Aug 23 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** Exxon Mobil is selling over half of its 60 percent holding in Iraq’s West Qurna-1 oilfield project to China’s biggest energy firm PetroChina and Indonesia’s Pertamina, Iraq’s oil minister confirmed.
** Italian insurer Unipol is likely to sell on the market a 3.8 stake in Mediobanca that it must dispose of for antitrust reasons, sources close to the matter said, confirming a press report which hit shares in the Italian bank on Friday.
** Poland’s financial watchdog is unwilling to let Dutch lender Rabobank sell its Polish unit BGZ to a rival with a lower credit rating, a stance that could derail a possible $1 billion deal, sources familiar with the situation said.
** Joh A Benckiser’s (JAB) 7.5 billion euro ($10.01 billion) takeover of Dutch coffee and tea company D.E Master Blenders 1753 has been delayed as the company struggles to secure 95 percent shareholder acceptance, bankers sources said on Friday.
** Mexican private equity firm Ventura Capital Privado said on Friday it had offered close to $60 million to acquire Maxcom, as part of the telecoms company’s restructuring process.
** BATS Global Markets, the third-largest U.S. stock exchange, is in advanced talks to merge with smaller rival Direct Edge Holdings LLC, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
** Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd has joined a list of potential Chinese suitors interested in buying Glencore Xstrata Plc’s $5 billion-plus Las Bambas copper mine in Peru, underscoring the Chinese government’s desire to plug a shortage in supply.
** Toshiba Corp, U.S. private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and a consortium including Bain Capital are expected to participate in the final round of bids next week for Panasonic Corp’s healthcare business, a deal that could fetch as much as $1.5 billion, sources with knowledge of the matter said.
** Canadian food processor Maple Leaf Foods agreed to sell its rendering and biodiesel business to Darling International Inc for about C$645 million ($613.6 million) in cash, causing shares in both companies to spike on Friday.
** Exchange CME Group is expected to try and buy Europe’s leading wheat futures contract from rival Intercontinental Exchange, a move that would solidify its dominance of world grain trading.
** Baring Private Equity Asia has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Indian outsourcing service provider Hexaware Technologies Ltd for about $420 million, underscoring the potential for growth in the country’s showcase information technology sector.
** Charles and David Koch, two of the world’s richest men, have walked away from talks to buy the Tribune Co’s newspaper assets, concluding that the papers were not economically viable. Their company, Koch Industries, continues to have an interest in the media business and is exploring a broad range of opportunities, spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia said, confirming a report on their Tribune decision by the Daily Caller news website.
** Turkey’s Privatization Administration plans to open an auction in September for 10-year licenses to operate games run by the country’s Milli Piyango, or national lottery, government sources said.
** U.S. hedge funds Oaktree Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners sweetened their refinancing proposal for surfwear company Billabong International Ltd, upping the ante against a rival group led by Altamont Capital Partners. Oaktree and Centerbridge have offered a raft of terms including a lower interest rate on the Australian surfwear company’s debt, which they say will give the company savings of as much as A$143 million ($129.02 million) over five years.
** Baidu Inc, China’s largest search engine provider, will acquire a stake in Chinese group-buying website Nuomi Holdings Inc for $160 million as it accelerates its push into the country’s rapidly growing mobile Internet market.
** Vietnamese national carrier Vietnam Airlines said it planned to auction bonds it owns in a domestic bank next month to raise nearly 110 billion dong ($5.2 million), part of a move to withdraw from non-core businesses by 2015.