March 20 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Monday:
** Britain’s Vodafone Group and Idea Cellular agreed to merge their Indian operations in a $23 billion deal, creating the country’s biggest telecoms business after the entry of a new rival sparked a brutal price war.
** U.S. electronic payments company MoneyGram International Inc said that peer Euronet Worldwide Inc’s offer could result in a superior proposal compared to the one from China’s Ant Financial Services Group.
** French IT consulting firm Atos denied that its Worldline payment terminals business was preparing an offer for Ingenico, after a report that Worldline was planning to propose an acquisition of Ingenico worth 7.5 billion euros to 8 billion euros ($8.1 billion-$8.6 billion).
** Britain’s Hansteen Holdings has agreed to sell its German and Dutch property portfolios for 1.28 billion euros ($1.38 billion) to a venture between Blackstone Group LP and M7 Real Estate.
** United Arab Emirates-based hospital operator NMC Health Plc plans to expand in Gulf markets with a debut bond issue to fund acquisitions, its new chief executive said.
** Russia’s largest retailer Magnit denied on Monday that it planned to buy retail units from indebted Croatian food group Agrokor, after the Slovenian daily paper Finance reported its interest.
** Public relations software provider Cision said it would go public as part of a merger with a blank-check company, as it seeks capital to double down on the fast-growing marketing software industry.
Cision, which is controlled by U.S. private equity firm GTCR LLC, will become a unit of blank-check firm Capitol Acquisition Corp III, the companies said.
** Brazil’s state-controlled oil producer Petróleo Brasileiro SA plans to resume planned asset sales as soon as possible following a state auditing court ruling validating the legality of the process, Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente said.
** Arcelik, the home appliances arm of Turkey’s biggest industrial conglomerate Koc Holding, is working on acquisitions to speed up its international expansion, particularly in Asia, its chief executive said.
** Lubrizol Corp, the specialty chemicals unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, said it plans to take majority control of its Indian joint venture with state-run Indian Oil Corp, boosting its stake to 74 percent from 50 percent.
** The Porsche and Piech families are looking to strike a swift deal to buy shares in Porsche SE from Volkswagen’s former chairman Ferdinand Piech, a person familiar with the matter said.
** Private equity firm BC Partners LLP is in advanced talks to acquire U.S. surgical center operator National Surgical Hospitals Inc, in a deal that could value it at close to $1 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said.
** Chinese investment group CEFC has asked for regulatory approval for raising their stake in J&T Finance Group by acquiring shares from the Czech-Slovak financial group’s founders Ivan Jakabovic and Jozef Tkac, the anti-monopoly regulator UOHS.
** Four Dutch provincial governments said they were opposed to a takeover of paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel due to potential job losses, in a sign of the challenges facing the company’s U.S. suitor.
** Borr Drilling, founded by former executives of financially troubled Seadrill, has snapped up Transocean’s fleet of shallow-water drilling rigs for $1.35 billion.
** L‘Oreal’s sale of British retailer The Body Shop has drawn interest from a series of private equity investors who are lining up indicative bids ahead of a mid-April deadline, sources familiar with the matter said.
** French luxury goods company LVMH has agreed to buy a majority stake in French independent perfume house Maison Francis Kurkdjian as it expands in fast-growing niche luxury fragrances. ($1 = 0.9301 euros) (Compiled by John Benny and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru)