April 2 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Tuesday:
** Glencore said it had extended again the date by which it expects to close its merger with Xstrata to May 2, due to the ongoing investigation into the deal in China.
Glencore has been waiting for several months for China, the biggest buyer of the materials it trades and mines, to give the go-ahead before it can complete its $35 billion acquisition of miner Xstrata, the largest deal in the sector to date.
** Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp has again been forced to delay the closure of its $5.6 billion purchase of U.S. grain merchant Gavilon because Chinese regulators have not finished their appraisal of the transaction.
** Nordic telecom operator Tele2 defended a decision to sell its Russian unit for $3.5 billion and spurn a higher offer from one of Russia’s wealthiest businessmen.
The deal with state-controlled bank VTB was followed swiftly by counterbids from groups associated with tycoon Mikhail Fridman, but Tele2 said the deal was already done, prompting speculation that the Kremlin may have dictated proceedings.
** At least three of the world’s top drugmakers are bidding for Brazil’s Ache Laboratorios Farmaceuticos in an auction that may value the group at more than $5 billion, people familiar with the matter said.
Pfizer Inc, Novartis AG and Abbott Laboratories are all weighing second-round bids to acquire the company, which boasts a strong position in Brazil’s fast-growing pharmaceuticals market, the people said.
** Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Financial and New York-based Reich & Tang are buying UnionBanCal Corp’s mutual fund business, three sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
** Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc is emerging as the lead contender in Life Technologies Corp’s auction, working on a bid that could value the genetic testing maker at as much as $12 billion, three people familiar with the matter said.
** Nordic telecom operator TeliaSonera said it was abandoning efforts to sell Yoigo after failing to find a buyer willing to pay an acceptable price for the Spanish operator.
TeliaSonera began a process to sell its 76.6 percent stake in Yoigo last year, hoping it could fetch about 1 billion euros ($1.28 billion), sources told Reuters at the time.
** Nigeria has offered to sell a 70 percent stake in a power station to South Korean firm Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) for $407 million, the privatisation agency said on Tuesday, in an effort to end six years of delay on the deal.
** Nasdaq OMX Group Inc agreed to buy the eSpeed platform from BGC Partners Inc for $750 million in cash on Monday, providing the exchange operator an entry point in the electronic fixed income business - one of the largest and the most liquid cash markets in the world.
** Taiwan’s SinoPac Financial Holdings Co Ltd will sell 20 percent of its banking unit to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) for around T$20 billion ($669.42 million), the Taiwanese bank said.
** Troubled Australian surfwear firm Billabong International Ltd said it is still in talks with two takeover suitors and requested a trading halt in its shares ahead of a possible announcement this week.
Billabong has received offers from a consortium comprising private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners and U.S. clothing group VF Corp and another group led by Billabong’s former U.S. boss Paul Naude and private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
The competing groups had made indicative matching offers of A$1.10 a share, valuing the company at A$527 million ($549 million).
** Neurological and dermatology drugs maker Merz Pharma Group offered to buy cosmetic products maker Obagi Medical Products Inc for $383.5 million, topping a bid by Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc last month.
** India’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, a unit of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries, signed a deal worth 12 billion rupees ($221 million) to share Reliance Communications Ltd’s fiber optic network to roll out its 4G services.
Reliance Communications is controlled by the younger Ambani brother Anil.
** Mining mogul Nathan Tinkler is selling Australia’s largest thoroughbred racing and stud empire as he struggles to pay off debts and raise funds for court battles.
The young entrepreneur is asking around A$200 million ($208 million) for Patinack Farm and potential buyers include Chinese parties, according to a source close to the sale, who was not authorized to speak publicly.
** Russia’s largest steelmaker Evraz said it had acquired a controlling stake in an iron ore project in Russia’s far-Eastern Yakutia region for 4.95 billion roubles ($160 million).
** French media group Lagardere said it had agreed to sell its 25 percent stake in sporting events group Amaury for 91.4 million euros ($117.4 million).
** Danish hearing aid maker William Demant said it plans to buy Neurelec, a French maker of hearing aid implants, for 57.5 million euros ($73.9 million).
** Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema said its stake in Binnopharm decreased to 74 percent as the unit merged assets with infusion solutions and blood substitutes maker Alium.
Sistema, which previously held 100 percent of Binnopharm, said the deal was structured as an additional share issue worth around 1.7 billion roubles ($54.63 million).
** Italy’s fourth-largest lender Banco Popolare agreed to sell its small Hungarian unit to local player MagNet Bank for 0.5 million euros ($642,400).