(Adds Braemar Shipping Services, Wesizwe, MOL, Banco Sabadell;
Updates AstraZeneca, London Stock Exchange)
May 20 The following bids, mergers, acquisitions
and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Tuesday:
** AstraZeneca shareholder Schroders urged
the company to restart takeover talks with Pfizer,
adding its voice to criticism of the British drugmaker's
rejection of the U.S. firm's 70 billion pound ($118 billion)
** Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc
said it will not make an all-cash bid for
drugmaker Allergan Inc as many had expected last week
when the company said it would improve its cash and stock offer
for the Botox maker.
** Germany's Commerzbank is finalizing the sale of
Spanish property loans to U.S. investors for up to 3.9 billion
euros ($5.4 billion), sources said, in what would be one of the
biggest deals of its kind since Spain's 2008 real estate crash.
** London Stock Exchange Group Plc has entered into
exclusive talks to buy U.S.-based asset manager and stock index
provider Russell Investments, in an estimated $3 billion deal
that would allow the bourse operator to increase its U.S.
** British aerospace and defense supplier Cobham is
buying U.S. communications equipment maker Aeroflex Holding Corp
for $920 million, continuing its quest for commercial
customers as its main defense clients cut spending.
** Australia's Treasury Wine Estates is betting its
Penfolds brand and a cost-cutting new CEO will boost earnings
and justify its decision to reject a $2.90 billion takeover
offer from private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP.
The world's No. 2 winemaker said it had rejected KKR's bid as
too low, sending its share price above the bid value as
investors rushed to get in ahead of any new offers from other
** Private equity group BC Partners is
considering selling French domestic cleaning products maker
Spotless Group and is looking for a price tag of between 900
million euros ($1.23 billion) to 1 billion euros, Les Echos
** Italian cement maker Italcementi said it had
set final price in a takeover bid for the shares in its French
unit Ciments Francais that it does not yet own at 79.5
euros ($110) per share. The price is 'ex dividend' and is an
increase from a preliminary takeover price of 78 euros announced
on March 6, which included the dividend.
** French nuclear group Areva could be interested
in a deal for Alstom's wind turbines unit, its CEO
said, while adding Areva was not directly involved in talks over
the possible sale of Alstom's energy business.
** British insurer RSA Insurance Group Plc said on
Monday it had reached agreement to sell its majority-owned
Canadian brokerage business - Noraxis Capital Corp - to U.S.
insurance brokerage Arthur J. Gallagher & Co for C$500
million ($460 million).
** London-listed Central Asia Metals Plc (CAML)
said it has acquired the remaining 40 percent of the Kounrad
copper project in Kazakhstan and aims to boost copper cathode
output by about 50 percent by 2016.
** China-focused private equity firm Hopu Investments Co
Ltd. plans to acquire a minority share in Russia's largest
untapped copper deposit by the end of 2014, the operator of the
project said. The project's operator, Baikal Mining Co, and Hopu
have also agreed to form an investment consortium comprising
major Chinese players in the industrial sector and financial
institutions for the project.
** A fund led by Andrea Bonomi further raised its stake in
Club Mediterranee to above 10 percent, three days
ahead of the closure deadline for a takeover offer for the
French holiday firm that the Italian businessman opposes.
Bonomi-led Strategic Holdings now holds 10.5 percent of Club
Med's capital, clouding prospects for a takeover offer launched
a year ago by China's Fosun International and French
private equity firm Ardian.
** Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank has received regulatory
approval from the United Arab Emirates central bank for its
purchase of Barclays' retail operations in the country,
its chief executive said. The largest sharia-compliant lender in
the emirate agreed a 650 million dirham ($177 million) deal with
the British bank last month.
** The Finnish government proposed a sell-off of Altia, a
liquor maker fully owned by the state, as it seeks new revenue
to finance spending and reduce the need for borrowing.
** Debt-burdened Spanish real estate group Realia
said it agreed to sell its stake in French property vehicle SIIC
de Paris at a loss to investment group Eurosic
. Realia, controlled by Spanish builder FCC and Bankia
, said it would sell its 59 percent stake in SIIC de
Paris at 22 euros per share, valuing the French company at
around 948 million euros ($1.3 billion).
** WWRD Holdings Ltd, owner of high-end crystal and china
brands including Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton, is in
the early stages of exploring a sale of the company, people
familiar with the matter said on Monday.
** Finnish investment and insurance group Sampo
has increased its stake in small Finnish bank Aktia
to 6 percent, in what it described as a financial investment.
Sampo now holds about 6 percent of Aktia stock and 0.9 percent
of its voting rights, it said.
** France's controversial decree widening its control over
takeovers in strategic industries is meant to help discussions
over alliances and is not there to block deals, Economy Minister
Arnaud Montebourg told lawmakers on Tuesday.
** Braemar Shipping Services will buy fellow
British shipbroker ACM Shipping Group in the latest
industry shake-up as players look to grow after years of freight
** South African platinum firm Wesizwe, which is
building a mine backed by Chinese money, has its "ear to the
ground" for a fire sale of assets that could result from a
massive industry strike.
** Food and grain-handling companies ConAgra Foods Inc
, Cargill Inc and CHS Inc have won
U.S. antitrust approval to merge their North American flour mill
operations after recently agreeing to sell four mills to a
** Hungarian oil and gas group MOL plans further
acquisitions to boost its retail market share in central Europe,
where an economic recovery is underway and motor fuel sales are
rising, MOL's downstream chief told Reuters.
** Spain's Banco Sabadell said on Tuesday it had
expanded an insurance joint venture with Zurich in a
deal valued at an initial 214 million euros ($293 million), half
of which the Swiss company would contribute in cash.
** The private equity owner of Pro Mach Inc is exploring a
sale of the packaging equipment maker that could value it at
close to $1 billion, according to people familiar with the
matter, the latest in a wave of such deals in the sector.
** Goldman Sachs has begun a formal process to sell
the metals warehousing business it purchased four years ago, a
spokesman said on Tuesday, confirming an earlier Reuters report.
($1 = 0.6 British pounds)
($1 = 1.09 Canadian Dollars)
($1 = 0.73 Euros)
(Compiled by Natalie Grover and Sampad Patnaik in Bangalore)