Dec 18 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2130 GMT on Tuesday:
** State Street Global Advisors has dropped out of the bidding for Credit Suisse’s $17.34 billion European exchange-traded fund business, according to two sources familiar with the situation.
** United Parcel Service Inc has offered more concessions in a bid to win EU regulatory approval for its 5.2-billion-euro ($6.8 billion) bid for TNT Express, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
** Germany’s largest container shipping companies, loss makers Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg-Sued, are exploring a merger to create a global player better able to survive the sector’s four-year slump.
** ConocoPhillips struck a deal to sell its Algerian business unit to Indonesian state oil firm Pertamina for around $1.75 billion.
** Nielsen Holdings NV, known for its television viewership ratings, agreed to buy Arbitron Inc, the top provider of radio station audience ratings in the United States, for $1.26 billion in cash.
** General Electric is set to clinch a deal to buy Italian aerospace supplier Avio, whose parent company, Cinven, has ended talks with rival French suitor Safran, sources involved in the deal told Reuters.
** The company whose AR-15 type Bushmaster rifle was used in the Newtown school massacre in Connecticut will be immediately put up for sale, its private equity owner Cerberus Capital Management LP said on Tuesday in response to investor concerns.
** The Irish government has decided to oppose Ryanair’s bid to take over Aer Lingus after studying details of the plan, the country’s transport minister said on Tuesday in a blow to the budget airline’s ambitions.
The European Commission, which is probing the 694 million euro ($917 million) bid on competition grounds and will have the ultimate say early next year, sent Ryanair a list of objections to the tie-up last month.
** Dutch bank and insurance group ING said on Tuesday it is still trying to find a buyer for its South Korean life insurance operations, as part of the wider sale of its Asian insurance and investment management operations.
** Gulf carrier Etihad is buying a 70 percent stake in Air Berlin’s frequent-flyer programme, injecting cash into the loss-making German airline as it struggles to return to a profit. Germany’s No.2 airline after Lufthansa said on Tuesday it expected cash proceeds of 184.4 million euros ($242.7 million) from the sale of the ‘topbonus’ programme - more than the whole company’s market value.
** American Railcar Industries Inc, controlled by activist investor Carl Icahn, offered to buy rival railcar maker Greenbrier Cos Inc for about $543 million, reviving a nearly five-year old plan to combine the companies.
** Malaysian billionaire Sri Lim Kok Thay, whose luxury empire spans casinos and cruise liners, is to buy half of yacht maker Wider to expand into a fast-growing market in Asia, the founder of the Italian company said on Tuesday.
** French state bank Caisse des Depots (CDC) has teamed up with Abu Dhabi investment fund ADIA to form a powerful consortium to bid for Total’s TIGF gas network business, sources said.
** Banco Sabadell said it had reached a deal to buy Banco Mare Nostrum’s branch network and business for 350 million euros ($462.46 million) in two Spanish regions.
** Japan’s Sumitomo Life Insurance Co is close to agreeing to buy HSBC Holding’s 18 percent stake in its Vietnam insurance business for about 30 billion yen ($360 million), a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
** PT Semen Gresik Tbk, Indonesia’s biggest cement maker, has acquired a 70 percent stake in Vietnam’s Thang Long Cement JSC worth $157 million, as the company aims to expand its reach across Southeast asia, the firm said.
** India’s Mahindra & Mahindra will buy Navistar International Corp’s stakes in the automakers’ two joint ventures in the country, in a $33 million deal as the troubled U.S. truckmaker looks to dump its underperforming businesses.
** Italian refiner Saras is to form a joint venture with Rosneft that will allow it to tap the Russian group’s crude oil portfolio in return for giving its partner access to the wider Mediterranean.
** Private equity group Ratos and a Swedish pension fund said on Tuesday they would jointly buy a 50 percent stake in Norwegian oil services group Aibel in a deal valuing the company at 8.6 billion crowns ($1.53 billion).
** Gaming group Rank could have to sell six casinos in Britain to win clearance for a takeover of a rival operator, the Competition Commission said on Tuesday.
** Thai beer baron Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi tried and failed to acquire an additional stake of 10 percent in Fraser and Neave Ltd (F&N), piling pressure on him to raise his earlier $7.2 billion takeover bid for the Singapore conglomerate.
** Knight Capital Group’s board is expected to soon enter into exclusive talks with either Getco Holding Company LLC or Virtu Financial LLC on the sale of the company, two sources familiar with the negotiations said on Tuesday.