April 20 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals involving European, U.S. and Asian companies were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** French food group Danone has raised its offer for Pfizer’s infant nutrition business to close to $11 billion in an attempt to outbid rival Nestle, according to news website WanSquare.
** Carlyle Group is among private equity funds bidding for a stake in unlisted South Korean group Kyobo Life Insurance worth around $1.8 billion, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
** Private equity firm Apollo Global Management raised its offer to acquire Great Wolf Resorts to $7.85 per share, above rival bidder KSL Capital Partners’ most recent offer.
** Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has agreed to buy a 49.99 percent stake in Italian motorway operator Atlantia’s Chilean unit Grupo Costanera for about 857 million euros ($1.13 billion), the two groups said on Thursday.
** Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is nearing a deal to buy restructuring and consulting firm AlixPartners for more than $1 billion, according to several people familiar with the matter.
** Toyota Tsusho Corp, the Japanese trading company, will buy a stake in Encana Corp’s massive coalbed methane field in southern Alberta for C$602 million ($608 million).
** British insurer Prudential Plc is considering bidding for the insurance business of Thailand’s Thanachart Bank, sources said, in an around $500 million deal that would help it better tackle arch rival AIA in the Southeast Asian nation.
** Aspen Pharmacare will pay $263 million for GlaxoSmithKine Plc’s international over-the-counter brands, the two companies said on Friday, giving the South African drug maker a stronger presence in popular painkillers.
** Japanese trading conglomerate Marubeni Corp is buying a 22 percent stake in Singapore reinsurer ACR Capital Holdings in a move that will provide ACR with new capital, the Singapore firm said.
ACR did not disclose the amount of Marubeni’s investment, but a source with knowledge of the matter said it will pay around $250 million, becoming a major shareholder alongside British private equity firm 3i,
** Gas Natural expects to conclude a deal struck last year with Algerian state-owned gas firm Sonatrach to buy a stake in the Algeria-Spain Medgaz pipeline, the Spanish utility’s chief executive said.
** French financier Vincent Bollore could raise his stake in Vivendi to 5 percent, becoming the group’s largest shareholder, and possibly take a seat on its board, newspaper Le Figaro said without citing sources.
** Germany’s Merck KGaA will refrain from major takeovers until the end of next year to focus on cost cuts and job reduction, its chief executive said.
** BA and Iberia owner IAG said it had completed the acquisition of Lufthansa’s UK airline bmi and that the price of the deal would be reduced after the German carrier failed to sell two of bmi’s units.
** The adviser of Esso Malaysia Bhd’s minority shareholders said on Thursday they should reject the takeover offer by Petron Corp’s unit as it was “not fair.”
** If Research In Motion Ltd were to hire an investment bank it would be to help it license its BlackBerry software or to negotiate a strategic investment, not to help it sell the company, a source close to RIM said on Thursday.
** Italy’s No.2 insurer Fondiaria-SAI said on Thursday it would seek improvements to a deal that would see it rescued by peer Unipol, but a widening judicial probe into the Fondiaria group risks complicating any agreement between the two sides.