Nov 8 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2120 GMT on Friday:
** Healthcare conglomerate Danaher Corp has teamed up with Blackstone Group LP to bid for Johnson & Johnson’s diagnostics unit, which makes blood screening equipment and laboratory blood tests and could fetch more than $4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
** Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim, the world’s largest unlisted drugmaker, is looking to expand its animal health business and is set to make an offer for poultry vaccine and feed additives maker Lohmann, two people familiar with the matter said.
The bid will value the company, which is owned by PHW Group, Germany’s biggest poultry farmer and owner of the Wiesenhof food brand, at about 400 million euros ($535 million), or 16 times its expected operating earnings, the sources said.
** South African lender Standard Bank confirmed it was in talks to sell a controlling stake in its London-based global markets business, a deal sources have told Reuters would be worth over $500 million.
** BlackBerry Ltd’s board does not believe a break-up of the Canadian smartphone maker is currently in its best interests, even though Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Lenovo Group Ltd, among others, have expressed interest in acquiring parts of the company, according to people familiar with the discussions.
** Australia’s Queensland state is considering the sale of its toll road business to capitalize on strong demand for the country’s infrastructure assets, with local media estimating the sale could raise more than A$5 billion ($4.7 billion).
** Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd will buy Santarus Inc for about $2.6 billion, gaining two new gastroenterology drugs to strengthen its leading presence in that market.
** Talisman Energy Inc said it would sell a stake in some of its natural gas assets in British Columbia’s Montney field to Malaysia-controlled Progress Energy Canada Ltd for C$1.5 billion ($1.44 billion) as it restructures global operations.
** Essilor International said it would buy Costa Inc, a maker of premium sport sunglasses, in a $270 million deal that would help the French company tap into the growing prescription sun lens market.
** Spain’s Endesa has sold a remaining 20 percent stake in its former gas transport and distribution unit for 130 million euros ($174 million), the utility said, in a move that will help reduce debt at Italian parent Enel.
** Marine Harvest, the world’s biggest fish farmer, bought a 25.8 percent stake in rival Grieg Seafood at 22 crowns a share, a 23.6 percent premium on the stock’s last close, the companies said.
The transaction for 28.8 million shares is worth 634 million crowns ($105 million), valuing the company at 2.45 billion crowns.
** Cash-strapped German fire-fighting vehicles maker Albert Ziegler GmbH & Co has been sold to China International Marine Containers Group (CIMC).
Ziegler, which filed for insolvency in 2011, was bought for 55 million euros ($74 million), the company said, adding that all 1,000 jobs will be preserved.
** Affiliates of activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp disclosed a stake of about 9 percent in Riverbed Technology Inc , a network equipment maker it said was “significantly undervalued”.
** U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group LP’s Cogentrix Energy unit completed the acquisition of the 823-megawatt Red Oak natural gas-fired power plant in New Jersey from U.S. private equity firm Energy Capital Partners.
Carlyle did not disclose the financial terms of the Red Oak transaction but said in a statement on Thursday that the total value of the 11 plants it has bought since late 2012 when it acquired Cogentrix from U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc is more than $1.2 billion.
** Telecom Italia said on Friday it had received an offer worth $1 billion for a stake in its Argentinian unit, whose sale is the cornerstone of a new strategy aimed at raising 4 billion euros to avoid a credit downgrade and revive its business.
Investment fund Fintech is in talks with Telecom Italia to buy a controlling stake in Telecom Argentina, said a spokesman for Argentina’s media regulator.
** France’s Carrefour is in talks to buy a portfolio of shopping malls from real estate group Klepierre , it said on Thursday, in a move that could help its efforts to revive European hypermarkets.
** Indian Hotels Company (IHC), owner of the Taj Mahal chain of hotels and resorts, will not pursue its $1.2 billion bid to acquire U.S. luxury hotels group Orient-Express Hotels, it said on Friday, ending a year-long chase. The company said the board had decided not to pursue the offer after taking into account all factors, including the current economic environment.
** Symbion Inc, a surgical facility operator that was taken private in 2007, is up for sale, in a deal that may fetch more than $800 million, people familiar with the matter said. Private equity firm Crestview Partners LP, which acquired Symbion for $637 million, has hired Morgan Stanley to assist with the effort, the people said.
** Italian private equity fund Clessidra said on Friday it has a strong interest in fashion house Versace, which is currently looking to sell a stake of between 15 and 20 percent.
** Troubled French poultry group Doux is close to signing a rescue deal whereby its main client, Saudi food distributor Almunajem, will take a minority stake, a moment of rare good news for a French meat industry shaken by plant closures.
** Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd is set to make an $800 million all-cash offer for Lloyds Banking Group’s Scottish Widows asset management arm in the next two weeks, which could push Aberdeen Asset Management out of the race, the Wall Street Journal reported.
** Swiss industrial machinery maker Sulzer has attracted strong interest for its Metco coatings unit and the sale is well on track, the company’s chief executive said.
Sulzer hopes it could get about 800 million Swiss francs ($871 million) from the sale of Metco, the world’s largest producer of thermal spray coatings, catering to the car, chemicals and energy industries.
** AstraZeneca may seek to increase its stake in a diabetes joint venture with Bristol-Myers Squibb, following a decision by the U.S. firm to exit diabetes drug research, according to Citi.
** Italian defense group Finmeccanica would prefer to use a tender process for a possible sale of its Ansaldo STS rail technology business, part of plans to stem losses from the group’s train division.
The state-controlled group is trying to combine profitable Ansaldo STS with loss-making train-maker AnsaldoBreda to create a single transport business which could attract buyers, Chief Executive Alessandro Pansa said during an analysts call, adding that all options were on the table.
** Luxury goods group Richemont has decided not to sell underperforming businesses such as leather goods maker Lancel in part because it couldn’t get a good enough price, disappointing analysts’ hopes for a quick solution.
** Private equity firm Crestview Partners has called off the sale of Munder Capital Management, four sources told peHUB, a private equity news website owned by Thomson Reuters.
High price expectations scared many bidders away, two private equity sources said.
** Colombia’s Ecopetrol SA and Venezuela’s PDVSA are in talks to form a joint venture to pump oil from Venezuela’s mature fields, the head of Ecopetrol said on Friday, after delays trying to access the vast Orinoco belt.
** Luxury down jacket maker Moncler has sold its sportswear division to a company controlled by private equity fund Emerisque Brands, it said on Friday without giving financial details of the transaction. A statement from Moncler said that its shareholders had also acquired a 30 percent stake in Cavaliere Brands, the company to which it sold the sportswear business.