Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:00pm EST

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(Adds Bharti, Banco Popular, Time Warner, Carlyle, Rosneft, RWE AG, Air France, Tullow Oil, BAE Systems, Autogrill)

Jan 23 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Thursday:

** Lenovo Group Ltd has agreed to buy IBM Corp's Low-end server business for $2.3 billion as the Chinese PC giant grabs another piece of the computing world in a long-awaited deal.

** Australia's Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Ltd agreed to sell its 17.7 percent stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co Holdings Ltd to rival bidder Saputo Inc , finally bowing out of the hotly contested bidding battle. Murray Goulburn's sale will lift Saputo's stake in Australia's oldest dairy firm to 75.4 percent, triggering a 20 cent rise in its offer price to A$526 million ($465.96 million or A$9.40 per share.

** French chemicals group Arkema SA said it had set up a joint-venture with Jurong Chemical, China's biggest manufacturer of acrylic acid and a unit of Singapore-listed firm Sunvic Chemical Holdings Ltd, with an initial investment of $240 million.

** India's Bharti Airtel plans to sell most of its transmitter towers in Africa, in a process that could raise up to $2 billion for the country's top telecom operator and help reduce its debt.

** Spain's Banco Popular has sold its entire 4.6 percent stake in Colonial during a restructuring of the property firm's capital, a source familiar with the situation said, confirming a report in newspaper Expansion.

** T. Rowe Price Group sent a letter this week to Time Warner Cable urging the cable company to have talks with smaller cable provider Charter about a possible deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

** Carlyle Group and the asset management arm of South Africa's Investec have taken stakes in a Mozambique-based transport firm, the two companies said on Thursday, the latest private equity deal to target Africa.

** Russian state oil company NK Rosneft OAO said on Thursday it had received acceptances of its buyout offer from 98 percent of minority shareholders in the former TNK-BP Holding.

** Bidders for the oil and gas exploration offshoot of German utility RWE AG value the unit in a wide range between 3.5 billion euros ($4.79 billion) and 5 billion euros ($6.84 billion), two sources familiar with the transaction said on Thursday.

** Air France-KLM will look at reinvesting in Italian carrier Alitalia if the conditions it set for its restructuring are met, the Franco-Dutch airline's chief executive said on Thursday.

** Suriname's state oil company Staatsolie signed a 30-year deal with Britain's Tullow Oil and Norway's Statoil on Thursday to invest $35 million in the exploration of an offshore oil block.

** Defence company BAE Systems said it was making progress on a deal with Saudi Arabia over the pricing for Eurofighter jets and was seeking other buyers for the aircraft after the collapse of a potential sale to the United Arab Emirates.

** Italian motorway snackbar company Autogrill said on Friday it has agreed with Russia's Rosneft Ltd to develop its Acafe coffee shop brand in service stations around the site of the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi.

** Aluminum products makers Constellium NV and UACJ Corp will form a joint venture in the United States to supply the auto industry in response to growing demand for light-weight materials, the companies said.

Dutch-based Constellium and Japan's UACJ plan to invest about $150 million to develop a production facility for aluminum sheets for car bodies.

** Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group said it would help fund a pharmaceutical information platform being developed by CITIC 21CN Co Ltd, a subsidiary of CITIC Group.

Alibaba Group and Yunfeng, a private equity firm founded by Alibaba Chairman Ma Yun, will subscribe for $170 million of new shares in CITIC 21CN and take a 54.3 percent stake in the company.

** Intellectual property marketing company IP Group Plc said it agreed to buy the about 80 percent stake it does not already own in peer Fusion IP Plc for about 70 million pounds ($116 million) in stock.

** Web services provider AOL Inc has agreed to buy Gravity, a company that tailors content according to the reader's interest, for $83 million, a move to help better target advertising the company said.

** The majority shareholder behind German drugs distributor Celesio AG is in talks to hammer out a deal that could salvage its on-off takeover by U.S. peer McKesson Corp , three people familiar with the negotiations said.

** Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo SpA said it agreed to sell Ukrainian subsidiary Pravex-Bank to CentraGas Holding, a unit of Ukraine-based Group DF, for 74 million.

** French media group Lagardere SCA has received three preliminary offers for the magazines it has put up for sale and expects firm offers by Feb. 15, French daily Le Figaro reported.

** Barrick Gold Corp said on Wednesday it had agreed to sell its Kanowna gold mine in Western Australia to Northern Star Resources Ltd for A$75 million, as part of its move to sell non-core assets and focus on its lower cost mines.

** Philippine Airlines, owned by conglomerates San Miguel Corp and LT Group Inc, has delayed its planned investment in Cambodia Airlines Co Ltd as it reviews the project due to the political situation in that country, BusinessWorld newspaper reported on Wednesday.

** Germany's Hapag-Lloyd and Chilean shipper Compania SudAmericana de Vapores SA have agreed to a business tie-up that would create the world's fourth largest container-shipping company, the companies said on Wednesday.

** Carl Icahn has taken a stake in eBay Inc and is proposing a spin-off of its fast-growing PayPal division, but the e-commerce giant rebuffed the overture, setting the stage for a potential battle with the activist investor.

($1 = 0.60 British pounds)

($1 = 1.13 Australian dollars)

($1 = 0.7310 euros) (Compiled by Shivani Mody and Avik Das in Bangalore)

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