Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions
(Adds Berkshire Partners, Nexter, Allergan, Club Mediterranee, and others; updates Kindred)
July 1 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Tuesday:
** AirAsia Bhd said on Tuesday it would set up a low-cost airline with Japan's biggest online retailer Rakuten Inc and other firms, marking the budget carrier's second attempt to tap one of Asia's lucrative air travel markets.
** Singapore's Frasers Centrepoint Ltd, a company backed by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has reached a deal to buy Australia's Australand Property Group for about A$2.6 billion ($2.46 billion).
** Buyout firm Berkshire Partners LLC is in advanced talks to acquire Portillo's Restaurant Group, the largest privately owned restaurant chain in the U.S. Midwest, for close to $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Berkshire Partners has outbid other private equity firms for the Chicago-based restaurant group, the sources said on Tuesday.
** French arms maker Nexter and Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) have entered exclusive talks to create a tie-up that would rank as Europe's largest maker of ground armaments such as tanks, to better cope with military budget cuts. The two companies said the planned merger, which would see their owners each take a 50 percent stake in the combined group, would allow them to preserve jobs in the European Union.
** Allergan Inc may take on debt to buy back its own shares as part of a multi-faceted plan to thwart a $53 billion takeover bid by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and activist investor William Ackman.
** Private-equity firms KKR & Co LP and TPG Capital are among the groups looking to buy a majority stake in food retailer Kuwait Food Co SAK, better known as Americana, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** Kindred Healthcare Inc pushed on with its hostile bid for Gentiva Health Services Inc, urging shareholders to ignore the home healthcare provider's board and vote for its $1.7 billion offer by July 16. Gentiva rejected Kindred's raised offer of $14.50 per share on Monday, saying it significantly undervalued the company.
** Amherst Securities Group LP and Pierpont Securities LLC are set to merge in a deal aimed at creating a bigger player in underwriting and trading mortgage-related securities, businesses that some larger banks have retreated from in recent years, the Wall Street Journal reported. (on.wsj.com/1sTeF0K)
** France's Klepierre said its 56.1 percent owned Steen and Strom unit sold five shopping centers in Sweden for 354 million euros ($483 million) to Norwegian private property owner Olav Thon Group.
** French resort operator Club Mediterranee said on Tuesday its board would review the latest takeover offer from top shareholder Andrea Bonomi and had extended the mandate of financial advisor Rothschild & Cie.
** Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena does not intend to pursue tie-ups after completing its 5 billion euro ($6.8 billion) rights issue, its CEO said in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday.
** Privately held senior care center operator CareOne LLC said on Monday it was working with an investment bank to explore a sale of its real estate assets in an auction that people familiar with the matter said could fetch as much as $2 billion.
** HeidelbergCement aims to offload its U.S. and British building products business this year to have the best chance of buying cement assets that Lafarge and Holcim must sell when they merge, said a source with knowledge of the company's plan.
** Online money transfer company Optimal Payments Plc said it would buy two U.S.-based online payments firms for $225 million to expand its operations in North America.
** Germany's Fresenius has sold a 5 percent stake in German hospitals chain Rhoen-Klinikum for 23.20 euros per share, a person familiar with the transaction said on Tuesday.
** Bankrupt wireless venture LightSquared revealed on Tuesday a new restructuring proposal that would cede 74 percent of its equity to a new investor group that includes JPMorgan Chase & Co, Cerberus Capital Management, and Fortress Investment Group.
** Greek telecoms company OTE said on Tuesday it had submitted a non-binding offer of 250 million to 300 million euros to acquire rival Forthnet's pay TV operations.
** Troubled Polish construction group Polimex sold its railway-building unit Torpol in an initial public offering that valued the business at 184 million zlotys ($60.5 million).
** Kenyan diversified financial services company British American (Britam) said on Tuesday it planned to buy a 24.75 percent stake in mortgage provider Housing Finance that is held by Equity Bank.
** Dutch financial services company ING Group NV said on Tuesday it had increased by 10 percent to 77 million the number of ordinary shares it would list in its insurance arm, NN Group, due to "significant" investor demand.
** Medical device maker Cooper Cos Inc said on Monday it would buy European contact lens-maker Sauflon Pharmaceuticals Ltd for $1.2 billion.
** Hormel Foods Corp said it would buy CytoSport Holdings Inc for about $450 million, to add Muscle Milk sports nutrition products to its portfolio of brands.
** BSkyB, Britain's largest pay-TV company, is in talks to take a majority stake in Love Productions, which produces shows such as "The Great British Bake Off" and "Benefits Street," the Times reported, without citing sources.
** Generic drugmaker Actavis Plc has won U.S. approval to buy specialty pharmaceuticals company Forest Laboratories on condition it sell or relinquish the rights to four generic medicines, the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday.
** New Zealand insurance company Tower Ltd said on Tuesday it had sold its remaining life insurance business to a private company, Foundation Life Holdings Ltd, for NZ$36 million ($31.5 million).
** Isle of Capri Casinos Inc is in advanced talks to sell itself to casino real estate owner Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc, people familiar with the situation said on Monday. ($1 = 3.04 Polish zlotys) ($1 = 1.14 New Zealand dollars) ($1 = 0.73 euros) ($1 = 1.05 Australian dollars) (Compiled by Rohit T.K. and Ramkumar Iyer in Bangalore)