed with Kyrgyzstan to swap the government's 32.7 percent stake in the Canadian miner for half of the Kumtor gold mine, in a deal that could end a long-drawn argument over the mine's ownership.

** Turkish hospital chain Medical Park's shareholders including U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group LP signed a deal to sell a majority stake in the chain to Turkish buyout firm Turkven, Can Deldag, co-head of Carlyle MENA Partners said.

** Buyout firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC is close to a deal to pay more than $1.5 billion to acquire Ikaria Inc, a specialty drug company backed by private equity and venture capital, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

** Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA said on Monday it agreed to sell a 26.5 percent stake in logistics company VLI SA to Canada's Brookfield Asset Management for 2 billion reais ($842.78 million).