UPDATE 1-Bharti Airtel sells 10 pct stake in tower unit to KKR, Canada Pension
* Bharti Airtel sells 10 pct stake in tower unit for $953 mln
(Adds Richemont SA, Cargill Inc, BlackBerry Ltd, Updates Regency Energy, Crestwood Midstream Partners)
Oct 10 The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** Regency Energy, controlled by billionaire Kelcy Warren's Energy Transfer Equity LP, agreed to buy PVR Partners LP for about $3.8 billion. Crestwood Midstream Partners LP is buying privately held Arrow Midstream Holdings for $750 million.
**The Oman Oil Company agreed to buy German chemicals maker Oxea from buyout firm Advent International to expand into downstream activities in a deal, a person familiar with the matter said was, worth about 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion).
** Jarden Corp's founder and chairman Martin Franklin's Platform Acquisition Holdings Ltd said it was in advanced talks to buy MacDermid Inc, a privately held specialty chemicals maker. Franklin plans to buy MacDermid for $1.8 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** Private equity firm KKR & Co LP said it would buy lifting equipment company Crosby Group and specialty material handling equipment maker Acco Material Handling Solutions from Melrose Industries Plc for about $1 billion.
** John Malone's Liberty Interactive Corp said it would spin off online retailer BuySeasons and its stake in travel website TripAdvisor Inc, as part of a plan to split itself into three. Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings would hold the two website investments while the rest of Liberty Interactive would be in two new tracking stocks, Liberty Digital Commerce and QVC Group.
** Hess Corp plans to sell its East Coast and St. Lucia storage terminal network to Buckeye Partners LP for $850 million as the U.S. oil and gas company reshapes its sprawling energy business to focus on exploration and production.
** Russia's gold and silver miner Polymetal intends to buy a large gold mine in neighboring Kazakhstan for up to $500 million, around one-third of which could be paid with the firm's shares, the daily Kommersant reported, citing sources.
** The Croatian government said it had invited Austria's Erste Bank and Hungary's OTP Bank to submit binding bids for a stake in Hrvatska Postanska Banka, the last major bank in state hands.
The government also said it expected binding bids from Poland's state insurer, PZU and local tourist and tobacco group Adris to buy a stake in insurer Croatia Osiguranje .
The government hopes to raise around 2 billion kuna ($355.14 million) from both sales as it struggles to reduce growing public debt and the budget deficit.
** A $200 million agreement by KKR & Co LP to buy a stake in Weststar Aviation Services marks the firm's first Malaysia deal and places a bet on the business of chartering helicopter flights for the region's oil and gas sector.
** Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways said it raised its equity stake in Virgin Australia to 19.9 percent, reaching a threshold set by Australian regulators.
** Two Tokyo-based local lenders confirmed their plans to merge in a move that could prompt a long-awaited but slow-moving banking industry consolidation in a country beset with weak loan demand. The two, Tokyo Tomin Bank Ltd and Yachiyo Bank Ltd, with combined assets worth 4.7 trillion yen ($48.4 billion), said they will announce the merger agreement later in the day.
** Private equity firms J.C. Flowers & Co and Apollo Global Management are among a handful of companies expected to bid for Hartford Financial Services Group Inc 's Japanese annuity business, three people familiar with the situation told Reuters this week.
** Peruvian gold miner IRL said it is no longer in talks with Singapore-listed LionGold over that firm's potential purchase of the small Latin American miner.
** A closely watched restructuring of Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd's Chinese debt is likely to move forward after Shunfeng Photovoltaic International Ltd was named the preferred bidder for Suntech's main unit.
** Kazakh billionaire Bolat Utemuratov has reached a preliminary non-binding agreement with Kazakhstan's sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna on the purchase of two mid-sized banks - Alliance Bank and Temirbank - which it controls, the two sides said.
** An Italian court has delayed a decision on whether a group of investors led by Pirelli Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera should pay a higher price in a takeover bid for the holding company - Camfin - that controls the tyremaker, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
** The FIMI fund has called off an agreement to invest up to $75 million in El Al Israel Airlines after the Israeli flag carrier failed to reach a new labour contract with its workers.
** China Mobile's Pakistan unit Zong is no longer interested in buying rival Warid Telecom, Zong said, leaving Pakistan Telecommunication Co as the sole declared bidder for the country's No.5 mobile operator.
** Advertising agency WPP believes that a price tag of up to $2.5 billion for IMG Worldwide is too high to justify a bid for the sports marketing group, CEO Martin Sorrell said.
IMG is up for sale after the death in 2011 of owner Teddy Forstmann, who paid $750 million for the business in 2004.
** Dixons Retail, Europe's second-biggest electrical goods retailer, has agreed to pay 25 million euros ($34 million) in cash to merge its loss-making UniEuro business in Italy with a firm controlled by private equity group Rhone Capital. Dixons said it would also invest up to 10 million euros in the new business in the form of a loan note.
** Switzerland-based luxury goods company Richemont SA said its online fashion retail unit Net-a-Porter was not for sale. Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Wednesday that Net-a-Porter had held talks with rival Italian retailer Yoox for a possible all-paper merger, which Yoox denied.
** Cocoa trader Cargill Inc is in the final stages of talks to buy Archer Daniels Midland Co's cocoa business, according to sources familiar with the discussions. A deal would create an industry powerhouse to rival top producer Barry Callebaut.
** BlackBerry Ltd co-founder Mike Lazaridis has increased his stake in the struggling smartphone maker and is considering buying the entire company, according to a securities filing on Thursday.
Lazaridis, who now owns 8 percent of the company, has engaged Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners LLC to assist with a strategic review of his stake. He held almost 5.7 percent as of the end of 2012, according to Thomson Reuters data.
($1 = 3.20 Malaysian ringgit)
($1 = 97.2 Japanese yen)
($1 = 5.64 Croatian kunas)
($1 = 0.7398 euros) (Compiled by Sampad Patnaik)
* Bharti Airtel sells 10 pct stake in tower unit for $953 mln
HONG KONG, March 28 A period of severe turmoil is facing the securities research industry as a new regulatory overhaul threatens the way investment research is done.