Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions
(Adds JSW, L'Oreal, Valeant Pharma, Sports Direct, Assicurazioni Generali, Energy Partners, Aston Bay, Finmeccanica, updates Rheinmetall)
June 18 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** U.S. drugmaker Pfizer, which failed last month in a $118 billion bid to buy AstraZeneca, said it had signed a deal with French biotech Cellectis to develop immunotherapy drugs in cancer.
** General Electric will submit an improved offer for the energy businesses of French engineering group Alstom on Thursday, a source close to the U.S. conglomerate said, as GE seeks to fend off a rival proposal.
** Bayer has signed a $14.2 billion acquisition loan backing its purchase of U.S.-based Merck's consumer Wcare business, the lead banks said in a statement.
** Australian iron ore developer Aquila Resources Ltd told shareholders to accept a takeover offer led by Chinese steel giant Baosteel Resources valuing the company at $1.3 billion, in a surprise move after rejecting a higher rival bid.
** Spain's Telefonica is offering up to 355 million euros ($483 million) for Mediaset Spain's 22 percent stake in Digital+ in a deal that could eventually give it full control of the Spanish pay-TV group.
** Italy's biggest utility Enel aims to sell assets in Eastern Europe to meet its debt reduction target, a source close to the matter said.
** T-Mobile US Inc is hedging its bets by offering to buy spectrum from smaller rivals in case the takeover by Sprint Corp falls through, the New York Post reported, citing a source familiar with the situation.
** Australian billionaire Solomon Lew revealed he has bought a 9.89 percent stake in David Jones, throwing South African firm Woolworths Holdings' $2 billion buyout of the up-market department store operator into doubt.
** German defense group Rheinmetall is set to sign a 2.7-billion-euro contract in the coming weeks to start production of Fuchs military vehicles for Algeria, German business newspaper Handelsblatt said on Wednesday.
** Singapore-listed rubber firm Halcyon Agri Corp Ltd is in talks to buy rubber processing plants in Indonesia from Lee Rubber for S$400 million-S$500 million ($320 million-$400 million), three people familiar with the matter said.
** Hong Kong's Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd said it had agreed to buy U.S.-based diamond jeweler Hearts on Fire Co for $150 million in a move to extend its high-end product range.
** Business software firm Hyland said it had made a 1.3 billion Swedish crown ($198 million) cash bid for Sweden's Readsoft, topping a bid from printer maker Lexmark last month.
** Hon Hai Precision Industry Co is still interested in investing in Japan's Sharp Corp despite the collapse of an equity deal two years ago and would take a stake "tomorrow" at current market prices, the Taiwan company's chairman told a Japanese magazine.
** Lukoil is in talks with U.S. oil firm Hess Corp to buy a stake in its offshore project in Ghana, two sources close to the talks said, as part of its strategy to look beyond a closed Russian market.
** Poland's JSW, the European Union's largest coking coal miner, plans to issue zloty and U.S. dollar-denominated bonds worth a total of $774 million to finance the planned acquisition of coal miner Knurow-Szczyglowice, it said on Wednesday.
** French cosmetics group L'Oreal said it had signed an agreement to acquire Los Angeles-based NYX Cosmetics as it builds up its stable of U.S. brands.
** Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc said it began an exchange offer for Allergan Inc, taking its $50.8 billion bid directly to shareholders.
** Mike Ashley's Sports Direct said it had bought a 4.8 percent stake in MySale Group, an Australian fashion sales site that listed on the London stock market earlier this month.
** Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali could seal a deal to sell its Swiss private banking unit BSI to Brazil's Banco BTG Pactual by the end of this month, sources close to the matter said.
** American Energy Partners LP, founded by former Chesapeake Energy Corp chief executive, Aubrey McClendon, and private equity firm Energy & Minerals Group, have formed a company to invest in oil and gas pipeline and processing assets.
** Aston Bay Holdings Ltd, a Canadian mineral exploration company, said it had signed a preliminary deal with Antofagasta Plc for the two to partner on Aston Bay's promising Canadian Arctic copper project.
** Italian aerospace and defense group Finmeccanica said it would not incorporate its train-making AnsaldoBreda unit, denying media reports following the appointment of a new chief executive. (Compiled by Amrutha Gayathri and Ankit Ajmera in Bangalore)