(Adds Hellman & Friedman, JPMorgan, Fosun International and
Jan 9 The following bids, mergers, acquisitions
and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Thursday:
** Three consortia, including Middle Eastern funds, are
bidding for Royal Dutch Shell's Australian service
stations in a A$3 billion ($2.67 billion) auction, the
Australian Financial Review reported on Thursday.
** Hellman & Friedman LLC is exploring a sale of Catalina
Marketing Corp, which claims to have the world's largest shopper
history database and could fetch as much as $2.5 billion,
according to three people familiar with the matter.
** Healogics Inc, a private equity-owned provider of wound
care services, is exploring a sale that could value the company
at close to $1 billion, according to people familiar with the
** JPMorgan Chase & Co plans to sell or exit over
time its business of issuing prepaid cards for corporate
payrolls and government tax refunds and benefits, the company
** Portugal's government picked Chinese group Fosun
International to buy the insurance arm of state bank
Caixa Geral de Depositos for 1 billion euros, which allows
Lisbon to further exceed its privatisation revenue goal under an
** Italian government officials will meet on Thursday to
discuss the sale of a non-controlling stake in post office group
Poste Italiane as part of efforts to reduce the
country's massive debt, two government sources said.
** UBS may be thinking again about spinning off
its investment bank - and could even rescuscitate its old SG
Warburg brand - to fend off demands that it put aside yet more
capital to protect private banking clients from its investment
activities, according to Mediobanca analysts.
** Montagu Private Equity has entered advanced talks with
Rexam to buy the British beverage can maker's healthcare
packaging unit, two people familiar with the transaction told
** Switzerland's Da Vinci Invest has bought Italian luxury
leather brand Bruno Magli from London-based hedge fund Fortelus,
the companies said.
** Chilean retailer Cencosud said it will invest
around $425 million this year and will focus on boosting
efficiency, consolidate its Brazilian and Colombian operations
and lowering its debt.
** A senior official from Thailand's top energy firm, PTT
Pcl, denied a media report on Thursday that the company
was bidding for Royal Dutch Shell's Australian service
** British engineering company Rolls-Royce made a
takeover approach to Finnish ship and power plant engine maker
Wartsila but the talks ended without a deal, the two
companies said on Thursday.
** Novartis AG is discussing swapping its animal
health and human vaccines businesses for Merck & Co Inc's
over-the-counter products unit in a deal that could
boost earnings at both companies.
** Satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp has
withdrawn its $2.2 billion bid to buy bankrupt wireless
broadband company LightSquared Inc, throwing the future of
LightSquared's valuable spectrum rights into further doubt.
** Singapore Airlines has chosen Airbus's A320 to
launch its new Indian joint venture with Tata Sons.
** U.S. drugs wholesaler McKesson raised its offer
for German peer Celesio to about 6.2 billion euros
($8.4 billion) including debt, mollifying an activist hedge fund
that had been blocking the deal.
** Norway's Vardia Insurance, previously known as
Scandinavian Insurance Group, has bought Saga Forsikring and
aims to list the combined firm on the Oslo Bourse in April,
Vardia said in a statement on Thursday.
** Germany's Metro has rejected an offer for its
Vietnam cash and carry business, reported to be from CP Group,
the conglomerate run by Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont.
** Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, Canada's largest
oil producer, said on Thursday it had dropped plans to sell some
of its shale gas-rich Montney properties after failing to
attract a suitable offer.
** Belgian chemical group Solvay said on Thursday
its sale of a stake in Argentine subsidiary Solvay Indupa
to Braskem was on track, even after
Argentina's regulator rejected the bid as inadequate.
** South African drugmaker Adcock Ingram said on
Thursday it would further postpone a shareholder vote on a $1.2
billion takeover offer from Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals
because it was still waiting for regulatory approval.
** The Dnevnik newspaper on Thursday reported that Croatian
food concern Agrokor wanted to change the terms of its offer to
buy Slovenia's top food retailer, Mercator,
** EU antitrust regulators said on Thursday they had cleared
the $35 billion merger of U.S. advertising agency Omnicom
and French peer Publicis without conditions.
(Compiled by Sampad Patnaik and Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore)