Company News

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Fitbit, Taste Holdings, Cerberus, WPP Scangroup; Updates Safaricom)

Nov 1 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1330 GMT on Friday:

** Alphabet Inc’s Google will buy wearable device maker Fitbit Inc for $2.1 billion, as the search giant looks to enter the fast-growing market for fitness trackers and smartwatches.

** Kenya’s Safaricom plans to bid for one of two Ethiopian telecoms licences next year in partnership with South Africa’s Vodacom, it said after posting a jump in first-half profit.

** Taste Holdings, owner of Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza franchises in South Africa, said it was abandoning the food business, and had already sold its 13 stores of the coffee chain to a consortium for 7 million rand ($464,000).

** Cerberus Capital Management has sold a 13.5% stake in BAWAG Group, or around half of its holding, for about 471 million euros ($525 million), the bookrunner on the deal said.

** Kenyan marketing company WPP Scangroup said on Friday its board had approved the sale of some of its assets in East and West Africa, sending its shares up 23%.

** Amgen Inc said on Thursday it will take a 20.5% stake in BeiGene Ltd to expand the California-based biotechnology company’s presence in China, the world’s second-largest pharmaceuticals market.

** Hudson’s Bay Co shareholder Catalyst Capital Group Inc has opposed an agreed deal by the struggling Canadian department store operator with a group led by its executive chairman Richard Baker to be taken private.

** Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd said on Friday it had completed the bookbuild for its domestic notes offer, and had raised the issue size to A$325 million ($223.99 million) from A$150 million, citing strong support from investors.

** Grupo Aval, Colombia’s largest financial conglomerate, said on Thursday it had agreed to buy Panama’s Multibank Financial Group, giving it a higher profile in Central America.

** Brazil’s largest lender, Itau Unibanco Holding SA , said in a securities filing late on Thursday the bank has acquired 51% of software company Zup IT Servicos for 293 million reais ($73 million).

** Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust said on Friday it is buying 30 business parks in the United States and Singapore for about S$1.66 billion ($1.22 billion) from its controlling unit holder CapitaLand Ltd.

** Apple Inc and Taiwan’s Wistron Corp have proposed the possibility of directly investing in troubled panel supplier Japan Display, Kyodo News reported on Friday.

Compiled by Abhishek Manikandan and Trisha Roy in Bengaluru