Market Chatter- Corporate finance press digest

Sun Feb 2, 2014 11:09pm EST

Feb 3 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:

* Charter Communications Inc is discussing raising its bid for Time Warner Cable Inc as soon as in the next two weeks, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could pressure its reluctant rival ahead of a proxy deadline.

* Merck & Co Inc has received approaches from large consumer companies interested in buying its consumer healthcare business, best known for Coppertone sunscreen and Claritin allergy medicine, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

* Sony Corp and Chinese technology company Lenovo Group are in talks about a possible joint venture to take over Sony's loss-making Vaio PC business overseas, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported on Saturday.

* Russian hypermarket chain Lenta, part-owned by U.S. private equity firm TPG, will announce plans for an initial public share offering on Monday, a source close to the deal said on Friday.

* Buyout group KKR has struck a deal to take a roughly 10 percent stake in Berlin's top soccer club Hertha BSC, a source familiar with the transaction told Reuters.

* Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc is in talks to buy retailer Eddie Bauer Inc from private equity owner Golden Gate Capital, according to a source familiar with the talks.

* Dubai builder Arabtec has secured a 20 billion dirhams ($5.5 billion) contract from Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar to build as many as 37 major buildings across the United Arab Emirates, two sources aware of the matter said.

* Abu Dhabi's flagship energy and utilities company TAQA is set to acquire two hydropower projects from India's Jaypee Group at an enterprise valuation of 120 to 130 billion rupees ($1.92 billion to $2.07 billion) signalling a growing appetite among foreign investors for infrastructure assets, the Economic Times reported, citing multiple sources involved in the process. ()

* Private equity investor Lone Star has hired Rothschild and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as advisers for the planned sale of German corporate bank IKB, two people familiar with the transaction said.

* Wayfair, the online home-furnishings site, is raising around $150 million at a valuation of about $2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter, underscoring the appeal of select online retailers.

* Intesa Sanpaolo is working on plans to set up an internal bad bank to house a chunk of its 55 billion euros ($74.17 billion) of gross non-performing loans ahead of stress tests by the European Central Bank, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

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