July 15 The following bids, mergers,
acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Monday:
** Loblaw Cos Ltd, Canada's largest food retailer,
will buy Shoppers Drug Mart Corp, the country's biggest
pharmacy chain, for C$12.4 billion ($11.9 billion) to bulk up
against intensifying competition from U.S. retail giants as well
as from consolidating local rivals.
** Mexican real estate investment trust Fibra Uno
said it signed a deal to acquire a portfolio of
commercial properties from MRP Group LP for 23.155 billion pesos
** AT&T Inc will buy Leap Wireless International Inc
for $1.19 billion, paying almost double the current
value of the prepaid mobile service provider as major U.S.
carriers scramble to acquire valuable wireless spectrum.
** Germany's Deutsche Telekom is keeping its
options open as to whether it floats or sells EE, its joint
venture with French rival Orange, an executive said on
** General Electric Co is gearing up for a 3.5
billion pound ($5.3 billion) counter bid for British engineer
Invensys that would trump last week's offer from
France's Schneider Electric SA, a newspaper said on
** Liechtenstein's VP Bank is buying Germany's HSBC
Trinkaus & Burkhardt SA's private bank and the fund business
related to it for an undisclosed price, a further sign of
industry consolidation as banking secrecy comes under fire.
** MB Financial Inc said it would buy Taylor
Capital Group Inc for about $680 million in a cash and
stock deal that is expected to double the company's commercial
banking market share in the Chicago area.
** Vienna Insurance Group has agreed to sell its
majority holding in Bulgarian pension fund Doverie to Britain's
United Capital PLC, it said.
** Italian phone company Telecom Italia could halt
its plan to spin off its fixed-line network, a source familiar
with the matter said, as a row over tariffs with the local
regulator heats up.
** Czech coal miner New World Resources Plc
is considering the closure of its Paskov hard coal mine
after being unable to find a buyer as part of efforts to raise
cash to compensate for record losses.
** British online dating company Cupid Plc said it
sold its benaughty.com, flirt.com and other "casual" dating
sites to Max Polyakov's Grendall Investment Ltd for 43.1 million
pounds ($65.2 million).
** France breathed a sigh of relief at the weekend after
Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd said it had
received a binding offer for its French aluminum plant, in a
deal that - if approved - would save more than 500 jobs.
** Oman's Renaissance Services SAOG has sold its
oilfield maintenance services unit Topaz Oil and Gas, based in
the United Arab Emirates, to Interserve Plc for $46
million, a bourse filing said on Sunday.
** JPMorgan Chase & Co is following a move by rival
Goldman Sachs Group Inc to explore sales of its metal
warehouse business, the Financial Times said on Sunday.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said
on its website on Sunday that both U.S. banks have in recent
months informally started to seek potential buying interest for
their warehouse units.
** French drugmaker Ipsen SA said it bought
UK-based private life sciences company Syntaxin Ltd to
strengthen its neurology research and development business.
Ipsen will initially pay 28 million euros ($37 million) for
the company, followed by further payments of up to 130 million
euros based on reaching development and commercial targets, it
** Nordics-focused private equity group Altor's Fund III
said it had entered into an exclusive process to buy a majority
stake in Rossignol Group, the world's second biggest ski
Rossignol had sales of close to 210 million euros ($274.12
million) last year and employs roughly 1,200 people with
headquarters in Moirans, France, Altor said.
** Iron-ore trader Prosperity Minerals Holdings Ltd
said it received an initial approach from its biggest
shareholder, Prosperity International Holdings (H.K.) Ltd
that could lead to an offer of no higher than 130
pence per share.
** Grupo Oi SA, the owner of Brazil's
fourth-largest wireless carrier, agreed to sell its underwater
fiber optic cable units to a fund led by investment banking firm
Grupo BTG Pactual SA for 1.75 billion reais ($772
** Abbott Inc said it would jump into the laser
cataract surgery business by paying up to $400 million to
acquire privately held OptiMedica Corp and its Catalys precision
** Arden Group Inc, which owns 16 upscale Gelson's
Markets in Southern California, said it has hired advisers to
explore and evaluate a possible sale or other strategic