(Adds Element Financial, PSP, AstraZeneca, Alstom, General
Electric, Magnetar, Flipkart, Telus, Talvivaara; Updates Rio
May 21 The following bids, mergers, acquisitions
and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** European Union antitrust regulators are asking British
retailers whether the 3.8-billion-pound ($6.41 billion) merger
of mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse and Dixons
Retail will push up the prices of mobile phones and
** Canadian equipment finance company Element Financial Corp
is in exclusive talks to buy PHH Corp's
fleet-leasing business for about $1.35 billion in a deal
structured to include significant tax benefits, a source
familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
** Canadian pension fund PSP Investment is making a surprise
comeback in the race to buy broadcasting masts group TDF's
French unit, opening a new episode in a protracted selloff saga,
said three sources familiar with the matter.
** AstraZeneca 's shareholders remain split over the
UK pharmaceuticals giant's decision to reject a $118 billion
offer from U.S. rival Pfizer, with AXA coming out
against it while Threadneedle supported it.
** Alstom is set to reject a request by suitor
Siemens for more information about its power
business, a person close to the French company said, reducing
the chances of a bid to rival General Electric's $17
** General Electric Co Chief Executive Jeff Immelt
said on Wednesday that GE is still going to "work
constructively" with the French government regarding its offer
to acquire the power business of France's Alstom and
that he expects the deal to close.
** DirecTV will negotiate a deal with the National
Football League independently, AT&T Inc.'s chief financial
officer said, days after the mobile carrier announced a bid for
the company that hinges on a renewal of the NFL Sunday Ticket
** Goldman Sachs has begun a formal process to sell
the metals warehousing business it purchased four years ago, a
spokesman said on Tuesday, disclosing the first definitive
effort to shed the operation amid regulatory and political
pressure. The Wall Street firm, one of the few major global
banks that has not retreated from commodity markets in recent
months, decided to explore a sale after receiving interest from
potential buyers, the spokesman said in an email to Reuters.
** ConAgra Foods Inc, Cargill Inc and CHS
Inc won U.S. antitrust approval on Tuesday to merge
their North American flour mill operations after agreeing to
sell four mills to a Japanese company. The companies had
announced in March 2013 that ConAgra would join Horizon Milling,
a joint venture of Cargill and CHS Inc that is the largest flour
miller in America.
** Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC is in advanced talks to
acquire wound care company Healogics Inc from private equity
peer Metalmark Capital Holdings LLC for around $1 billion,
according to people familiar with the matter. CD&R has so far
outbid other private equity firms in the auction for Healogics,
including TPG Capital LP and a consortium of Ares Management LP
and Leonard Green & Partners LP, the people said this
** Newly elected Indian premier Narendra Modi is exploring
breaking up state behemoth Coal India Ltd and opening
up the sector to foreign investment to boost output and cut
imports, said two sources with knowledge of the matter. Red
tape, strikes, protests against land acquisition and delays in
obtaining environmental approvals have kept coal output far
below demand, making India the world's No.3 importer even though
it sits on the fifth-largest reserves.
** Germany's Siemens wrote to Alstom on
Tuesday asking for more information ahead of a likely offer for
the French company's power business, French Economy Minister
Arnaud Montebourg said. Alstom is already in talks with U.S.
conglomerate General Electric over a 12.35 billion euro
($16.9 billion) bid for its power arm, which it is due to review
by June 2. Under pressure from the French government, however,
it has opened its books to Siemens as well.
** Russia's Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest
nickel and palladium producer, has agreed to sell its Australian
nickel assets Avalon and Cawse to investment firm Wingstar, the
Russian company said.
** Private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC is close to a deal
to acquire Wencor Group LLC, a manufacturer of commercial
aircraft parts, for between $800 million and $900 million,
people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
** Hedge fund Magnetar Capital is suing U.S. drugs
wholesaler McKesson, saying its acquisition of German
peer Celesio short-changed minority shareholders and
bondholders by around 370 million euros ($507 million).
** With Amazon.com Inc ramping up its presence in
India, two local online retailers are preparing for tougher
competition with separate deals worth a combined $400 million
set to be finalised this week.
Flipkart, India's largest online retailer, is expected on
Thursday to announce its acquisition of a majority stake in
online fashion retailer Myntra in a deal worth about $300
million, said an official from Myntra who did not want to be
named as he was not authorised to speak with the media.
In a separate deal, local online retailer Snapdeal has
raised $100 million from five investors, a company official said
on Wednesday. The deal will be announced in a few days, he said.
** Lithuanian state-owned companies have agreed a deal to
buy stakes in the Baltic country's gas and power utilities from
Germany's E.ON, the government said on Wednesday.
The deal, which the government said was valued at 147.3
million euros ($201.73 million), will give the state majority
stakes in key gas pipelines, which were privatised a decade ago.
** Pakistan's central bank has given Meezan Bank Ltd
approval "in-principle" to purchase the local banking
business of HSBC, the sharia-compliant lender said in a
bourse filing. The statement did not give a price for the deal,
which still requires shareholder approval and final consent by
** Nippon Life Insurance Co said it agreed to buy
a 20 percent stake in Indonesia's Sequis Life for 4.87 trillion
rupiah ($423.9 million), joining its Japanese peers who are
expanding in rapidly growing Southeast Asian markets.
** Canada's Rio Alto Mining Ltd said on
Wednesday it would buy Sulliden Gold Corp Ltd for about
C$300 million ($275 million) in an all-stock deal to create a
Peru-focused gold miner.
** Upstream oil and gas firm KrisEnergy Ltd said
it planned to buy the remaining stake in an oil block in
Thailand from Mubadala Petroleum, a subsidiary of an Abu Dhabi
state investor, for $102.5 million.
** Indonesian retailer Mitra Adiperkasa said it
would sell majority stakes in its Domino's Pizza and Burger King
chains to keep its capital to develop its other franchises.
Mitra Adiperkasa has reached an understanding with Everstone
Capital, a private equity firm from Singapore, to sell a
majority stake in Domino's Pizza.
** China's Sinopec Group said it agreed with U.S.-listed
Weatherford International to form a joint venture
oilfield service company.
** Investment group PPF said on Wednesday the bid price for
a buyout offer of minority shareholders of Telefonica Czech
Republic was set at 295.15 crowns per share.
The Czech central bank had earlier approved the offer as the
market regulator. PPF said it would not comment further until
the offer document was published, which is expected no later
than June 3.
** CVC Capital Partners Ltd has agreed to acquire a
majority stake in Hong Kong-based serviced office provider The
Executive Centre Ltd from Headland Capital Partners.
** Law firm leaders at Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C.,
were tallying votes on Tuesday on a proposed merger with Squire
Sanders, a deal that is expected to be approved and that would
provide financial relief to struggling Patton Boggs. While votes
submitted by partners of the 300-lawyer Patton Boggs were still
being counted, three sources close to the deal said it was
widely expected that the partnership would approve the proposed
** Novatek is in discussions with Asia-based
companies on the sale of a stake in the Yamal LNG project, Chief
Financial Officer Mark Gyetvay said.
** Tanzania, a hotspot for natural gas exploration, has
received five bids for just half of the eight oil and gas blocks
it offered in its latest bidding round, its upstream regulator
said on Wednesday. Tanzania, which has made big discoveries of
natural gas off its southern coast, had offered seven deep-sea
offshore blocks and one block in Lake Tanganyika.
** Malaysia's CIMB Group Holdings Bhd is looking
at mid-tier Philippine banks as possible acquisition targets
after its failed attempt to buy into a local bank last year, its
chief executive said on Wednesday.
** Finnish nickel miner Talvivaara, which is
undergoing a debt restructuring, should seek a merger with an
industrial partner along with its search for new investors, its
** Canada's Telus Corp has withdrawn its bid to
acquire struggling domestic wireless company Mobilicity, the
Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a source
it did not identify.
** Consumer lender Home Credit B.V. said it had no plans to
sell its operations in Russia.
($1 = 1.09 Canadian dollars)
($1 = 0.73 Euros)
($1 = 11487.5 Indonesian rupiah)
($1 = 0.59 British Pounds)
(Compiled by Natalie Grover and Sampad Patnaik in Bangalore)