(Adds Shell, Vale, Etihad Etisalat, America Movil and others;
updates Exelon Corp)
April 30 The following bids, mergers,
acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on
** Bayer AG is offering to swap its animal health
assets for Merck & Co Inc's consumer healthcare
business, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, in a
move that could give the German drugmaker a leg-up in the $14
billion auction of the Merck business.
** Exelon Corp said it would buy Pepco Holdings Inc
for $6.83 billion, helping it overtake Duke Energy Corp
as the biggest power distribution company in the United
** Sanofi SA is looking to sell a portfolio of
older drugs that could fetch $7 billion-$8 billion, according to
people familiar with the matter, yet another example of
drugmakers trying to shed non-core assets and focus on
** Australian mining firm Padbury Mining Ltd's $6.5
billion deal to fund a new iron ore port and rail development on
the resource-rich western coast has fallen through, the company
said on Wednesday.
** French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on
Wednesday that his government would examine a request from
Alstom SA unions to raise the state's shareholding in
the company, which is the subject of takeover talks.
Separately, the head of General Electric said that
talks with the French government on its offer for Alstom's
energy assets had been "productive" and he expressed
confidence that the deal would go through despite a potential
rival offer from Germany's Siemens.
** Swiss private bank J. Safra Sarasin has agreed to buy
Morgan Stanley's Swiss private banking unit, beefing up
its business with the wealthy in the Middle East and Latin
** China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group) said on
Wednesday that it and state-owned power group China Huadian Corp
have agreed to take a combined 15 percent stake in a liquefied
natural gas project controlled by Malaysian state oil firm
Petronas in Canada.
** Iran has terminated China National Petroleum Corp's
contract to develop the Azadegan oilfield after the
Chinese energy giant ignored repeated appeals to work on it,
Iranian news agency Shana said on Wednesday.
** India's Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and JSW
Steel Ltd are in competing talks to buy parts of
insolvent Italian steelmaker Lucchini, sources with direct
knowledge of the matter said.
** German auto parts and tire maker Continental AG
plans to buy the remainder of Emitec, a supplier of emissions
technology, from GKN Plc.
** Linux operating system vendor Red Hat Inc said it
would buy privately held storage systems provider Inktank Ceph
Enterprise for $175 million to expand in the fast growing market
for software-defined storage.
** An Indian court has temporarily halted generic drugmaker
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd's $3.2 billion
takeover of rival Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd until it
decides on a petition for a probe into alleged insider trading.
** Mapletree Group, owned by Singapore's state investor
Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, plans to partner with
U.S-based Oakwood Worldwide in forming a joint venture in the
serviced apartment business.
** Etihad Airways has signaled that it was ready to continue
talks on a potential investment in Italy's troubled Alitalia but
it refuses to budge on tough conditions on debt restructuring
and job cuts, a source close to the talks said on Wednesday.
** Israeli geothermal energy producer Ormat Industries
said its U.S. subsidiary is examining the possibility
of raising money by bringing in equity partners for a small
number of assets in the United States.
** The banking foundation that is top shareholder in Banca
Carige is awaiting clearance from Italy's Treasury to
cut its stake to 19 percent from 43.4 percent at present, the
chairman of the not-for-profit entity said on Wednesday.
** Volkswagen AG is edging closer toward taking
full control of its Swedish truck division Scania, after its
buyout offer won broad support from shareholders and fell just
short of an acceptance threshold.
** Hastings Funds Management and China Merchants Group have
won a state government auction for a 98-year lease on
Australia's Port of Newcastle, the world's biggest coal export
terminal, paying a higher-than-expected A$1.75 billion ($1.62
** Indonesia's PT Perusahaan Gas Negara Tbk said
it will buy liquefied natural gas from BP Plc's Tangguh
plant for its two floating storage facilities to meet rising
demand in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
** A consortium of RRJ Capital and Temasek Holdings have
agreed to invest 1.3 billion euros ($1.80 billion) in ING
Groep's European and Japanese insurance and investment
management unit ahead of its planned IPO, the Dutch financial
services firm said in a statement on Wednesday.
** Africa-focused oil and gas explorer Tullow Oil
has sold majority stakes in two UK North Sea gas assets to Faroe
Petroleum Plc for $75.6 million and said it was looking
for buyers of other North Sea assets.
** The biggest investor in Salini Impregilo will
reduce its stake in the Italian builder to around 75 percent
from 90 percent by the end of the summer, Chief Financial
Officer Massimo Ferrari said on Wednesday.
** Israeli mobile operator Pelephone signed a deal with
Sweden's Ericsson to supply equipment and build a
fourth-generation (4G) network, its parent company said on
** Croatia's state power board Hrvatska Elektroprivreda
(HEP) said on Wednesday that it had received qualified bids for
the construction of a 500-megawatt thermal power plant on the
northern Adriatic, but declined to offer details until the bids
** Royal Dutch Shell Plc's proposed LNG Canada
liquefied natural gas export plant in British Columbia tiptoed
closer to reality on Wednesday, with the company signing a
formalized partnership agreement with its three Asian partners,
nudging the project into the next stage of development. Shell
also boosted its stake in the project to 50 percent from 40
** Guinea's President Alpha Conde said on Wednesday he hoped
Brazilian miner Vale would bid to reclaim two iron
ore permits, because the company had not been involved in the
alleged corruption that led to their cancellation.
** Saudi Arabia's Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) is in
talks to acquire 20 percent of Etihad Atheeb Telecommunications
through a rights issue by the loss-making telecom
operator, according to a bourse statement on Wednesday.
** India's Piramal Enterprises Ltd has agreed to
buy a 9.99 percent stake in Shriram City Union Finance Ltd
valued at about $130 million, its latest investment in
a firm linked to the Chennai-based Shriram group.
** Latin America's biggest phone company America Movil
expects regulators to approve its deal to take control
of Telekom Austria within two months, it said on
** Charter Communications, which lost out to
Comcast Corp in a bid to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc
, has withdrawn its slate of nominees to Time Warner
Cable's board. As part of a deal with Comcast announced on
Monday to swap customers, Charter had withdrawn its slate, a
Charter spokesman said on Wednesday.
** Grupo Argos, a Colombian holding company, is
looking to invest in the energy sector elsewhere in Latin
America later this year, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
** Lithuanian state-owned companies said they had asked the
competition authority for approval to buy stakes in the Baltic
state's gas and power utilities from Germany's E.ON
** Reckitt Benckiser Group said on Wednesday it was
no longer in active talks with Merck & Co about buying
its consumer health business, leaving Germany's Bayer
as the leading contender for the $14 billion business.
** Lloyds Banking Group has reached an agreement to
sell $500 million of shipping loans from its remaining ship
finance portfolio as the British bank cuts sector exposure,
finance and banking sources familiar with the matter said on
** China's commerce ministry has approved with conditions
German liquid crystal maker Merck KGaA's planned $2.6
billion takeover of UK-listed AZ Electronic Materials.
** Energizer Holdings Inc said it planned to
separate into two publicly traded companies, one for batteries
and other household products and the other for personal care
brands such as Schick razors and Stayfree female hygiene
** The three brothers who own Fratelli Rossetti would
consider selling part of the Italian luxury shoemaker to fund
future expansion, while keeping the business founded by their
father firmly under family control.
** ArcelorMittal SA, the world's largest steelmaker, and
Bekaert Group on Wednesday agreed to swap their stakes in their
Brazil, Costa Rica and Ecuador ventures, part of a broader plan
to extend a four-decade partnership in fast-growing markets, an
($1 = 0.59 British pounds)
($1 = 1.08 Australian dollars)
($1 = 0.72 euros)
(Compiled by Avik Das and Ankit Ajmera in Bangalore)