January 22, 2014 / 10:56 AM / 4 years ago

Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Grupo Bimbo, Loral Space, Vapores, Unilever, Marriott, Quest, Cosumar)

Jan 22 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1430 GMT on Wednesday:

** Swedish steelmaker SSAB AB has agreed to buy Finnish rival Rautaruukki Corp in an all-share deal worth 10.1 billion Swedish crowns ($1.6 billion) as weak demand forces Europe’s smaller players to cut costs and deal with overcapacity.

** Cloud software maker VMWare Inc said it would buy privately held mobile security company AirWatch in a deal valued at about $1.54 billion to tap into rising demand for software security, sending its shares up 3 percent in premarket trading.

** Itau Unibanco Holding SA, Brazil’s most profitable lender, is offering its high-risk corporate insurance unit to at least 10 global industry giants, Valor Economico newspaper reported.

The unit, which specializes in offering insurance coverage for giant corporate projects in high-risk segments such as oil and gas and infrastructure, has revenue of about 1.7 billion reais ($723 million) annually and its clients include state-owned oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Valor said.

** Grupo Bimbo, one of the world’s largest bread makers, has emerged as the leading candidate to acquire Canada Bread Co Ltd from majority owner Maple Leaf Foods Inc , according to people familiar with the matter.

** Loral Space & Communications Inc, which holds a majority stake in Canadian satellite communication services company Telesat Holdings Inc, is exploring a sale, according to several people familiar with the matter.

** Chilean shipper Vapores said it signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to take a 30 percent stake in Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd.

** Consumer goods group Unilever is considering whether to sell its Slim-Fast business, Sky News reported on Wednesday, after months of speculation sparked by a similar move from rival Nestle.

** New York-listed hotel chain Marriott International is buying a South African hotel chain for 2 billion rand ($183.86 million) in a deal that will make it the largest hotel operator in the Middle East and Africa.

** Quest Diagnostics Inc, a provider of laboratory test services, said it would buy Solstas Lab Partners Group for about $570 million to expand into the U.S. Southeast.

** Morgan Stanley Commodities has signed a deal to buy gas and electricity in the wholesale market for Britain’s Spark Energy, improving the small retail firm’s ability to compete with big utilities, the companies said.

** Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings Ltd is in advanced talks to buy Societe Generale’s Asian private bank, a deal that would help boost its private banking assets by almost a third, sources familiar with the matter said.

It was unclear how much Southeast Asia’s biggest lender would be willing to pay for the bank, but previous estimates from financial sources have valued it at between $300 million and $400 million.

** Credit Agricole SA said it had agreed to sell its Bulgarian division to Bulgarian bank Corporate Commercial Bank AD for an undisclosed sum.

** A 23.5 percent stake in Russian truckmaker Kamaz OAO may be sold to Russian buyers rather than its partner Daimler AG, because the German carmaker is not offering a high enough price, Kommersant newspaper reported.

** The investment arm of Morocco’s royal family, SNI, sold a 24.5 pct stake in Cosumar S.A., its sole sugar supplier, to a group of local institutional investors, traders said, as it moves to divest some of its extensive holdings.

** Canada’s Saputo Inc said it has secured majority control of Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co Holdings Ltd, putting pressure on rival bidder Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co to concede defeat. Saputo said it had increased its shareholding in Australia’s oldest dairy maker to 52.7 percent.

** The foundation that controls Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena has received no offer for its 33.5 stake in the lender from other Italian banking foundations, its head told Italian newspaper La Stampa.

** A top executive at Banca Popolare di Vicenza said the Italian bank was considering a possible investment in smaller rival Banca Etruria, which is looking for a partner following recommendations from the Bank of Italy.

** Filipino tycoon Lucio Tan’s holding firm LT Group Inc has increased its stake in Philippine National Bank to 59.88 percent from 48.61 percent by subscribing to an ongoing stock rights offering, Malaya Business Insight reported on Tuesday.

** The group of Filipino businessman Roberto Ongpin has increased its interest in Alphaland Corp to a majority stake following a capital call, thereby diluting the stake of British fund Ashmore, previously the single largest shareholder of the Philippine property firm, the Philippine Star reported.

** BlackBerry Ltd said on Tuesday that it intends to divest the majority of its real estate holdings in Canada as it seeks to bolster its balance sheet and turn around its fortunes.

($1 = 6.4952 Swedish crowns)

($1 = 2.35 Brazilian reais)

$1 = 10.8777 South African rand Compiled by Shivani Mody and Avik Das in Bangalore

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