Sept 6 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** American Tower Corp said it would buy the parent of telecom tower operator Global Tower Partners for $3.3 billion as it seeks a bigger share of the billions of dollars that U.S. telecom carriers are spending to upgrade their networks.
** Johnson & Johnson has launched a sale process for its Ortho Clinical Diagnostics unit, which makes blood screening equipment and laboratory blood tests and could fetch around $5 billion, three people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
** General Electric Co is interested in buying Italian rail technology company Ansaldo STS, the head of the U.S. group in Italy said, in a further expansion of its presence in the country. GE bought the aviation business of Italy’s Avio for $4.3 billion last year in a sign of confidence about the underlying strength of Europe’s fourth-biggest economy despite a deep recession.
** Japan’s Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd is in advanced talks to buy the Lucozade and Ribena brands from GlaxoSmithKline for more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in a deal that would pre-empt an auction of the iconic British drinks, two people close to the process said.
** Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co is set to gain preferential negotiating rights for a majority stake in Panasonic Corp’s healthcare unit, sources familiar with the matter said, a potential $1.5 billion deal that would mark the U.S. firm’s largest investment in a Japanese company.
** Oil States International Inc said it sold its tubular services business to a private company for $600 million, a day after activist investor Jana Partners LLC disclosed a higher stake in the oilfield services provider.
** Bunge Ltd said on Thursday it was selling its stake in a Moroccan fertilizer company, less than a month after finalizing the sale of its Brazilian fertilizer operations. Bunge said the deal is expected to close by the end of 2013. In 2007, Bunge said it and OCP would finance the Moroccan joint venture with an estimated $350 million in debt and equity over three years.
** Private equity firm KKR & Co LP has agreed to buy car and property claims software company Mitchell International Inc from Los Angeles-based buyout firm Aurora Capital Group, the firms said on Thursday. The value of the deal was not publicly disclosed but a person familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity discussing financial details, said the transaction valued Mitchell at around $1.1 billion, or 11 to 12 times its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.
** Kulim (Malaysia) Bhd’s 812 million ringgit ($246 million) bid to buy an extra 20 percent in its Papua New Guinea-based New Britain Palm Oil Ltd has crumbled after the Malaysian firm failed to undo a restraining order.
** Vodafone is ready to direct a large part of its “Project Spring” investment spend on Italy, Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said in a newspaper interview published on Friday.
Colao was quoted as telling Il Corriere della Sera that Italy becomes Vodafone’s second largest market in Europe following this week’s $130 billion deal to sell out of U.S. joint venture Verizon Wireless, which includes Vodafone acquiring Verizon’s 23 percent stake in Vodafone Italy.
** Telegraaf Media Group has sold its stake in Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1, becoming the latest shareholder to take advantage of the free-to-air broadcaster’s recent share conversion. The Dutch media company said on Friday it had placed 13.13 million shares in ProSieben, representing a 6 percent stake, at 30 euros a share, a 3.5 percent discount to Thursday’s closing market price. It raised net proceeds of about 391 million euros ($513 million).
** Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd has sold 500 million ringgit ($151.29 million) worth of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, to raise funds for a 4 billion ringgit terminal for budget airlines.
** Italian asset manager Azimut said it signed a joint venture agreement with Brazil’s Legan Administracao de Recursos for a partnership in Brazil.
Azimut, through AZ International Holdings S.A., will purchase from its existing shareholders 50 percent of a Brazilian holding company controlling the entire equity capital of Legan for about 3 million euros, it said.
** Lithuania is seeking to buy Gazprom and E.ON’s stakes in national gas distributor Amber Grid , hoping to take back control of the pipeline network which was privatised 10 years ago, the prime minister said. E.ON’s 38.9 percent stake is worth around 43.7 million euros and Gazprom’s 37.1 percent stake is worth around 41.7 million euros based on the current market price.
** Timken Co said its board approved a plan proposed by an activist investor to spin off its steel business from the bearings and power transmission operations.