(Adds URS, Mondelez, Barclays, Grupo, Exact, Direct Line,
Toulouse-Blagnac, Royal Mail, Telefonica, Cemex and Karstadt)
July 11 The following bids, mergers,
acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** Mondelez International Inc, maker of Cadbury
chocolate and Oreo cookies, said it would create a "stand-alone"
European cheese and grocery business to focus on its
fast-growing snacks business, including biscuits, gum and candy.
** URS Corp, an engineering and construction
services company with a market value of $3.5 billion, has held
talks recently with industry rivals and buyout firms about a
potential sale, people familiar with the matter said.
** Barclays Plc's planned sale of its index
business could yield close to $1 billion for the British bank,
more than double what had been expected, according to people
familiar with the matter.
** Brazil's government does not believe a planned merger of
Grupo Oi SA and Portugal Telecom SPGS SA is
at risk, three sources with direct knowledge of the situation
said, as tensions grew over Portugal Telecom's debt deals with
troubled Banco Espírito Santo SA.
** Dutch software firm Exact Holding said it had
been approached by parties about a possible takeover, after
Reuters reported that private equity funds including Apax
and KKR were eyeing a buyout of the firm. An
indicative price of 35 euros would value the firm at 854 million
euros ($1.2 billion).
** British insurer Direct Line is holding advanced
talks with a series of industry players to sell its operations
in Italy and Germany, where the company has struggled to gain
scale, two sources close to the deal said.
** France plans to put on sale up to 49.99 percent of
Toulouse-Blagnac airport in southwest France, as the
cash-strapped government seeks to finance the purchase of a
stake in Alstom.
** Britain's biggest privatization in years was blighted by
a fear of failure and poor advice from state-appointed banks, a
committee of lawmakers said following an inquiry into the 2
billion pound ($3.4 billion) sale of Royal Mail.
** Spain's Telefonica SA is in talks to sell its
stake in Telecom Italia in a move that could ease
regulatory pressure in Brazil's wireless market, Brazilian
newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported.
** Europe's antitrust regulator has objected to Cemex's
plan to acquire Holcim's Spanish units, a
person familiar with the matter said, denting the Mexican cement
producer's hopes of getting EU approval without concessions.
** Speculation over the future of German department store
chain Karstadt flared again after a newspaper reported that
billionaire Nicolas Berggruen could sell out to Austrian
investor Rene Benko and Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz.
** U.S. cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc is in
talks to acquire rival Lorillard Inc in a multi-billion
dollar deal that would include the sale of some brands to
Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, the companies
** Some top investors in Shire Plc are urging it to
engage with AbbVie to discuss the U.S. drugmaker's $51
billion takeover bid as a prolonged silence from the
London-listed drugmaker adds to uncertainty over a possible
** FLSmidth said it had sold its German subsidiary
Phaff Maschinenbau GmbH to Abag Anklagentechnik GmbH for an
** Australian gas pipeline owner Envestra Ltd on
Friday declared a final dividend earlier than planned,
potentially throwing into doubt a A$2.2 billion ($2.07 billion)
takeover offer from Hong Kong's Cheung Kong Infrastructure
Holdings Ltd (CKI).
** Whirlpool Corp, the world's largest maker of home
appliances, said it will buy 66.8 percent of voting stock of
Italian white goods maker Indesit Co SpA for about 758
million euros ($1.03 billion) to spur its growth in Europe.
** Friends Life Group Ltd announced disposal of its
Lombard unit to Blackstone Group for an initial
consideration of 317 million pounds ($532 million).
** Malaysian upstream oil and gas company Sumatec Resources
Bhd has agreed to buy Borneo Energy Oil And Gas in a
cash and share deal worth $250 million, Sumatec said.
** Pernod Ricard has spent almost $100 million to
gain majority control of Avion Spirits LLC, owner of
top-of-the-range tequila brand Avion, as part of plans to expand
in the United States, its largest market, the French firm said.
** Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) downplayed a report
that rival Rheinmetall could offer to buy the tank
maker, saying it was barred from starting talks as long as it
was in merger negotiations with France's Nexter.
** Dutch software company Exact Holding is in sale
talks with a series of private equity funds, including Apax
and KKR, in a deal to take the company private
that could be worth around one billion euros ($1.4 billion),
several sources said on Friday.
** German utility EnBW said on Friday it would buy
the 50 percent stake owned by Italy's Eni in a jointly
held gas grid company, taking full ownership of an asset that is
expected to generate stable returns over the coming years.
** Onexim, the holding company of Russian
tycoon-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov, is interested in
buying Russian newspaper Vedomosti, the paper reported on
Friday, citing unnamed sources. Onexim had sent a letter to
Citibank, which is seeking buyers on behalf of Finnish
media company Sanoma, expressing interest in buying
Vedomosti, the paper and Russian agency Prime reported.
** Getin Holding SA plans takeovers in central and
eastern Europe to benefit from low valuations and build regional
presence, the Polish bank's chief executive was quoted as
(Compiled by Rohit T.K. and Amrutha Gayathri in Bangalore)