Dec 13 The following bids, mergers, acquisitions
and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Thursday:
** GrainCorp Ltd rejected a sweetened $2.9 billion
bid from Archer Daniels Midland Co, putting pressure on
the U.S. agribusiness giant to boost its offer for Australia's
last major independent grains handler.
** Best Buy Co Inc founder Richard Schulze is
expected to make a fully financed offer to buy the consumer
electronics retailer by the end of the week, the Minneapolis
Star Tribune reported, citing a source.
Schulze's bid would be at least $5 billion to $6 billion,
the newspaper reported, citing the source. Best Buy declined to
comment on the report.
** Industrial machinery maker SPX Corp has outbid
private equity firms competing to buy Gardner Denver Inc
by a wide margin, offering to pay more than $4 billion for the
rival, according to two people familiar with the matter.
** PetroChina will pay Encana Corp
C$2.2 billion ($2.2 billion) for a 49.9 percent stake in a rich
Alberta shale gas prospect owned by the Canadian company, the
first big deal since Ottawa issued new guidelines for major
energy investments by foreign state-owned enterprises.
** Sprint Nextel Corp, the majority owner of Clearwire
Corp, has offered $2.1 billion to buy the rest of the
wireless service provider but it will likely have to offer more
money in order to secure a deal.
** International Paper Co is selling its building
products unit to Georgia-Pacific LLC for $750
million cash, a move designed to sharpen focus on its massive
** Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc said it would
sell its oil and gas production business to private-equity
backed Talos Energy LLC for at least $610 million to focus on
its core oilfield services business.
** Uganda has blocked British explorer Ophir from
taking over Dominion Petroleum's assets in the east
African nation despite its acquisition of Dominion, a senior
** Italy's Eni has strengthened its hand in
Pakistan by agreeing to buy offshore gas acreage as the oil and
gas major continues to channel cash into more profitable
** A Saudi Arabian investment company has set up a joint
venture with SAHO, a Siberian grain producer, to ship Russian
wheat and barley to the Middle East and North Africa, the two
companies said on Thursday.
** The Spanish government is taking over another lender as
its clean-up of the troubled financial sector gathers pace and
healthier banks cough up funds to purge the system of toxic real
The government said on Thursday it had secured the private
investment it needed to get its 'bad bank' going, with most of
the capital coming from the country's top lenders, except for
** Turkish retailer Migros Ticaret AS poured cold
water on a report that Wal-Mart Stores Inc was in talks
to buy an 80 percent stake, sending its shares lower after an
initial spurt on Thursday.
** The world's largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal,
has ceded part of its stake in Canada's Baffinland Iron Ore
Mines to Nunavut as it seeks to cut costs in a sluggish global
Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal, which has a high debt load,
said that it had handed over a 20 percent Baffinland stake to
Nunavut, a privately held company backed by U.S. private equity
firm Energy & Minerals Group.
** U.S. asset manager Legg Mason Inc said it will buy
Fauchier Partners, one of London's oldest fund-of-hedge-funds
firms, from BNP Paribas Investment Partners, the
latest deal in the fast-consolidating sector.
** Phillips 66, a major oil refiner, will likely
look to sell its 71,000 barrel per day Whitegate refinery in
Cork, Ireland, and its stake in the 200,000 bpd Melaka refinery
in Malaysia, Chief Executive Greg Garland told reporters.
** Qatar National Bank, which is buying Societe
Generale's Egyptian unit for $2 billion as part of a
regional expansion strategy, now has control of a top Turkish
bank in its sights.
** French carmaker Renault raised 1.48 billion
euros ($1.93 billion) from the sale of its remaining stake in
** Japan's Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ plans to buy 20
percent of VietinBank from the Vietnamese government
for about 60 billion yen ($720 million), a source close to the
deal said, as Japan's cash-rich big banks expand into
fast-growing Southeast Asian markets.
** Indian billionaire Anil Ambani's Reliance Group
and China's Dalian Wanda Group announced a tie-up to
develop real estate and movie theatre projects, the latest
partnership between Ambani and China.
** South Africa's Standard Bank may sell 60 percent
of its UK commodities and foreign exchange trading businesses to
the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China for at
least $600 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.
** The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has
approved MetLife's sale of its deposit-taking business to a unit
of General Electric Co's GE Capital, MetLife Inc
said on Wednesday.
** Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has agreed to buy
out Bank of America Merrill Lynch's stake in their
Japanese private banking joint venture for about $480 million.
** French broadcaster TF1 said it was weeks away
from signing a strategic alliance with Discovery Communications
that could see the U.S. group take a 20 percent stake
in the Eurosport channel.
Discovery would pay around 184 million euros ($239.9
million) in total and would be granted the option to take its
stake in Eurosport to 51 percent and to 49 percent in the other
channels, TF1 said on Thursday.
** Axiata Group Bhd, Southeast Asia's
second-largest mobile phone provider, kicked off consolidation
of Cambodia's crowded telecommunications market with the $155
million acquisition of a rival.
** Dutch food group Wessanen has postponed the
sale of its U.S. drinks business American Beverage Corporation
(ABC), which is estimated to be worth as much 110 million euros
($143 million), because bids were too low.
** Finnish oil refiner Neste Oil plans to sell
its petrol stations in Poland to Royal Dutch Shell for
around 80 million euros ($104 million) after disappointing sales
in the country.
** Credit Agricole has finalised the sale of its
Cheuvreux brokerage unit to rival firm Kepler, a latest step in
the French bank's broader retreat from investment banking. Terms
were not disclosed.
** Hitachi Ltd, Japan's largest industrial
electronics maker, is open to collaborative work with Mitsubishi
Heavy Industries on nuclear plants, but has no plans
for a joint venture, its Chief Executive Hiroaki Nakanishi told
Reuters on Thursday.