RPT-Market Chatter- Corporate finance press digest

Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:23am EDT

(Repeats with no changes to text)

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

* Premier Oil has rejected two secret bid approaches from Ophir Energy, which wants to forge a 3 billion pounds ($5 billion) combined oil exploration group, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday.

* Merck & Co Inc is in the final stages of selling its consumer healthcare unit for close to $14 billion, with Bayer AG and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc among final contenders to clinch a deal as soon as next week, people familiar with the matter said.

* The chief executives of advertising companies Publicis and Omnicom Group are working together to resolve a seven-month-old struggle over who will be chief financial officer of their combined group if the $35 billion merger is completed, three people close to the deal said on Sunday.

* An Abu Dhabi state-owned fund is financing a quarter of Etisalat's 4.2 billion euro purchase of Vivendi's stake in Maroc Telecom, said three bank sources with knowledge of the deal, adding it should close this week.

* German drugmaker Bayer AG is exploring the sale of its $10 billion plastics unit to focus on growing its health business, Bloomberg reported citing people with knowledge of the matter.

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