July 25 The following bids, mergers,
acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1330 GMT on
** Dell Inc founder Michael Dell raised his $24.4
billion bid by less than 1 percent just hours before it was to
be put to a vote, tacking on a controversial demand to change
voting rules to make it easier for him to buy and take the No. 3
personal computer maker private.
** Publisher Axel Springer AG struck a
920-million-euro ($1.22 billion) deal to sell some of Germany's
best-known newspapers and magazines, severing its oldest roots
to intensify its focus on digital media.
** Lenders are set to take control of Hibu Plc in a
debt-for-equity deal, ending the British Yellow Pages
publisher's two-year struggle under the weight of 2.3 billion
pounds ($3.53 billion) of debt.
** Petronas plans to sell down its stake in a $20
billion Canadian liquefied natural gas export project to as low
as 50 percent to share the cost of bringing cheap energy to
Asia, three people familiar with the matter said.
** British engineer Invensys Plc, the target of a
takeover approach from France's Schneider Electric SA,
said it was still discussing the 3.3 billion pound ($5.1
billion) takeover proposal. Schneider has until Aug. 8 to say
whether it intends to make a firm offer or walk away under UK
** The U.S. government has decided to take an additional 45
days to review a Chinese company's plan to purchase Smithfield
Foods Inc, the world's largest pork producer said on
Wednesday in a statement that expressed confidence the deal
would close in the second half of 2013.
** The owners of video streaming site Hulu called off talks
with Time Warner Cable Inc over the cable operator's
plan to take a 25 percent stake after failing to agree on a
price, according to two people with knowledge of the
** Luxury sports car maker Aston Martin said it had entered
into a technical partnership with German carmaker Mercedes to
help it develop a new generation of models with V8 engines. As
part of the deal, Mercedes owner Daimler will take a
stake of up to 5 percent in the 100-year-old maker of the DB9
and Vanquish sports cars.
** Australian petrol and convenience store retailer United
Petroleum is exploring a potential sale or a joint venture of
the business that has a value of about A$1 billion ($921
million) including debt, people familiar with the matter told
** SoftBank Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said
he could not comment on whether he had tried to buy Universal
Music, after a media report last week said Universal's owner
Vivendi SA had rejected an $8.5-billion offer from
** Alliance Group, a shareholder in mid-sized Russian oil
and gas company Alliance Oil Co Ltd, denied reports
that it was in talks over a sale of assets to state-controlled
oil major Rosneft.
** Japan's Aeon Co Ltd and state-owned China
Resources Enterprise Ltd are among the suitors
considering bids for the Hong Kong supermarket business being
sold by billionaire Li Ka-shing, people familiar with the matter
Li's Hutchison Whampoa Ltd conglomerate has set an
Aug. 16 deadline for initial bids for the business, with an
asking price of up to $4 billion, said the people, who declined
to be identified because the sale process is confidential.
** CKE Inc, the restaurant group that operates the Carl's Jr
and Hardees fast food chains, is exploring a potential sale
after postponing its initial public offering last year,
according to three people familiar with the matter.
The Apollo Global Management-backed company is
working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc to run a sale
process that is in the early stages and could value the company
at more than $1.7 billion, two of the people said.
** JPMorgan Chase & Co's commodity trading arm is
looking to sell more of the electricity deals it has with U.S.
power plants and wind farms, a source familiar with the business
said on Wednesday, at a time when Wall Street's involvement in
physical commodity markets is under heightened scrutiny.
** U.S. drugmakers Perrigo Co and Forest
Laboratories Inc are preparing to submit takeover bids
for Elan Corp Plc this week and the Irish
drugmaker hopes to announce a sale as early as next week,
according to three people familiar with the matter.
** MegaFon, Russia's No. 2 mobile phone company,
has obtained clearance from the country's competition watchdog
for a potential acquisition of rival Scartel, the regulator
** Specialty chemicals maker Lonza Group AG posted
a bigger-than-expected fall in first-half profit and said it was
ending a generic drugs venture with Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical
Industries by mutual agreement after misjudging how
much it would cost.
** Three global companies are in the race to buy a stake in
leading Turkish health insurer Acibadem Sigorta, sources
familiar with the matter said, underscoring appetite among
international investors for the fast-growing sector.
Sompo Japan Insurance, Malaysia's state-run investment firm
Khazanah Nasional and British medical services group
Bupa Insurance Ltd are involved in an auction process
for the stake, three banking sources said.
** Chemical maker Ashland Inc said it was
considering selling its water technologies unit, months after
hedge fund Jana Partners picked up a stake in the company and
said its stock was undervalued.
** Spanish oil group Repsol paved the way for the
eventual sale of its stake in utility Gas Natural Fenosa
, as higher production helped it beat second-quarter
Chief Financial Officer Miguel Martinez said the rationale
for holding the 30 percent stake in Gas Natural would be lost
after Repsol closes a deal to sell a large part of its natural
liquid gas assets to Royal Dutch Shell.
** Telefonica said it believes it has compelling
arguments to convince European antitrust regulators to approve
its proposed acquisition of KPN's Germany unit and sale
of its Ireland business to Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.
** Italian asset manager Azimut said it had agreed
to buy smaller rival Augustus Opus SIM, which specializes in
managing assets of wealthy individuals, in a two-step deal.
Azimut will initially buy 51 percent of Augustus, whose
assets under management exceed 800 million euros ($1.06
billion), for 10 million euros ($13.24 million) and raise the
stake to 100 percent after six years, it said in a statement.
** Germany's second biggest lender Commerzbank is
selling a custody unit to French BNP Paribas as it
continues its efforts to streamline its portfolio.
** Bankers have started to prepare debt financing packages
to offer to potential buyers of GlaxoSmithKline Plc's
soft drink brands Lucozade and Ribena, banking sources said.
** Italy's telecommunications regulator has given the
go-ahead to Telecom Italia's plan to spin off its
fixed-line network, after a preliminary assessment of the
** Legg Mason Inc Chief Executive Joseph Sullivan
said the Baltimore asset manager has sold its Private Capital
Management equity investment unit to its management team.