April 5 The following bids, mergers,
acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** Blackstone Group will visit Dell Inc's
headquarters on Monday to begin an in-depth analysis of the
company, sources said, a strong sign the buyout firm is
proceeding with an offer that could upset founder Michael Dell's
$24.4 billion buyout bid.
** German media group Bertelsmann and British
publisher Pearson secured unconditional EU regulatory
clearance on Friday to merge their publishers Random House and
Penguin to better compete with rivals Amazon and Apple
** Telecom Italia is in contact with Hong
Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa over a possible tie-up
with its Italian mobile phone business.
** Italian luxury brand Gucci has offered to buy distressed
porcelain maker Richard Ginori 1735 and relaunch the
centuries-old brand in the home design market.
** The French government has approached the country's banks
and insurers about forming a consortium to buy at least 34
percent of the Euronext stock exchange, due to be spun off in a
public offering, sources close to the matter said on Friday.
** Banco Espirito Santo, Portugal's second largest
listed bank by assets, has presented a binding bid for a small
Spanish bank Banco Gallego, BES said in a statement on Friday.
** Nuclear waste manager EnergySolutions Inc agreed
to be taken private by investment firm Energy Capital Partners
at a higher price, and said the deal now has the backing of its
largest shareholder. Energy Capital raised its offer by 40 cents
to $4.15 per share in cash, valuing EnergySolutions's equity at
about $378 million.
** Fisker Automotive, the struggling, government-backed
hybrid sports car maker, terminated most of its rank-and-file
employees on Friday, in a last-ditch effort to conserve cash and
stave off a potential bankruptcy filing, sources said.
** French oil major Total has reached a definitive
agreement to sell its TIGF gas transport and storage unit to a
group led by Italian gas transport group Snam, French
power company EDF, also part of the acquiring group,
said on Friday.
No price was disclosed for the sale to a consortium which
also includes Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC. In February,
Total said Snam's offer valued the business at 2.4 billion
** Telecom Italia has made contact with Hong
Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa to study a possible
fusion with its 3 Italia unit, the Italian company said on
Hutchison Whampoa's loss-making 3 Italia, also known as HG3,
is estimated to be worth between 1.5 billion euros ($1.93
billion) and 2 billion euros ($2.57 billion).
** Yankee Candle Co Inc has attracted offers from several
private equity firms in a sale process that could value the
largest scented candle maker in the United States at about $2
billion, people familiar with the matter said.
Bain Capital LLC, Advent International Corp, CVC Capital
Partners Ltd, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC and Ares
Management LLC have made it through the first round of bidding
and are set to meet with Yankee Candle's management over the
next few weeks, the sources said.
** Private equity groups 3i and Allianz Capital
Partners have attracted three tentative bids for their
jointly-owned ferry group Scandlines, a person close
to the transaction said.
3i and ACP each own 50 percent of the southern Baltic's
largest ferry group, which carries roughly 12 million passengers
annually. In October, the investors appointed Goldman Sachs and
ING to organise the sale, hoping to get up to 1.4 billion euros
($1.80 billion) for the group.
** Australia's Sundance Resources is poised to walk
away from a $1.4 billion takeover by China's Hanlong Group,
analysts said, after the deal was blighted by a series of
regulatory hurdles, financing problems and market volatility.
** Norwegian fish farmer Cermaq agreed to take over
Copeinca, a Peruvian producer of fishmeal and fish
oil, beating out China Fishery Group with a bid that
values the firm at $600 million.
** Kenya's government plans to sell a stake in a wines and
spirits marketer to South Africa's Distell Group and to
offload its shareholdings in three luxury hotels, its
Privatization Commission said on Friday.
The commission did not say how much it expects to raise. The
sales were first announced in 2011 as part of a plan to help
improve the state's finances and to transfer the running of
businesses to the country's private sector.
** Rio Tinto has hired investment bank Macquarie to
sell its majority stake in the Northparkes copper mine in
Australia, a source familiar with the matter said, adding to a
growing list of planned divestments. The mine has been valued by
analysts at $300 million to $400 million.
** Revised takeover offers for Australia's Billabong
International Ltd have come in considerably lower than
indicative bids, with the highest valuing the struggling
surfwear firm at only A$287 million ($300 million), the
Australian Financial Review reported on Friday.
** Romania launched the sale of a majority stake in indebted
rail freight carrier CFR Marfa, as agreed under an IMF-led aid
deal, setting a starting price of 797.1 million lei ($231.9
** Restructuring specialist Hilco is set to throw British
entertainment retailer HMV a lifeline in a 50 million
pound ($75.90 million) deal that will save 2,500 jobs, Sky News
** Private equity firm Nordic Capital said on Friday its
Fund VIII had struck a deal to buy Danish logistics company
Unifeeder from Montagu Private Equity for an undisclosed price.