March 10 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Monday:
** Bidders have started submitting binding offers for DEA , the oil and gas production unit of German utility RWE AG, and a deal could be struck as early as this month, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
No financial details of the binding bids emerged, but one of the sources said the range was expected to be similar to what was offered in the first round, when bids ranged between 3.5 billion and 5 billion euros ($4.9-6.9 billion).
** German drink and food flavors maker Wild is putting itself up for sale in a deal that could value the company at 1.5 billion euros, three people familiar with the matter said.
** Minerals Technologies Inc said it would buy Amcol International Corp, which produces a type of clay used in everything from cosmetics to oil drilling, for about $1.7 billion as Imerys SA bowed out of a month-long bidding war.
** The private equity arm of Dubai Holding has asked buyout groups to submit binding bids for its German packaging group Mauser, after putting on hold a larger auction which comprised two additional assets, three sources familiar with the transaction told Reuters. The suitors are likely to value Mauser at about 7 times its expected operating earnings of roughly 150 million euros, or 1.1 billion euros.
** GlaxoSmithKline said it paid 64 billion rupees ($1.05 billion) to increase its stake in its Indian pharmaceuticals unit to 75 percent, as it banks on rising demand for medicines in emerging markets.
** U.S. fruit firm Chiquita Brands International Inc and Irish rival Fyffes Plc, Europe’s largest distributor, have struck an all-stock merger deal to create the world’s biggest banana supplier.
** Classified Ventures LLC, a joint venture of five media companies, has put its online listings business, Cars.com, up for sale at a price of up to $3 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the plans.
** Wesfarmers Ltd, one of Australia’s largest retailers, plans to sell its insurance broking business via an initial public offering worth around A$1.12 billion ($1.02 billion), the Weekend Australian newspaper reported on Saturday.
** French food ingredient maker Diana Group has attracted bids worth more than 1.2 billion euros, including debt, from Germany’s Symrise and Japan’s Ajinomoto, sources familiar with the matter said.
** France’s Bouygues Telecom has agreed to sell its mobile network and much of its spectrum to smaller rival Iliad as a way to head off competition regulators’ concerns about its pending bid for Vivendi’s SFR. If Vivendi picks Bouygues’ bid for SFR over a rival offer - and if regulators approve the merger - then Bouygues will sell 15,000 mobile antennas and some of its mobile spectrum to Iliad for up to 1.8 billion euros, according to statements from both companies on Sunday.
** The war of words between Cliffs Natural Resources Inc and Casablanca Capital escalated on Friday, after the activist investor rejected an offer to end a proxy battle to win control of the iron ore miner’s board. Casablanca, Cliffs’ fifth-largest shareholder with a 5.2 percent stake, wants Chief Executive Gary Halverson gone, and the company to spin off its “riskier” international operations from cash-generating U.S. assets.
** NII Holdings Inc, which provides telecom services under the Nextel brand in Latin America, said it hired financial firms for advise on a potential sale of the company and on ways to deal with its $5.79 billion debt load.
** Chemical manufacturer FMC Corp said it would split into two companies, one comprising its minerals business and the other its agricultural solutions, health and nutrition business.
** German builder Hochtief AG plans to spend over $1 billion to lift its majority stake in Australia’s Leighton Holdings Ltd, seeking to push through restructuring at a business that already delivers most of Hochtief’s profit.
** French electrical gear maker Schneider Electric confirmed it was in talks with potential buyers for its sensors unit CST, following a newspaper report saying it could reap up to $900 million from a deal.
** United Rentals Inc, the world’s largest equipment rental company, said on Sunday it had agreed to acquire privately held National Pump, the second-largest specialty pump rental company in North America, for $780 million.
** Private equity firm Warburg Pincus is looking to sell education software maker iParadigms and has tapped Evercore Partners Inc to assist with the effort, people familiar with the matter said. The company is estimated to earn around $50 million before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization and may fetch 15 times that amount, or roughly $750 million, some of the people said.
** Private equity giant TPG plans to sell 56 farm properties of Australia’s largest poultry firm, Ingham Enterprises, for up to A$650 million, a property agent responsible for the sale told Reuters.
** Chipmaker Montage Technology Group said it received a buyout offer valuing it at about $600 million from a Chinese state-owned company.
** Companies controlled by Norwegian billionaire investor John Fredriksen will sell six dry bulk ships to Knightsbridge Tankers in return for a 38 percent stake in the company and some cash, the firms said in a joint statement.
Of the total consideration of $360 million for the dry bulk ships, $186 million will be paid in shares of Knightsbridge at $10 per share, $150 million in absorption of remaining newbuilding capex and $24 million in cash, the firms said.
** Clean energy fund Trading Emissions plc (TEP) said it had reached an agreement to sell its portfolio of United Nations-backed carbon credits to an unidentified buyer, taking another step forward in winding up its business.
** Chinese diversified energy company Landbridge Group Co Ltd has launched an A$160 million unsolicited bid for Queensland coal seam gas company WestSide Corp Ltd, to gain entry into northern Australia’s fast-growing gas industry.
** China’s largest Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd may soon announce a deal to take about a 16 percent stake in online retailer JD.com and merge their online shopping platforms, local media reported on Saturday.
** Aircraft parts and auto components maker Senior Plc said it acquired Malaysia-based UPECA Technologies, a high-precision components maker, for $75.5 million including debt to expand in the South East Asian region.
** Hungary’s government agreed to sell its majority stake in savings bank Takarekbank to a local investment firm for 9 billion forints ($39.9 million).
** An online education company backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said a unit of Softbank Corp had made a strategic investment in the company for an undisclosed amount.
** Unilever PLC has bought a majority stake in water purification company Qinyuan, its biggest Chinese acquisition in 10 years, the consumer goods company said on Sunday without disclosing what it paid.
** The top investor in Italy’s No.3 bank by asset, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, has sold shares worth 40.6 million euros on the market, equivalent to 1.6 percent of the bank’s market capitalization, regulatory filings showed.
** South African logistics company Super Group has bought a majority stake in Chinese-backed Great Wall Motors SA, the companies said.