Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:00pm EDT

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(Adds Vermilion, Eurazeo, Banca Monte, Steinhoff, Arca Continental, Finmeccanica; updates Scania)

March 18 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Tuesday:

** Societe Generale, France's No. 2 listed bank, said it would offer to buy out minority holders of its online bank brand Boursorama, as it seeks to grow the business despite France's weak economic outlook.

** American Express Co said on Monday that four financial investors had committed a total of $900 million to a business travel joint venture, in what would be the largest single investment ever made in a travel management company.

** Vermilion Energy Inc, a Canadian oil and gas producer, said on Tuesday it has agreed to acquire an unnamed private oil company for shares, cash and debt worth C$400 million ($360.8 million) to add new production and reserves in southeastern Saskatchewan's Bakken shale oilfield.

** Eurazeo said it agreed to invest 285 million euros ($397 million) in Spanish fashion label Desigual to take a 10 percent stake in the company through a capital increase to help it fund its expansion.

** The top investor in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is placing an 8.5 pct stake in the lender, two sources close to the situation told Reuters on Tuesday.

** South African furniture group Steinhoff offered to increase its holding of debt-laden subsidiary JD Group to 98 percent to rescue the household retailer from "challenges" in the consumer market and credit market.

** Scania's minority shareholders should reject Volkswagen's 6.7 billion euro ($9.3 billion) bid, the Swedish truckmaker's independent directors said, underlining a deep rift within the company.

** Mexican bottler Arca Continental said on Tuesday it will pay $5.55 a share in its purchase of Ecuador's Tonicorp dairy company in a deal worth around $400 million.

** Italian defence and industrial group Finmeccanica has launched a new push to sell two transport units after reaching a deal with Dutch railways over a dispute involving troubled train-making division AnsaldoBreda, an Italian trade union said on Tuesday.

** Stock market index provider MSCI Inc said it would sell proxy advisory unit Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) to private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners for $364 million to focus on its risk investment products and services business.

** Israeli developer of stem cell therapies Gamida Cell has received a buyout offer worth hundreds of millions dollars from an unnamed global pharmaceutical company, two shareholders in the company said on Tuesday. Israel's Globes financial daily reported that the interested buyer was Swiss drugmaker Novartis .

** China's biggest refiner Sinopec is in talks with Malaysia's Petronas to buy a 15 percent stake in a $20 billion Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.

** Russian internet group Mail.Ru said it bought a 12 percent stake in the country's biggest social networking site, VKontakte (VK), raising its holding to about 52 percent.

** Belgian holding company Punch International said late on Monday that it had decided not to proceed with its bid for real estate holding Accentis, after shares in the latter rose in value.

** Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co Ltd said it may take a controlling stake in state-owned Shanghai International Trust Co Ltd as part of the Shanghai government's plan to consolidate the city's financial industry.

** David Jones Ltd, Australia's second-biggest department store chain, said it would investigate the value of a proposed merger with Myer Holdings Ltd, the strongest sign yet that it will consider the A$3.4 billion ($3.09 billion) deal.

** Macquarie Group Ltd, Australia's top investment bank, has agreed to sell its private equity funds management division to the unit's three managers, a source with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters on Tuesday. (Compiled by Avik Das and Rohit T.K. in Bangalore)

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