Jan 24 The following bids, mergers, acquisitions
and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Thursday:
** Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday that it acquired
speech-recognition company Ivona Software, a sign the world's
largest Internet retailer may be looking to develop more
services similar to Apple Inc's Siri voice-based search
Amazon did not say how much it paid for Ivona and a
spokeswoman declined to comment on the price.
** Real estate mogul Barry Sternlicht's Starwood Property
Trust and investment firm Starwood Capital will buy LNR
Property LLC, the biggest manager of distressed commercial debt,
for $1.05 billion to expand into the booming market for such
** BMW will deepen cooperation with Japanese rival
Toyota, expanding it to areas such as joint development
of fuel cells, batteries and light-weight technologies, the
German luxury-car maker said.
** Poland increased the stake in its top lender PKO BP
it was placing on the market to 12.2 percent thanks to
strong demand and priced it at 34.25 zlotys per share, valuing
the deal at 5.24 billion zlotys ($1.67 billion).
** Belgian holding company GBL plans to cash in
almost half its stake in French energy firm GDF Suez
with 1 billion euros ($1.33 billion) of exchangeable bonds,
raising cheap cash to diversify.
** Alamos Gold Inc said it could not sweeten its
C$4.65-per-share offer for Aurizon Mines Ltd as the
fellow Canadian miner has not provided any new information to
warrant a revision of the bid.
Aurizon, operator of the Casa Berardi gold mine in Quebec,
on Wednesday advised shareholders to reject the C$780 million
($781.1 million) unsolicited bid, calling it inadequate and
** Bankers are arranging debt packages of up to $500 million
to back private equity firm Electra's potential sale of
electronic animal identification firm Allflex, banking sources
said on Thursday.
** Indian mobile phone carrier Reliance Communications Ltd's
telecommunications tower arm is in "advanced" stages
of discussions with three carriers for "a large" infrastructure
sharing deal, a senior company executive told analysts on a
** A federation of U.S. labor unions is looking to force
JPMorgan Chase's board to consider breaking up the
company after the disastrous "London Whale" affair, but the bank
is trying to ensure that its shareholders do not get to vote on
the union's proposal.
** Shares of Research In Motion Ltd rose 3 percent
on Thursday after a report quoted China's Lenovo Group
as saying a bid for the BlackBerry maker was among the options
for boosting its mobile business.
** U.S.-Israeli media magnate Haim Saban will buy about 2
percent in Partner Communications from Bank Leumi
in addition to a controlling stake from Partner's
Partner said it had been informed that Saban's S.B. Israel
Telecom agreed to buy 3.2 million shares of Partner from Leumi
Partners, the investment arm of Leumi - Israel's second largest
** Videogame maker THQ Inc said it received court
approval to sell its assets to various buyers for about $72
million and will split up following the sale.
** General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen
outlined plans to collaborate on a new range of small cars and
minivans based on the French company's technology in order to
spread development costs across more brands and models.
** Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov is close to selling
his 38 percent stake in Polyus Gold with a potential
deal being reviewed by Britain's Takeover Panel, two sources
familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
** Toshiba Corp and General Electric Co will
enter a global strategic alliance to develop and sell
fossil-fuel power equipment and consider a joint venture in the
business, the firms said.
** The publisher of Britain's Guardian and Observer
newspapers has ended talks on selling its stake in Trader Media
Group because the price offered fell short of expectations, the
Financial Times said.
** Drug company Cipla Medpro is expected to demand
more than the $215 million on offer from Indian suitor Cipla Ltd
to reflect a lucrative government contract win that will
increase its earnings power.
** Rhoen-Klinikum will try to persuade
shareholders that blocked its merger with a larger hospitals
firm last year to support Rhoen in forging an alliance with
Rhoen said on Thursday it would seek to get backing from
investors for possible collaboration agreements if they are
unwilling to reconsider a merger, which remains its preferred
** Kosovo has postponed for a third time the bid deadline
for its state telecoms company Post and Telecom (PTK) until
March 14, saying that interested buyers need more time to gather