Sept 20 The following bids, mergers,
acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1000 GMT on Friday:
** UK state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland said it
raised 630 million pounds ($1 billion) by selling a 20 percent
stake in Direct Line, the latest stage in a European
Union-ordered disposal of Britain's biggest motor insurer. The
sale was made at 210 pence a share, representing a 3.7 percent
discount to Direct Line's closing price on Thursday, and leaves
RBS holding 427.4 million shares, a 28.5 percent stake.
** A consortium led by private equity firm Corsair has
emerged as the front runner to buy 315 branches being sold by
Royal Bank of Scotland, three sources with knowledge of
the deal told Reuters. RBS executives are expected to
rubber-stamp the decision later on Friday, the sources said.
U.S.-based Corsair is bidding along with fellow private equity
house Centerbridge and other investors, including the Church of
England's investment fund and Standard Life Investments.
** British insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc
said it would acquire the reinsurance brokerage business
of Towers Watson & Co for $250 million in cash. JLT said
Towers Watson's reinsurance brokerage business would be merged
with JLT's reinsurance business and would be branded for a
transitional period as JLT Towers Re. The combined business
would generate revenue of $266 million and would be present in
17 countries, the company said.
** Spanish oil company Cepsa has made an indicative bid for
Coastal Energy of between 1.7 billion and 2 billion
euros ($2.3 billion-$2.7 billion), financial newspaper Expansion
reported, citing unnamed market sources. Cepsa and Strategic
Resources (Global), wholly owned by private equity investment
and advisory firm Jynwel Capital Ltd, would make a joint offer,
Canadian newspaper Financial Post had reported on Monday citing
** Swiss industrial group OC Oerlikon has made a
bid for Sulzer's coating unit Metco, the world's
largest maker of thermal spray coatings used in the car,
chemical and energy industries. Sulzer hopes the Metco sale will
fetch about 800 million Swiss francs ($880 million), two people
familiar with the process told Reuters. Aside from Oerlikon,
Sulzer has approached peers including British Bodycote,
U.S-based Praxair and Japanese IHI Corp, these
** French group LVMH, best known for brands such
as Louis Vuitton, Celine, Fendi and Kenzo, is buying a majority
stake in British upmarket shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood's
company for an undisclosed sum as the company aims to reinforce
its stable of hot young designers.
** Hungary is in talks to nationalize six or seven utility
companies as part of a drive to lower energy prices and revive a
struggling economy, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. The move
is the latest attempt by Orban to increase the power of the
state, against the trend in much of the rest of Europe.
** Singapore-based Albedo Ltd said on Thursday
that it has agreed to a S$774 million ($621 million) takeover by
a company controlled by Malaysian businessman Danny Tan in a
deal that will see Albedo join international property developers
buying up land in Malaysia's sought-after Iskandar region.
Albedo plans to issue 34.55 billion new shares at S$0.0224
($0.02) per share to Tan's Infinite Rewards Inc, equal to about
95 percent of the enlarged Albedo's stock.
** Brazil's planned auction of its biggest-ever oil
discovery attracted only a quarter of the interest expected by
the government on Thursday after many of the large, wealthy oil
companies with experience in the region declined to sign up for
the sale. With Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc, BG Group
Plc, Chevron Corp and other investor-owned oil
companies choosing to stay away, Asian state-owned companies
such as India's Oil & National Gas Corp Ltd,
Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional, or Petronas, and
China's CNOOC Ltd dominate the list of 11 companies
that agreed to pay the 2.05 million real ($931,818) registration
** Canadian miner HudBay Minerals hopes to buy at
least one greenfield project in the next year, the company's
Chief Executive David Garofalo told Reuters on Thursday. He said
higher industry costs and lower metal prices mean medium-sized
companies such as HudBay are better positioned than ever to buy
up small exploration firms. He declined to mention which firms
HudBay is interested in.
** Spanish builder Dragados has received acceptances from
the majority of Pol-Aqua shareholders in its bid for the
remaining 34 percent stake in the Polish construction company it
did not already own, parent company ACS said on
Thursday. After this acquisition, Dragados has a 96.18 percent
stake in Pol-Aqua. Pol-Aqua will now be taken off the Warsaw
Stock Exchange after a forced purchase of the remaining shares.
** Seven hospital systems in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
will form what executives say will be the largest U.S.
healthcare alliance in the country. Called AllSpire Health
Partners, the alliance will allow the member institutions to
save on costs and share medical expertise, the hospital systems
said on Thursday. The alliance will include such systems as the
Hackensack University Health Network in New Jersey and the
Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania and have combined
annual revenue of $10.5 billion.
** Belgian financial group Dexia has entered into
exclusive talks with New York Life Investments to sell its asset
management unit, it said late on Thursday. The group did not say
how much New York Life Investments planned to offer.
($1 = 0.62 British pounds)
($1 = 0.74 euros)
($1 = 1.25 Singapore dollars)
($1 = 2.20 Brazilian reals)
(Compiled by Aby Jose Koilparambil)