March 12 The following bids, mergers,
acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on
** The board of Bouygues SA was meeting to approve
an increase in its bid for Vivendi's SFR in an attempt
to gain the upper hand against a rival buyer, said two people
familiar with the matter.
The two people said the improved bid could take the cash
portion of Bouygues' offer up to as much as 11.4 billion euros
($15.8 billion) from 10.5 billion last week.
** Enel SpA, Italy's biggest utility which is
shedding assets, has no plans to cut its stake in Slovakian
power generation company Slovenske Elektrarne or in Spanish
utility Endesa, the group's chief executive said.
Analysts have said Slovenske Elektrarne, could be one of the
assets that go on the block, with its value estimated at 3
billion to 4 billion euros.
** Energy XXI Ltd will buy its closest rival EPL
Oil & Gas Inc for $1.53 billion, as the company looks to
better compete with private-equity backed explorers such as
Fieldwood Energy in the shallow-water region of the Gulf of
** China's largest e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding
has agreed to buy a controlling stake in ChinaVision Media Group
Ltd for $804 million, giving it access to TV and movie
content as competition in the world's biggest internet market
becomes increasingly cutthroat.
** United Spirits Ltd's Whyte & Mackay whisky unit
has attracted interest from several drinks makers and private
equity firms and is expected to fetch about 350 million pounds
($582 million), according to sources familiar with the matter.
** Blackstone Group, the world's biggest alternative
asset manager, said on Tuesday that it agreed to buy most of
cybersecurity firm Accuvant Inc from investment firm Sverica
International, in a deal which values Accuvant at about $225
million, according to a person familiar with the matter.
** The Singer sewing machine company, largely credited with
helping develop the U.S. fashion industry by allowing clothes to
be made more cheaply and efficiently, is exploring a sale that
could fetch more than $500 million, three people familiar with
the matter said. Singer, part of the world's largest sewing
machine company, SVP Worldwide, is owned by private equity firm
Kohlberg & Company LLC.
** British pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca has
agreed to sell its Alderley Park research site in northern
England to a public-private partnership group as it moves drug
discovery to a new global center in Cambridge.
** Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc has
agreed to shed much of its decades-old investment in Graham
Holdings Co, the former publisher of the Washington
Post, swapping most of its shares for a Miami television station
and other assets.
** French state fund Bpifrance said it had completed the
sale of 2.5 percent of car parts maker Valeo for
around 200 million euros.
** Drinks group Campari has agreed to buy Canada's
Forty Creek Distillery (FCD) for 185.6 million Canadian dollars
($170 million), the Italian company said on Wednesday.
** Germany's Evonik Industries AG has dropped out
of talks to buy medical skin patch maker LTS Lohmann, two people
familiar with the deal said, sending the sellers back to square
one in their search for a buyer.