Jan 24 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1430 GMT on Friday:
** KKR & Co and BlackRock Inc are among the leading global investors in talks to buy a stake in China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd as the bad-debt manager seeks to raise more than $2 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** German speciality chemicals maker Wacker Chemie AG will take control of a wafer joint venture it holds with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, it said. Wacker Chemie’s Siltronic unit, which produces silicon wafers for the chip industry, will invest a total of 150 million euros ($205 million) to participate in a capital increase and repay part of the JV’s outstanding project loans, which stand at about 210 million euros.
** Japanese utility Chubu Electric Power Co Inc and trading house Mitsui & Co Ltd are set to sign memorandums of understanding with Indian firms to cooperate in the energy sector, industry sources said. Chubu aims to sign an agreement with GAIL (India) Ltd, while Mitsui plans to expand its existing partnership with India’s Oil And Natural Gas Corp.
** Jana Partners LLC has taken a large stake in Juniper Networks Inc, a move that comes at a time when one of the network gear maker’s prominent investors is urging it to increase shareholder returns. Hedge fund Jana did not disclose the quantum of its investment in Juniper, but said it is now one of the largest shareholders in the company, according to a letter to investors that was seen by Reuters.
** Italian fashion group Roberto Cavalli said it had not signed any agreement on a possible sale of the group. A report in Italian weekly Il Mondo said a sale to private equity group Permira was imminent for about 450 million euros.
** Shares in Celesio AG jumped to their highest in more than three and a half years on Friday after U.S. drugs distributor McKesson Corp succeeded in its renewed attempt to gain control of its German peer.
McKesson, the largest U.S. drugs wholesale group, said late on Thursday that it now owned about 75 percent of Celesio’s shares and would make a fresh offer for the remainder. The offer of 23.50 euros per share values Celesio at about 6.2 billion euros, including debt, it said.
** Activist investor Carl Icahn picked up another $500 million of Apple Inc shares on Thursday to take his investment in the iPhone maker to $3.6 billion, while ratcheting up his months-long campaign to pry open the company’s cash hoard.
** Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP said on Thursday it has agreed to acquire a strategic minority stake in privately held Vogue International, the maker of the Organix Hair Care product line.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but people familiar with the matter told Reuters a year ago that Vogue, which was marketing itself to potential buyers with the help of Goldman Sachs Group Inc, could be valued at $800 million or more.
** Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc acquired a patent portfolio from Hewlett-Packard Co, including those of Palm Inc and its iPaq smartphone, in a move that will bulk up HP’s offerings to handset makers and other licensees.