Deals of the Day- Mergers and acquisitions

Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:37pm EDT

(Adds Vodafone, PTT Exploration, BlackRock, Facebook, SodaStream, Telekom Austria, Sony, Lucchini)

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

** Comcast Corp may divest about 4 million subscribers after its merger with Time Warner Cable and is working to reach an accord to sell a portion of those customers to Charter Communications, a source familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

** British oil and gas major BP Plc said on Tuesday it sold its interests in four oilfields on the Alaska North Slope for an undisclosed sum to privately held oil and gas producer Hilcorp.

** Darden Restaurant Inc will have to call a shareholder meeting to vote on Starboard Value LP's proposal to delay the company's plan to spin off its struggling Red Lobster chain, after the activist investor secured the support of a majority of the company's shareholders.

** The Carlo Tassara Group has found buyers for a 4.7-percent stake in Poland's mid-tier lender Alior Bank at 79 zlotys ($26.01) per share, two market sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

** Oman's government raised nearly 204 million rials ($530 million) from its sale of a 19 percent stake in Omantel , part of efforts to revive its privatization programme, a Muscat bourse statement said on Wednesday.

** France's Zodiac Aerospace is permanently examining around 10 potential acquisition targets and has enough financial firepower for a deal worth around 1 billion euros ($1.38 billion), its chief executive said on Wednesday.

** Swedish pension firm Alecta said on Wednesday it had chosen not to accept Volkswagen's 200 crown per share offer for the outstanding stock in Scania, saying it did not reflect the long-term value of the truck maker.

** Hungarian petrochemichal group MOL will acquire 124 Agip petrol stations in the Czech Republic from Italy's ENI , a paper reported on Wednesday, quoting unnamed sources.

** South Korea's LG Household & Healthcare Ltd said it is considering a bid for U.S. cosmetics firm Elizabeth Arden Inc, an acquisition that would give it globally recognized luxury brands and would be its most ambitious to date.

** Australia's Australand Property Group said on Wednesday it had rejected as undervalued a A$1.95 billion ($1.83 billion) proposal from bigger rival Stockland Group to increase its stake, thwarting Stockland's move to expand its residential business.

** South Africa's biggest insurer Sanlam said on Wednesday it would acquire a majority stake in Malaysia's MCIS Zurich Insurance Berhad for about 1.25 billion rand ($119 million), further expanding its footprint in the southeast Asian nation.

** Panasonic Corp and Fujitsu Ltd said on Wednesday that they would integrate part of their operations to form an independent company to design and develop system LSI chips, in which both companies will own a share.

** Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade will take over the 50 percent stake of Cathay Financial Holdings' insurance tie-up in China from China Eastern Airlines .

** Puerto Rico's largest bank Popular Inc is in advanced talks to sell some of its mainland branches in the United States to multiple buyers, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. [ID:nL3N0NF036}

** Vodafone could be interested in buying Spain's fourth-largest mobile operator Yoigo once it is clear how tough the European regulator will be on tie-ups in the sector, the British firm's chief executive said.

** PTT Exploration and Production Pcl, Thailand's top oil and gas explorer, has bought Hess Corp's assets in Thailand in a $1 billion deal as part of its attempt to boost its gas business.

** Asset manager BlackRock has cut its stake in Monte dei Paschi di Siena less than a month after becoming the Italian bank's single biggest shareholder, raising questions over who will buy into the lender's imminent capital increase.

** Social network giant Facebook Inc has won U.S. antitrust approval for its $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR Inc, a two-year-old maker of virtual reality goggles, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.

** Starbucks Corp was in advanced talks to buy 10 percent of home soft drink maker SodaStream International Ltd , Israeli business newspaper Globes said, citing sources.

** Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim struck an 11th-hour deal with the Austrian government on Wednesday to pool their stakes in Telekom Austria, paving the way for Slim to take control of the Austrian phone company. Slim's telecoms giant, America Movil , agreed to vote in favor of a 1 billion euro capital increase for Telekom Austria and to pay 7.15 euros a share for the company's outstanding shares, in a deal that will see it combine its stake with Austrian state holding company OIAG.

** Sony Corp will branch out into the real-estate business in August and plans to take the unit public in three years, the Nikkei reported without citing a source.

** Lucchini, Italy's second-largest steelmaker, has begun idling its blast furnace in Piombino after investors looking to acquire the troubled group's assets expressed little interest in the costly facility. ($1 = 3.04 Polish Zlotys) ($1 = 0.39 Omani Rials) ($1 = 0.72 Euros) ($1 = 10.54 South African Rand) ($1 = 1.07 Australian dollars) (Compiled by Avik Das in Bangalore)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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