Oct 9 The following bids, mergers, acquisitions
and disposals were reported by 1500 GMT on Wednesday:
** Telecom Italia is considering a sale of its 67
percent stake in Brazilian mobile carrier Tim Participacoes
in a bid to reduce its heavy debt, said a person
familiar with the matter. The Italian operator, which was
downgraded to junk on Tuesday by Moody's credit rating agency,
aims to garner at least 9 billion euros ($12.16 billion) from
the sale, the person said.
** Westpac Banking Corp is in pole position to pick
up the Australian assets being sold by Lloyds Banking Group
, three sources with knowledge of the situation said.
Lloyds is selling its corporate loan book, motor and equipment
financing businesses in Australia with a face value of A$8.5
billion ($8 billion), other sources had said.
** JPMorgan Chase & Co has launched the sale of its
physical commodities business, circulating offering documents to
potential buyers and valuing the assets at $3.3 billion,
according to a person familiar with the matter.
** Funding for Apollo Tyres' $2.5 billion bid for U.S.-based
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co is in jeopardy unless the deal
price is cut to reflect the risk of higher costs stemming from
labour issues, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The Indian tyre maker has lined up funding from Deutsche Bank
, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and
Standard Chartered Plc.
** Men's Wearhouse Inc rejected smaller rival Jos. A.
Bank Clothiers Inc's $2.3 billion takeover offer,
saying it significantly undervalued the company and could raise
antitrust issues. The $48 per share all-cash offer was a 36
percent premium to the closing price of Men's Wearhouse common
stock on Tuesday.
** Indonesia's PT Bumi Resources said China's
sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp (CIC), has agreed
to convert part of an outstanding $1.3 billion loan into stakes
in the miner's PT Bumi Resources Minerals unit, its
coal mines and a small stake in Bumi Resources itself.
** The German cartel office, the country's anti-trust
watchdog, has started an extended probe into the $1.25 billion
sale of Axel Spinger's magazines and regional
newspapers to Germany's Funke Mediengruppe, a spokesman told
** CACI International said it would buy Six3
Systems Inc from private equity firm GTCR for about $820 million
to strengthen its intelligence support services to the U.S.
** Private equity group KKR has launched a new
attempt to find a buyer for loss making car repair chain
Auto-Teile Unger (ATU) in a bid to draw a line under
an ill-fated investment, sources said. Potential bids will need
to compete against a proposal from ATU's creditors, which are
offering to swap some of the company's debt of around 600
million euros ($810.99 million) for equity.
** Italy's ERG said it will sell its remaining
stake of 20 percent in the ISAB oil refinery in Sicily to
Russia's Lukoil for 400 million euros ($540.7 million)
and complete its transformation into a renewable energy company.
** Nestle is looking to sell its Jenny Craig diet
business and is speaking to a small group of potential buyers
about the brand, according to three sources familiar with the
matter. The potential sale comes after the world's largest food
group said last week that divesting low-performing businesses
was a top strategic priority.
** Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc
disclosed a 2.8 percent passive stake in Goldman Sachs Group Inc
as it converted warrants acquired during the financial
crisis. Buffett received the warrants five years ago when his
investment in Goldman was seen as a vote of confidence in the
bank, which was reeling from turmoil in the credit market.
** U.S. tax preparer H&R Block Inc is planning to
terminate the sale of its banking assets to a unit of Republic
Bancorp Inc, sending shares down 6 percent in extended
trading. H&R Block in July said it would sell its banking unit
to avoid a sharp rise in costs associated with the introduction
of stricter banking rules by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
** Manila Electric Co (Meralco), the Philippines'
biggest power utility, said its wholly owned unit, Meralco
PowerGen Corp, has agreed to buy 20 percent of the power
generation arm of conglomerate GT Capital Holdings Inc
. Meralco did not disclose the acquisition cost and
other terms of the deal.
** Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Bharti Enterprises are
breaking up their Indian joint venture, leaving the world's
biggest retailer to go it alone in a country where it has
struggled to build a bigger presence. Wal-Mart, the world's
biggest retailer, will acquire Bharti's 50 percent stake in
Bharti Wal-Mart Pvt Ltd, which runs about 20 wholesale stores in
India under the Best Price Modern Wholesale brand, and will run
the business independently.
** Britain's Wood Group has formed a $1.1 billion
joint venture with Europe's largest engineering company, Siemens
AG, to provide services for gas turbines, aiming to
strengthen a division that has been hit by project delays.
** Shareholders in Bahrain's Al Salam Bank have
approved a plan to raise the bank's capital by 100 million
dinars ($265 million) by issuing new shares as part of a merger
with fellow Bahraini lender BMI Bank, Al Salam said on
Wednesday. Shareholders also approved the acquisition of all of
BMI's 58.5 million shares through a share swap in exchange for
643.8 million shares in Al Salam, it added.
** Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev rejected
opposition calls to nationalise the country's flagship venture
with Centerra Gold, saying his opponents were using the
dispute with the Canadian investor to grab power.
** KKR & Co will buy a minority stake in Weststar
Aviation Services in a deal that gives the U.S. private equity
firm its first deal in Malaysia and a piece of a company that
arranges helicopter charter flights for the region's energy
sector. KKR said in a statement that the two companies will take
part in a signing ceremony on Thursday, though the firm did not
disclose the price it is paying. People familiar with the matter
said KKR will pay around 650 million ringgit ($203.4 million).
** Italian online fashion retailer Yoox denied it
was in talks with Swiss luxury goods group Richemont
over a possible all-paper merger with competitor
** Greece's Aegean Airlines will complete the
acquisition of its loss-making rival Olympic Air within two
weeks, Olympic's owner Marfin Investment Group said in
Spanish construction group FCC and lender Bankia
are looking to sell their controlling stake in
property firm Realia and are close to hiring an
adviser, three people familiar with the situation said. The
builder and bailed-out lender together own nearly 58 percent of
Realia, one of the few Spanish property groups to have so far
survived a 2008 real estate crash. [ID: nL6N0HZ1M0]
** The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
wants to buy a stake of up to 7.5 percent in Poland's
PKP Cargo in the freight company's Warsaw share sale later this
month, it said in a statement. Poland's state railway operator
PKP, which is selling just under 50 percent of its cargo unit
through an initial public offering (IPO), said EBRD would take
at least a 5 percent stake.
** Chinese Internet company Alibaba Group has
invested 1.18 billion yuan ($192.78 million) to buy fund
management company Tianhong Asset Management Co, Tianhong
shareholder Inner Mongolia Junzheng Energy & Chemical Industry
Co said in a statement.
** SolarCity Corp said it will acquire Zep Solar, a
maker of mounting systems for residential solar panels, for
about $158 million in stock.
** PSA Peugeot Citroen said it is in talks on
potential new overseas partnerships, after a Chinese newspaper
reported that Dongfeng Motor Co may buy a 30 percent
** U.S. private equity firm Blackstone is among
potential bidders for a minority stake in Italian fashion house
Versace, sources told Reuters. Versace, which is selling a 15-20
percent stake to fund growth, is yet to draw up a short list of
potential buyers and is still considering expressions of
interest, other sources said.
** Talks between U.S. drug distributor McKesson and
the owner of Celesio over a possible bid for the
German company could drag on for weeks, people familiar with the
matter said. Sources also said McKesson remained anxious not to
overpay, while some Celesio investors stressed the difficult
European market is a blank spot on McKesson's
** The Canadaian goverment's veto to the sale of Allstream
fiber optic network, owned by Manitoba Telecom Services
, to Accelero Capital Holdings, controlled by Egyptian
businessman Naguib Sawiris may effectively limit the pool of
would-be buyers of BlackBerry Ltd or foreigners
interested in Canada's telecom industry,industry executives,
lawyers and analysts say.
** Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland denied a
newspaper report that said it was planning to sell a portfolio
of more than 1,300 UK residential properties owned by its
property arm, and was considering floating them on the stock
** Hedge fund Barington Capital Group LP is pushing for
Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants Inc to split into
two separate companies, the Wall Street Journal reported citing
people familiar with the matter. New York-based Barington has
taken a 2.8 percent stake in Darden, the Journal said.