December 9, 2013 / 10:36 AM / in 4 years

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Occidental, US Foods, St James’s Place, Lazada, Mobilicity, Probi, Time Warner, GDF Suez, Stemcor, Harmont & Blaine)

Dec 9 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Monday:

** Britain is set to shelve plans to outsource its 159 billion pound ($260 billion) military equipment buying program to a private firm, a defense ministry source said, after one of the two consortia left in the running pulled out.

** Three state-owned Gulf firms are considering a joint bid for a minority stake in Occidental Petroleum Corp’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) unit, a deal that could be worth between $8 billion and $10 billion, three banking sources said.

** Essex Property Trust Inc, a manager of residential properties on the U.S. West Coast, offered to buy BRE Properties Inc for about $4.48 billion in stock and cash.

** Sysco Corp will buy US Foods Inc for about $3.5 billion from its private equity owners in a deal that will combine the top two U.S. food distributors and create a company commanding at least a quarter of the $235 billion North American market.

** KKR & Co LP and Bain Capital are among suitors that have placed initial bids for Tyco International Inc’s South Korean security systems unit, a business valued at about $1.6 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

** India’s foreign investment regulator deferred a decision on Vodafone Group Plc’s proposal to take full ownership of its Indian unit in a $1.6 billion deal, two government officials said.

** Lloyds Banking Group said it would bolster its capital by selling its remaining 21 percent stake in wealth manager St James’s Place, worth about 700 million pounds ($1.15 billion).

** Kazakhmys is selling its stake in Kazakhstan’s largest power station for $1.3 billion, the copper miner said on Monday, boosting its finances as it also told investors that its Bozshakol mine would cost almost a fifth more than planned.

** Tesco Plc, the world’s third-biggest retailer, has bought a small stake in Lazada, the Southeast Asian online retail company said.

** Post Holdings Inc said it would buy private label peanut butter maker Golden Boy Foods Ltd and protein bar maker Dymatize Enterprises LLC for about $680 million to build up its nutritional and private-label foods.

** Dairy products producer WhiteWave Foods Co said it would buy organic food brand Earthbound Farm from investors including private equity firm Kainos Capital for about $600 million to expand its offerings of organic products.

** President Vladimir Putin tightened his control over Russia’s media on Monday by dissolving the main state news agency and replacing it with an organization that is to promote Moscow’s image abroad.

** Austrian conservatives are pushing to sell more state-owned shares in big companies such as OMV, Telekom Austria or Austrian Post as coalition talks heat up with the Social Democrats.

** Swedish investment firm Kinnevik said it had sold its entire stake in renewable packaging company BillerudKorsnas for 3.7 billion Swedish crowns ($567 million).

** British engineer Kentz said it had agreed to acquire U.S.-based Valerus Field Solutions for $435 million in cash, to expand its engineering capability and presence in Latin America.

** Nokia has offered to pay 270 million euros ($369 million) to Indian authorities to unfreeze assets in a tax dispute, according to sources familiar with the matter.

** Alibaba Group will invest HK$2.82 billion ($361 million) in appliance maker Haier Electronics Group Ltd in a deal aimed at expanding the Chinese e-commerce giant’s logistics reach to the millions of consumers in China’s vast interior.

** Lloyds Banking Group said it had agreed to sell a portfolio of British corporate real estate loans to an entity affiliated with Cerberus European Investments for 90 million pounds in cash.

** Colombian state-owned oil company Ecopetrol and Canada’s Talisman Energy said they discovered an estimated 1.3 billion barrels of oil in southeastern Colombia and that about a tenth of it was likely to be recoverable.

** The consortium of conglomerates Ayala Corp and Metro Pacific Corp is likely to emerge the winner after submitting the highest offer for a 1.72 billion pesos ($39 million) deal to operate a smart-card system for the Philippines’ elevated rail network.

** HSBC Holdings Plc is considering floating up to 30 percent of its British retail and commercial banking arm to help meet UK regulation and unlock value for shareholders, the Financial Times reported.

** Hungarian state-owned energy group MVM could buy German firm RWE’s 49 percent stake in Budapest gas utility Fogaz Zrt as soon as this year, the daily Magyar Nemzet quoted Fogaz CEO Laszlo Koncz as saying in an interview.

** Saudi Arabia’s Dabbagh Group is planning to sell a 19 percent stake in its lubricants business Petromin ahead of a potential public offering of the unit in 2015, banking sources aware of the matter said.

** Czech investment group PPF is in talks to sell its stake in EPH, a holding group that owns energy companies around central Europe, sources from the involved parties said.

** German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 said it was buying Comvel, operator of German travel websites and, from Investor Media Ventures.

** Russia’s Uralkali, the world’s largest potash producer, is to create a joint venture for potash distribution with Malaysia as it seeks to boost sales in South East Asia, the company said.

** U.S. fertilizer company Mosaic Co said it would buy back 43.3 million restricted shares from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and the Anne Ray Charitable Trust over the next eight months.

** French energy group Areva said it agreed a commercial partnership in renewable energy with China General Nuclear Power that would focus on offshore wind power.

** German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd’s merger talks with Chile’s Vapores may herald further deals with other peers, its chief executive said, as the group strives to catch up with the industry’s top three players.

** German publisher Axel Springer said it agreed to buy German news publisher N24 for an undisclosed amount.

** The deadline to bid in a court-supervised auction of struggling Canadian wireless startup Mobilicity has been extended by a week to Dec. 16, a regulatory filing showed.

** Scents and flavours maker Symrise may lift its stakes in probiotics specialist Probi and another Swedish food ingredient company as it seeks growth in nutritional supplements that carry the promise of better health.

** Time Warner Cable’s incoming chief executive Rob Marcus said he is not in a hurry to sell the company and that management is focused on running the business for the “long haul.”

** French gas and power group GDF Suez said on Monday it had sold a 50 percent stake in a 440 megawatt French onshore wind farm to Credit Agricole Assurances.

** Lenders to troubled Stemcor, the world’s largest steel trader, have been selling their exposure to hedge funds and distressed debt specialists before a key restructuring deadline on December 13, banking sources said.

** Italian casual clothing brand Harmont & Blaine has received offers from around 15 funds interested in buying a minority stake which the company plans to sell in the first quarter of 2014, its chief executive said. (Compiled by Shubhankar Chakravorty and Shivani Mody in Bangalore)

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