(Updates Yongye International, Nielsen Holdings ; Adds BlackBerry, US Airways, Munder Capital Management, Dona Tota, CorpGroup, Uralkaliy)
Sept 23 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Monday:
** Italian core shareholders in Telecom Italia SpA are in talks to sell their stakes to Spain’s Telefonica SA and are expected to finalise a deal by Tuesday morning, a source close to the matter said.
** Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd signed a tentative deal to be acquired by a consortium led by its biggest shareholder, setting a $4.7 billion floor in the auction of the Canadian company that invented on-the-go email.
** General Motors Co said it would buy back just under half of its preferred shares held by the United Auto Workers healthcare trust for about $3.2 billion, essentially cutting company costs by financing the deal with lower-cost debt. The company would raise funds with a debt offering to finance the purchase of 120 million of the Series A preferred stock from the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust at $27 per share.
** Russia’s government ruled out a state purchase of tycoon Suleiman Kerimov’s stake in potash producer Uralkaliy OAO , but left open the door to a trade sale to resolve a row with Belarus over the collapse of a sales cartel.
** US Airways Group Inc and American Airlines said they had extended their merger agreement as they fight a U.S. government lawsuit seeking to block the combination, which would form the world’s largest airline.
** Private equity firms Thoma Bravo, Blackstone Group in partnership with Advent International and Corsair in partnership with Flexpoint Ford LLC have submitted bids for Munder Capital Management in a deal that could be valued at up to $400 million, a number of sources told Reuters this week.
** Mexico’s Femsa, a retailer and bottler of Coca-Cola Co beverages, said it will buy 80 percent of fast-food chain Dona Tota, marking its first venture into the restaurant business.
** China-based crop nutrient maker Yongye International Inc said it has agreed to be taken private by top shareholder Full Alliance International Ltd and its affiliates, valuing the company at about $340 million. The $6.69 per share offer represents an 11.9 percent premium to the Friday close of $5.98 on the Nasdaq.
** Chile’s CorpGroup, owner of bank CorpBanca, said that it would sell its insurance units to local company Inversiones La Construccion for around $165 million. Chilean billionaire Alvaro Saieh owns both CorpGroup and SMU, which is strapped for cash after an accounting error led it to breach debt covenants.
** Private equity firm TA Associates is considering selling its minority stake in First Eagle Investment Management, the manager of the First Eagle Mutual Funds, according to three sources familiar with the situation.
** Poland will not sell any of its stake in KGHM, Europe’s No. 2 copper producer, and will retain a controlling share in oil refiner Grupa Lotos SA because they are strategic assets, Deputy Treasury Minister Pawel Tamborski said. Markets had expected that the Polish government, under pressure to plug a large gap in this year’s budget, would sell stakes in both Lotos and KGHM, among the most valuable stocks in its portfolio.
** Austrian insurer Uniqa launched a share sale that aims to raise around 750 million euros ($1 billion) and boost its free float to as much as 36.7 percent. Uniqa set a price range of 7.50 to 8.50 euros per share for the offering, which combines a rights issue to existing shareholders, a public offering and a private placement to institutional investors.
** Swiss luxury goods group Richemont has hired investment bank Nomura to advise on a possible sale of luxury leather goods brand Lancel, according to a Bloomberg report and French press. The sale could raise about 500 million euros ($675.5 million), according to the reports, citing unnamed sources.
** Australian toll road operator RiverCity Motorway Ltd, expected to sell for more than A$600 million ($563.22 million), attracted final bids from a group that includes Dutch pension fund manager APG and Australia’s Macquarie Group, and separately, the global asset management division of Swiss bank UBS AG, people familiar with the process said.
** A1, an investment unit of Alfa Group, has acquired a 24.4 percent stake in Regal Petroleum, a company which produces gas and gas condensate in Ukraine, A1’s president said. A1 President Mikhail Khabarov declined to disclose the financial details of the deal, but said Regal Petroleum’s revenues stood at 25.3 million pounds ($40.5 million) in 2012.
** South Korean steel maker Posco said it has agreed to set up a steel plant jointly with China’s Chongqing Iron & Steel Co, hoping strong demand from the world’s biggest steel consumer will offset weak sales at home. The 50:50 venture, to be built in Chongqing in western China, will have annual production capacity of 3 million tons. The two firms also agreed to consider setting up a joint venture producing auto steel sheets, POSCO said.
** Czech coal mining group New World Resources will close a deal to sell its OKK coking plant by the end of the year, a company official said on Sunday. The company has been in talks with undisclosed parties to sell the unit as part of its drive to raise money as it bleeds cash due to low coal prices in the global market.
** Private equity firm JC Flowers has approached Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group about a bid for the TSB business that was split from the part state-owned bank earlier this month, the Sunday Telegraph said without citing sources. Lloyds, which is now 32.7 percent-owned by the taxpayer after the government sold a 6 percent stake last week, has been working on a stock market listing for TSB next year.
** German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp has denied a magazine report that it is preparing to sell its automotive division. Weekly magazine Focus said that ThyssenKrupp, struggling with billions of euros of debt and a loss-making Steel Americas business, had asked potential investors for indicative offers for its automotive operations.
** Dubai-based oil services firm NPS Energy has put itself back up for sale, hoping to fetch up to $700 million after a deal to be bought by Norway’s Aker Solutions fell apart last year, sources familiar with the matter said. Oil services company Aker agreed to buy NPS Energy for about $460 million in May 2012, including $110 million in debt, but the deal collapsed in November after the two parties failed to reach a final agreement.
** Israeli translation software provider Babylon has opted out of a public offering in the United States, saying it is instead focusing efforts on a potential merger with software distribution firm ironSource. Babylon said on Sunday that it told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission it was withdrawing a draft prospectus submitted in November 2012. Babylon had filed for an initial public offering for up to $115 million.
** Italian carmaker Fiat said on Saturday that is planning to take full control of the diesel engine manufacturer VM Motori by buying out the half of the company owned by joint venture partner General Motors. VM Motori, based in the northern Italian city of Cento, is currently a 50:50 JV between Fiat and GM.
** Italy’s Finmeccanica has asked state-owned holding Cassa Depositi e Prestiti to make an offer to buy the defense group’s energy unit, the Il Secolo XIX newspaper said on Saturday, citing sources close to the matter. More than one year ago, Finmeccanica, Italy’s second largest employer, singled out Ansaldo Energia among the assets it wanted to sell to cut its debt pile.
** Television ratings giant Nielsen Holdings NV won U.S. antitrust approval on Friday for a $1.3 billion deal to buy Arbitron Inc, a company that dominates radio ratings measurement. The Federal Trade Commission said in a statement that Nielsen had agreed to sell and license some assets related to Arbitron’s cross-platform as a condition of approval.
** AT&T Inc said on Friday that it is exploring options such as a sale of its wireless broadcast towers but noted that its ability to reach a deal would depend on the terms it is able to reach with the buyer for its ongoing use of the towers.
$1 = 3.13 Polish zlotys $1 = 0.74 euros $1 = 1.06 Australian dollars $1 = 0.63 British pounds Compiled by Varun Aggarwal in Bangalore