Market Chatter- Corporate finance press digest

March 28 Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:09am EDT

March 28 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:

* Dutch-domiciled insurer Brit Group is to price its London share offering at 240 pence per share, a source said on Thursday, valuing the company at 960 million pounds ($1.59 billion).

* Aircraft lessor Avolon is preparing for an initial public offering this year, two people familiar with the matter said, in a bet that yield-hungry investors eyeing growing demand for air travel would sustain a recent boom in aircraft finance.

* Ares Management LLC, the credit investment and private equity firm that has been pitched on the idea of an initial public offering for more than a year, is finally close to registering to go public, according to two people familiar with the matter.

* Vivendi will examine the latest Bouygues offer for its SFR telecoms subsidiary while respecting a three-week exclusivity period for talks with a rival bidder, two sources familiar with the matter said.

* French oil giant Total SA is planning to team up with Lukoil on its shale oil projects in Russia as the country resorts to unconventional resources to replace falling production at ageing fields in Siberia, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

* Eni is close to mandating a bank to sell a stake of up to 15 percent in its giant gas field in Mozambique which could raise as much as $5 billion for the Italian oil and gas major, banking sources said.

* Spanish discount grocer DIA has hired investment bank BNP Paribas to explore a potential sale of its French business as the company struggles to grow in the country, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

* Private equity firm TPG Capital LP is in advanced talks to invest in Chobani LLC, a maker of Greek yogurt, the New York Times reported on its website on Thursday, citing two unidentified people briefed on the matter.

* India's JP Associates is in advanced talks with Dalmia Cement to sell it's 74 percent stake in the Bhilai cement plant for 15 billion rupees ($249.11 million), the Economic Times reported, citing three sources with direct knowledge of the matter. (r.reuters.com/tuj97v)

* The private-equity owners of El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc are planning an initial public offering of shares in the fast-food chicken chain, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. (link.reuters.com/byj97v)

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($1 = 0.6019 British Pounds) ($1 = 60.2150 Indian Rupees) (Compiled by Aastha Agnihotri in Bangalore)