Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:05pm EDT

(Adds URS, Mondelez, Barclays, Grupo, Exact, Direct Line, Toulouse-Blagnac, Royal Mail, Telefonica, Cemex and Karstadt)

July 11 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:

** Mondelez International Inc, maker of Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies, said it would create a "stand-alone" European cheese and grocery business to focus on its fast-growing snacks business, including biscuits, gum and candy.

** URS Corp, an engineering and construction services company with a market value of $3.5 billion, has held talks recently with industry rivals and buyout firms about a potential sale, people familiar with the matter said.

** Barclays Plc's planned sale of its index business could yield close to $1 billion for the British bank, more than double what had been expected, according to people familiar with the matter.

** Brazil's government does not believe a planned merger of Grupo Oi SA and Portugal Telecom SPGS SA is at risk, three sources with direct knowledge of the situation said, as tensions grew over Portugal Telecom's debt deals with troubled Banco EspĂ­rito Santo SA.

** Dutch software firm Exact Holding said it had been approached by parties about a possible takeover, after Reuters reported that private equity funds including Apax and KKR were eyeing a buyout of the firm. An indicative price of 35 euros would value the firm at 854 million euros ($1.2 billion).

** British insurer Direct Line is holding advanced talks with a series of industry players to sell its operations in Italy and Germany, where the company has struggled to gain scale, two sources close to the deal said.

** France plans to put on sale up to 49.99 percent of Toulouse-Blagnac airport in southwest France, as the cash-strapped government seeks to finance the purchase of a stake in Alstom.

** Britain's biggest privatization in years was blighted by a fear of failure and poor advice from state-appointed banks, a committee of lawmakers said following an inquiry into the 2 billion pound ($3.4 billion) sale of Royal Mail.

** Spain's Telefonica SA is in talks to sell its stake in Telecom Italia in a move that could ease regulatory pressure in Brazil's wireless market, Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported.

** Europe's antitrust regulator has objected to Cemex's plan to acquire Holcim's Spanish units, a person familiar with the matter said, denting the Mexican cement producer's hopes of getting EU approval without concessions.

** Speculation over the future of German department store chain Karstadt flared again after a newspaper reported that billionaire Nicolas Berggruen could sell out to Austrian investor Rene Benko and Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz.

** U.S. cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc is in talks to acquire rival Lorillard Inc in a multi-billion dollar deal that would include the sale of some brands to Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, the companies said.

** Some top investors in Shire Plc are urging it to engage with AbbVie to discuss the U.S. drugmaker's $51 billion takeover bid as a prolonged silence from the London-listed drugmaker adds to uncertainty over a possible deal.

** FLSmidth said it had sold its German subsidiary Phaff Maschinenbau GmbH to Abag Anklagentechnik GmbH for an undisclosed price.

** Australian gas pipeline owner Envestra Ltd on Friday declared a final dividend earlier than planned, potentially throwing into doubt a A$2.2 billion ($2.07 billion) takeover offer from Hong Kong's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd (CKI).

** Whirlpool Corp, the world's largest maker of home appliances, said it will buy 66.8 percent of voting stock of Italian white goods maker Indesit Co SpA for about 758 million euros ($1.03 billion) to spur its growth in Europe.

** Friends Life Group Ltd announced disposal of its Lombard unit to Blackstone Group for an initial consideration of 317 million pounds ($532 million).

** Malaysian upstream oil and gas company Sumatec Resources Bhd has agreed to buy Borneo Energy Oil And Gas in a cash and share deal worth $250 million, Sumatec said.

** Pernod Ricard has spent almost $100 million to gain majority control of Avion Spirits LLC, owner of top-of-the-range tequila brand Avion, as part of plans to expand in the United States, its largest market, the French firm said.

** Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) downplayed a report that rival Rheinmetall could offer to buy the tank maker, saying it was barred from starting talks as long as it was in merger negotiations with France's Nexter.

** Dutch software company Exact Holding is in sale talks with a series of private equity funds, including Apax and KKR, in a deal to take the company private that could be worth around one billion euros ($1.4 billion), several sources said on Friday.

** German utility EnBW said on Friday it would buy the 50 percent stake owned by Italy's Eni in a jointly held gas grid company, taking full ownership of an asset that is expected to generate stable returns over the coming years.

** Onexim, the holding company of Russian tycoon-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov, is interested in buying Russian newspaper Vedomosti, the paper reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources. Onexim had sent a letter to Citibank, which is seeking buyers on behalf of Finnish media company Sanoma, expressing interest in buying Vedomosti, the paper and Russian agency Prime reported.

** Getin Holding SA plans takeovers in central and eastern Europe to benefit from low valuations and build regional presence, the Polish bank's chief executive was quoted as saying. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. and Amrutha Gayathri 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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