UPDATE 1-Market Chatter-Corporate finance press digest

Tue Mar 4, 2014 1:00am EST

March 4 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:

* Loral Space & Communications Inc has hired boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners to advise its independent directors as it explores a potential sale of the company, people close to the matter said on Monday.

* South Korea's Lotte Shopping Co, the country's biggest shopping mall operator, has postponed its up to $1 billion initial public offering of some of its shopping mall assets in Singapore to the second quarter, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the deal. ()

* After months of talks, Dish Network Corp and Walt Disney Co have reached a long-term programming agreement that allows the No. 2 satellite provider to carry Disney-owned networks such as ABC and ESPN, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

* China's Baoshan Iron & Steel and Minmetals Development are near deals to buy at least half a million tonnes of coal a year from an Australian firm operating in Kyrgyzstan, sources said.

* Consumer goods company Unilever is seeking bidders for its Ragu pasta sauce business, Bloomberg said on Monday, citing unnamed sources.

* U.S. tobacco company RJ Reynolds is exploring a bid for rival Lorillard Inc, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the situation. ()

* Washington D.C., law firm Patton Boggs LLP has hired a team of advisers to aid in an overhaul of the firm's financial structure, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting company's managing partner Edward Newberry in an exclusive interview. ()

* Vivendi has asked bidders for its telecom unit SFR to submit preliminary offers by Wednesday night, said one person close to the situation, putting pressure on Bouygues , a latecomer to the auction whose bid faces antitrust issues.

For the Morning News Call-EMEA newsletter click on