Sept 26 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** SunGard Data Systems Inc is in talks with buyout firm Apax Partners LLP to sell its data management unit, which it has been hoping to divest for as much as $2 billion, several people familiar with the matter said.
** Germany’s biggest bathroom fittings company, Grohe AG, has been snapped up by Japanese building products group Lixil in a $4 billion deal including debt, the largest ever investment by a Japanese company in Europe’s biggest economy.
** Investors from China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates have shown interest in buying a stake in struggling Italian airline Alitalia, a board member said following a meeting.
** Spanish lender Caixabank said it had approved the sale of its real estate unit Servihabitat to a joint venture between the bank and private equity fund Texas Pacific Group (TPG) for an initial price of 310 million euros ($418 million).
** Japanese consumer electronic company Panasonic Corp said it will sell an 80 percent stake in its healthcare business to U.S. investment firm KKR & Co. LP for about 150 billion yen ($1.52 billion), the Nikkei reported.
** EBay Inc will buy payment gateway Braintree for about $800 million to strengthen its PayPal unit’s presence on mobile devices and take out a rapidly growing rival.
** Japan’s Toray Industries Inc will buy U.S-based Zoltek Companies Inc for $600-$700 million to increase its share of the global carbon fibre market to 30 percent, the Nikkei reported. Toray plans to start producing lower-priced carbon fibre with the deal, the business daily said.
** Ford Motor Co has bought a five-year-old software company for less than $10 million in a move the No. 2 U.S. automaker hopes will beef up its in-car connectivity that is critical to winning over younger, more affluent buyers.
** China’s largest import and export enterprise Tianjin Materials and Equipment Group Corporation (Tewoo) has agreed to invest $990 million in iron ore miner African Minerals Ltd’s Tonkolili mine in Sierra Leone, valuing the project at $6 billion, the group said on Thursday. Tewoo would receive a 16.5 percent economic interest in the Tonkolili project in exchange for its almost $1 billion investment.
** Russia’s largest independent gas producer Novatek OAO is close to picking a third partner for its Yamal LNG project, with a Japanese and an Indian consortium vying for the spot, the daily Vedomosti reported. The paper, citing sources close to the Yamal project, said that Japan’s Mitsui and Mitsubishi Corporation and an Indian consortium between ONGC Videsh, the Indian Oil Corp Ltd and Petronet LNG Ltd are interested in the 10 percent stake that’s left in the project.
** Germany’s Rheinmetall AG, an auto parts and military equipment manufacturer, is looking to branch into oil and gas services to gain access to new customers for its defence business. Chief Executive Armin Papperger told German newspaper Handelsblatt the company would form a joint venture with the petrochemical services unit of Ferrostaal, with estimated sales of 200-300 million euros ($270-$405 million), and would aim later to acquire a majority.
** A unit of British insurer Prudential Plc plans to raise up to $122 million by selling its remaining stake in Taiwan’s E.Sun Financial Holding Co Ltd, a source with direct knowledge of the plans said on Thursday. Prudential, through PCA Life Assurance, is offering 187.3 million shares of E.Sun in a range of T$19.05 ($0.64) to T$19.20 per share, added the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The price range is equivalent to a discount of up to 3.8 percent to Thursday’s closing price of T$19.80.
** Raiffeisen Zentralbank, the parent of Raiffeisen Bank International AG, plans to bring four of its eight independent specialist units into the wider group to cut costs. The Austrian banking group said the move would cut its capital adequacy ratio by 0.2 percentage points but save 25 million euros ($34 million) a year from 2017, part of a wider cost-cutting drive by the group.
** Singapore airport services and catering firm SATS Ltd said it will buy a cruise and ferry terminal operator from a unit of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings for S$110 million ($87.7 million). SATS said it had agreed to buy Singapore Cruise Centre from Hazeltree Holdings Private Ltd, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek.
** Malaysia’s largest mobile phone operator Axiata Group Bhd said its Indonesian unit has struck a deal with Saudi Telecom Co SJSC to acquire a majority stake in PT Axis Telekom Indonesia (Axis) for an undisclosed sum. Saudi Telecom subsidiary Teleglobal will sell a 95 percent equity stake in Axis to XL Axiata Tbk, Axiata said in a stock exchange filing.
** Archer Daniels Midland Co said it expects to complete its acquisition of Australian grain handler GrainCorp Ltd by the end of the year, as it hangs on approvals from Australia’s new government and other regulators. Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board is expected to approve the A$3.0 billion ($2.8 billion) deal after it had been held up by the country’s general election earlier this month, which was won by the business-friendly conservative opposition.
** Private equity firm GTCR LLC is exploring a sale of Capella Healthcare, a hospital operator that may be valued at a little less than $1 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. Potential buyers could include Brentwood, Tennessee-based Lifepoint Hospitals Inc, Franklin, Tennessee-based IASIS Healthcare and Scottsbluff, Nebraska-based Regional Care Inc, said one of the people who wished to remain anonymous.
** Barclays Plc will stop offering wealth management services in about 130 countries by 2016 and cut jobs in the unit as part of an effort to rein in costs and boost profit, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing the British bank.
** Private equity-backed insurance broker Confie Seguros is buying the retail auto insurance unit of Affirmative Insurance Holdings in its largest in a series of acquisitions to build up its business with Hispanic customers around the United States. Affirmative Insurance Holdings said the deal includes $100 million in cash and up to $20 million in additional proceeds. It intends to use the money to pay down debt and focus on its business as an insurance carrier.
** Vinci SA is considering the sale of its parking concession business, Vinci Park, for which it could raise up to 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion), Les Echos reported on Wednesday. The business daily, citing unidentified sources, said France’s Vinci was looking to sift through its concessions business to raise cash for future acquisitions, potentially to strengthen its construction portfolio.
** Mediterranean-style restaurant chain Zoe’s Kitchen is beginning to speak with banks about an initial public offering that could come next year, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The Birmingham, Alabama-based company is backed by private equity firm Brentwood Associates.