March 12 The following bids, mergers,
acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Tuesday:
** Advent Software Inc, an accounting software
company, is exploring a sale and has hired Frank Quattrone's
investment bank Qatalyst Partners to lead the effort, several
people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
** STMicroelectronics and Ericsson have
failed to find a buyer for their lossmaking wireless electronic
chip joint venture and will now consider whether to close the
business down, news service Bloomberg said on its website.
** Royal Bank of Scotland plans to further reduce
its stake in Direct Line, taking advantage of a more
than 20 percent rise in the UK insurer's share price since it
was floated last year.
** The banking unit of Ally Financial, the bailed-out auto
lender that is 74 percent-owned by the U.S. government, is
selling the majority of its mortgage servicing rights portfolio
to Ocwen Financial Corp for $585 million, Ally said on
** A top shareholder in Cipla Medpro said on
Tuesday it would ask India's Cipla Ltd to raise its $500 million
offer for South Africa's third-largest generic drugs firm.
** Venezuelan opposition TV channel Globovision said on
Monday it had accepted a buyout offer, calling its operations
financially and politically unfeasible after rows with the
government and high inflation.
** Insolvent German street light maker Hess is
holding talks with potential investors with a view to finding a
buyer for the scandal-hit company soon.
** The CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo said on Tuesday
Italy's biggest retail bank could cut its presence in Hungary,
which he said had turned into a "nightmare" for the financial
** Russia will resume selling stakes in state firms in the
second half of the year, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on
Tuesday, indicating possible slippage in the government's
ambitious privatisation programme.
** Canada's Talisman Energy may pull out of shale
gas operations in Poland, it said on Tuesday, a step that would
make it the second big foreign player to withdraw from what had
been seen as Europe's most promising source of shale gas.
** Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Ltd said on Tuesday
it had entered a strategic partnership with a subsidiary of
India's Tata Steel Ltd.
As part of the C$30 million ($29.2 million) deal, Labrador
Iron Mines will sell a 51 percent stake in its Howse
development-stage project to Tata Steel Minerals Canada.
** British medical services group Bupa and
Poland's top insurer PZU will battle several investment
funds for Polish hospital group EMC Instytut Medyczny,
sources close to the talks said.
** Carlyle Group LP and KKR & Co LP are among
the bidders to have made first round offers to buy a minority
stake in Thai Life Insurance Co Ltd, in a deal said to be worth
about $500 million, according to people close to the auction.
** Yankee Candle Co Inc, the largest scented
candle company in the United States, is being prepared for a
sale by its private equity owner, three people familiar with the
matter said on Monday. The company, acquired by Chicago-based
buyout firm Madison Dearborn Partners for $1.6 billion in 2006,
is working with Barclays and Bank of America Merrill
Lynch on a sale process.
** Germany's second biggest utility RWE AG has
hired Goldman Sachs to sell its oil and gas exploration
unit DEA, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** South African media and e-commerce firm Naspers Ltd
bought an 18.6 percent stake in Russian internet rival
Avito Holdings with an agreed merger of their local classified
businesses and $50 million in cash.
** Belgian bank and insurance group KBC Group SA
said on Tuesday it had completed the sale of its 22 percent
stake in NLB to the Republic of Slovenia for 2.77 million euros
** Swiss private bank EFG International AG is to
sell its 20.25 percent stake in EFG Financial Products Holding
AG to Raiffeisen's private bank Notenstein for 70.2
million Swiss francs ($73.9 mln), the banks said on Tuesday.
** Nippon Paint Co Ltd said on Tuesday that
Singaporean paint maker Wuthelam Holdings has withdrawn its bid
to acquire a controlling stake in Japan's No.2 paint supplier.
** Partly private Phuong Tay Bank said it plans to merge
into Petrovietnam Finance Joint Stock Co Corp (PVFC) as
part of the Vietnamese central bank's scheme to restructure
lenders saddled with mountains of bad debt.
** Commerzbank AG, Germany's second-biggest
lender, is exploring a sale of the UK property business of its
mortgage unit Hypothekenbank Frankfurt International, the
Financial Times reported, citing a person familiar with the
** Integrated circuit maker Cadence Design Systems Inc
said that it will buy privately held microprocessing
company Tensilica for $380 million in an all-cash deal.
** Online coupon company WhaleShark Media said it was
changing its name to RetailMeNot and acquiring the leading
online coupon site in Holland, Actiepagina.nl.
The company did not disclose the dollar amount of the latest
deal, but a person familiar with the matter said Actiepagina
cost under $10 million.
** Fraport Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide AG
, the operator of Frankfurt airport, is considering
taking stakes in several airports, including airports in Brazil,
Chief Financial Officer, Matthias Zieschang, said on Tuesday.
** Swiss banking heavyweight UBS AG is in talks
with Italy's Veneto Banca over the possible purchase of certain
assets of hard-pressed asset manager Banca Intermobiliare
, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told
** Administrators at British entertainment retailer HMV
Group Plc will push to secure a rescue deal for the firm
before a big quarterly rent bill becomes due at the end of
March, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.
** Gulf Investment Corp (GIC) will invest $50 million in
Virgin Mobile's Middle East operation, a sign that the region
may be ready to open up to more competition as the company looks
to expand into new markets.
** State-controlled Finnish utility Fortum has
hired banks to explore the sale of its power grids for an
estimated 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) in what would be the
biggest Nordic deal for five years, four people familiar with
the matter said.
** German gas firm VNG is planning to sell its gas
transmission system operator Ontras, two people familiar with
the matter said, aiming to cash in on lucrative infrastructure
divestment in Europe. One of the sources said the asset could
fetch between 800 million euros and 1 billion euros ($1.0-1.3
** Shire Plc, Britain's third biggest drugmaker,
increased its investment in rare diseases on Tuesday by
acquiring privately held Swedish biotech firm Premacure, which
is developing a drug for a potentially blinding eye disorder in
premature babies. Shire did not reveal how much it was paying
for the Uppsala-based business but said it would pay a sum
upfront followed by contingent payments based on clinical
development and commercial success.