March 12 The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** 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 Mexico.
** 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.