Jan 3 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Friday:
** A group of Taiwanese companies have applied to the investment commission for approval to set up a joint venture with China’s Sinopec Group to build a petrochemical complex on the mainland, a local newspaper reported.
Total investment for the project would be $15 billion, with 9.6 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) set for the initial stage, said the paper.
** Spain’s largest bank, Santander, said it has agreed to sell 85 percent of its Altamira property management unit to U.S. private equity group Apollo Global Management LLC for 664 million euros ($904 million).
** Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Investment Co plans to invest up to $10 billion over the next two years in GlobalFoundries’ upstate New York semiconductor factory, its chief executive said.
** Privately held Cox Enterprises Inc, owner of the third largest cable operator in the United States, said it would acquire the 25 percent stake it does not already own in AutoTrader Group Inc, the online car marketplace operator.
A person briefed on the matter, who was not allowed to disclose financial details, said Cox would buy the stake from Providence for $1.8 billion.
** Hungary’s government plans to sell its majority stake in the savings bank Takarekbank in an open, international tender, according to a government decree published in the official gazette, Magyar Kozlony. The deadline for the issuing of the tender is Jan. 15. Bids will be evaluated by March 15, according to the decree.
** New Zealand insurance company Tower Ltd said it would keep its domestic life insurance business following the sale of most of its life insurance businesses last year. Tower in May last year sold most of its life insurance business to Fidelity Life Assurance Co Ltd in a deal worth around NZ$189 million ($155 million).
** The majority shareholder of Polish mining machine maker Kopex rejected a takeover approach by local rival Famur that could help the companies compete outside their home market. Famur wants to convince Kopex’s management and shareholders to join forces with it via a share swap. It had proposed a ratio of 2 Famur shares for each Kopex share.
** British department stores group House of Fraser expects to be listed by the end of the year even as it remains in exclusive talks regarding a potential takeover by its French counterpart Galeries Lafayette, the Times of London quoted the chief executive of the department store chain as saying.
** Ergon Inc said on Thursday that it bought Bunge North America Inc’s stake in the Ergon Biofuels plant in Mississippi. Privately held Ergon Inc purchased Bunge’s share of what had been a 2007 joint venture of a 54-million-gallon per year ethanol plant in Vicksburg, the only facility that produced corn-based ethanol in Mississippi. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
** Telefonica is working on a joint offer to take over TIM Participacoes and break up the local wireless unit of Telecom Italia, also known as TIM Brasil, an Italian daily said, citing “reliable sources.” Brazil’s antitrust watchdog last month told the Spanish telecoms group to either sell its interest in TIM Brasil or seek a new partner for its market-leading Vivo mobile business.
** Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp has begun exclusive talks to buy Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank in a deal that would value the family-run lender at about $5.3 billion, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has acquired between 30 and 40 million shares in Hertz Global Holdings Inc and his stake-building was the reason the car rental company bolstered its takeover defenses, CNBC reported.
** Vodafone Group Plc is in early talks with the Tata Group to buy its controlling stake in Tata Teleservices Ltd to create India’s largest telco by subscribers, the Economic Times reported.
** Mexican retail chain Elektra, owned by businessman Ricardo Salinas, will complete its purchase of local video and games rental company Blockbuster next week, according to people close to the deal.