(Adds DLF Ltd, Talisman Energy, Round Hill Capital, McKesson,
Chevron, Goldman Sachs,Koch Eneregy Services, BG Group PLC,
Prestwick; UPDATES Alitalia)
Oct 8 The following bids, mergers, acquisitions
and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Tuesday:
** Britain is on track to sell shares in Royal Mail at the
top of its range, two sources close to the deal told Reuters,
valuing the company at more than $5 billion on the final day
investors can put in orders for the stock. The stock market
offering has received strong demand from the outset, and
investors have now been told those with orders below 330 pence
per share, the top of an original 260-330 pence range, risk
missing out on the stock, the sources said.
** Loss-making Italian lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena
is open to merging with a foreign or domestic rival to
avoid a 2.5 billion euros ($3.4 billion) share issue but no
talks are under way at the moment, Chairman Alessandro Profumo
said in a newspaper interview. Talk of a tie-up with Italy's
largest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo were denied in September by
a top executive at Intesa.
** China Resources Enterprise Ltd is set to launch
a strategic review of its Hong Kong meat distribution unit, a
person familiar with the matter said, as it readies funds to bid
for tycoon Li Ka-shing's ParkNShop supermarket business. Li's
Hutchison Whampao Ltd has put Hong Kong's dominant
supermarket business up for sale, asking for $3-4 billion. The
operator of China's second-largest supermarket chain has said it
is interested in ParkNShop and discussed selling non-core units
to fund future acquisitions without mentioning specific
** Deutsche Telekom said it is was offering a
portion of the T-Mobile USA bonds from its holdings
worth $3.1 billion.
** Greece's National Bank, the country's largest
lender by assets, is close to clinching a deal to sell a
majority stake in real estate unit Pangaia to a U.S.-Israeli
fund, the Kathimerini daily reported. The newspaper said the
deal, part of moves to boost NBG's capital, is expected to top
500 million euros ($680 million)and will need the green light
from the European Commission and Greece's HFSF bank rescue fund,
which is the majority owner of the bank after its
** Poland's state railway operator is set to raise as much
as $518 million by selling shares in PKP Cargo, the European
Union's second-biggest freight company, in what is expected to
be Warsaw's largest flotation this year. PKP, which plans to use
the proceeds to cut debt and fund investments, will sell 50
percent minus 1 share of its unit, PKP Cargo said in an issue
prospectus. The company set the maximum share price of the offer
at 74 zlotys per share, valuing the flotation at 1.6 billion
zlotys ($518 million).
** Polish PKP Cargo is interested in buying Polish fuel
carriers, including a unit owned by the Lotos refiner,
the chief executive of its parent PKP said. Earlier this year
sources told Reuters Poland's No.2 refiner Lotos may sell its
rail freight unit Lotos Kolej worth up to one billion zlotys
** Canada's Saputo Inc swooped on Warrnambool
Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Ltd,
potentially kickstarting a wave of foreign purchases in
Australia's A$4 billion ($3.8 billion) a year dairy industry.
Canada's largest dairy producer knocked out a significantly
lower bid from Warrnambool's majority shareholder, fellow
Australian company Bega Cheese Ltd, to win approval
from the board for its A$392.7 million ($370.10 million)
** Insurance-focused takeover specialist Chesnara Plc
said it would buy Direct Line Insurance Group Plc's
domestic closed life insurance business for about 39.3
million pounds ($63 million) in cash. Direct Line, Britain's
largest motor insurer spun out of RBS in a 787 million pound
float last year, said it expected to gain about 12 million
pounds from the disposal of Direct Line Life Insurance Co Ltd.
** French gas and power group GDF Suez said in a
statement that Japan's Mitsui will buy a 28 percent
stake in five of its Australian electricity assets. GDF did not
provide financial details, but said the deal would reduce its
** German drugs distributor Celesio is in no rush
to forge an alliance or merger with a U.S. peer even though this
would have some merits, its chief executive told a German
newspaper. Reuters reported in July that U.S. drugs distribution
groups McKesson Corp and Cardinal Health were
both in talks to possibly take a stake in
** Britain's monopoly regulator said it wanted to boost
competition in the cement industry by requiring Lafarge Tarmac
, one of the major players, to sell a cement
plant to a new entrant in the market. The regulator's latest
proposals are part of its months-long investigation into
Britain's cement industry which found in May that a lack of
competition was costing customers hundreds of millions of
** Swiss engineering group ABB said it agreed to
sell all the assets of Baldor's generator-set business to
Generac Holdings. The world's biggest supplier of
industrial motors and power grids said it had decided to divest
the unit because of limited synergies with its core business.
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
** Vodafone intends to increase its stake in its
Indian subsidiary after the country cleared foreign companies to
take full ownership of local carriers, a source familiar with
the group's plans said on Monday.
Vodafone declined to comment when asked if it will increase
its stake in Vodafone India. The cost of buying out minority
shareholders could be as much as $2 billion.
** Oil and gas producer Talisman Energy Inc's
shares rallied in trading before the bell on news that Carl
Icahn has built a stake in the company. Icahn disclosed on
Monday that he owns a six percent stake in
** Private equity investor Round Hill Capital is weighing
its options to exit property group Vitus in what could become
one of the largest real estate transactions in Germany this
year, four people familiar with the matter said.
Round Hill is hoping to benefit from buoyant property
valuations in Germany that two real estate groups, LEG
and Deutsche Annington, have used for stock market
flotations earlier this year.
** A Goldman Sachs unit has bought a 50 percent stake
in privately held British motor insurer Hastings, in a deal that
values the company at 700 million pounds ($1.13 billion).
** Koch Energy Services, a unit of Koch Industries Inc
, said it will buy Texas-based natural gas-fired power
plant, Odessa Power, from private equity group Energy Capital
** BG Group Plc is close to a deal or deals that
would reduce its 100 percent holdings in a group of six
exploration licence blocks off Brazil's coast, the company said.
Selling stakes in acreage to other companies at an early
stage is called a farm-down and is common practice in the oil
industry to spread risk and exploration and development cost.
** The Scottish government unveiled plans to buy Prestwick
airport near Glasgow from the current owner, New Zealand
utilities investor Infratil Ltd to safeguard jobs.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said about 300 people
depended directly on the airport for employment with 1,400
associated with the facility. A wider "aerospace cluster" of
industry at Prestwick supported about 3,200 jobs.
** DLF Ltd, India's largest real estate developer
by market value, sold two non-core assets worth 1.47 billion
Indian rupees ($24 million), the company said, as part of its
effort to pare debt of 204 billion Indian rupees ($3.30
($1 = 0.62 British pounds)
($1 = 0.74 euros)
($1 = 1.06 Australian dollars)
($1 = 3.09 Polish zlotys)
($1 = 61.85 Indian rupees)
(Compiled by Sampad Patnaik)