Dec 27 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Friday:
** South Africa’s Foord Asset Management has increased to 15 percent its stake in Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd, making it the second-largest shareholder in the hotly contested drugmaker.
The battle for Adcock, an underperforming company with a strong portfolio of over-the-counter medicines, hotted up in July when Chile’s CFR Pharmaceuticals offered $1.2 billion in cash and shares for it.
** The two biggest shareholders of Italy’s No.1 regional utility A2A SpA aim to quickly sell an overall stake of up to 5.12 percent in the company, Brescia mayor Emilio Delbono told Reuters.
** The Boston law firm Nixon Peabody is in merger talks with Blank Rome in Philadelphia, two sources familiar with the talks said. The two U.S. law firms have been in discussions for at least two months, according to a third source with direct knowledge of the talks.
** China Investment Corp, an investment fund owned by the Chinese government, is backing a Chinese food company that is considering bidding for Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Holdings Co, the Business Spectator reported on Friday, without citing any sources or naming the company.
** Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista’s troubled shipbuilder OSX Brasil SA and oil company Oleo e Gas Participacoes SA, have taken another step toward emerging from Latin America’s largest-ever bankruptcy with a deal to swap Oleo e Gas debt for stock.
** Singapore conglomerate Fraser and Neave Ltd said late on Thursday it plans to return about S$607 million ($478 million) in cash to shareholders via a capital reduction.
** Textron Inc, maker of Cessna planes, said it will buy aircraft maker Beechcraft Corp for about $1.4 billion in cash, in a deal that sees Textron expand its aviation business.
** Bega Cheese Ltd is in talks with “non-Australian” investors on a possible sale of its stake in Australia’s oldest dairy firm, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Ltd, a source familiar with the situation said, adding a new twist to one of the country’s most contested takeover battles in years.
** French oil company Total SA said Qatar Petroleum International had taken a 15 percent stake in Total E&P Congo through a share capital increase following a framework agreement signed in May.
** Private equity firm Brynwood Partners said it will sell its stake in DeMet’s Candy Co, the U.S. maker of Flipz chocolate pretzels and Turtles covered nut clusters, to Turkey’s Yildiz Holdings for $221 million.
** The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant submitted a revised business plan to the government on Friday aimed at securing steady profit with the restart of its undamaged Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant in July.
** Chinese budget carrier Spring Airlines has gained approval for a Japanese joint venture set to begin flying in May. Shanghai-based Spring Airlines currently flies to the Japanese cities of Ibaraki, Saga and Takamatsu. It holds 33 percent of the Japanese joint venture, while the remainder is controlled by Japanese funds and other domestic interests.
** German utility RWE AG said it had agreed to sell the heat activities of Dutch unit Essent to Dutch pension fund service provider PGGM and Dalkia, which is owned by France’s Veolia Environnement and EDF.
** NK Rosneft OAO said on Friday it will focus on integrating Morgan Stanley’s oil trading unit it agreed to buy last week rather than making new acquisitions.