January 3, 2013 / 10:46 AM / in 5 years

Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions

(Updates Hutchison Whampoa, Hormel Foods; adds 451 Group, PPR)

Jan 3 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Thursday:

** A group led by Singapore property firm Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd extended its S$13.1 billion ($10.7 billion) offer for Fraser and Neave Ltd (F&N) to Jan. 14, prolonging its battle with Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.

** SunPower Corp said it sold two solar projects in California to a company controlled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, and would receive up to $2.5 billion in proceeds and related contracts.

** Consolidation of Austria’s cut-throat telecoms market moved ahead on Thursday when Hutchison Whampoa Ltd completed its 1.3-billion-euro ($1.7 billion) takeover of Orange Austria, making it the country’s third-biggest mobile operator.

** Hormel Foods Corp agreed to buy Skippy, the iconic U.S. peanut butter brand, from Unilever Plc for $700 million, adding the well-known kids lunch staple to a portfolio that includes Spam canned meat.

** U.S. Midwestern regional bank Flagstar Bancorp Inc said it will sell a substantial portion of its Northeast-based commercial loan portfolio to CIT Group Inc for about $780 million as it looks to focus on its community banking operations.

** Al Jazeera said on Wednesday it will buy Current TV, the struggling cable channel founded by Al Gore and partners, in a move that will boost the Qatar-based broadcaster’s footprint in the United States.

Terms were undisclosed, but analysts estimated the deal could be worth as much as $500 million.

** Telekom Austria has completed its 390 million euro ($516 million) acquisition of discount brand Yesss from Orange Austria.

** Gap Inc, which owns clothing retailers Banana Republic and Old Navy as well as its namesake brand, expanded into the thriving luxury market with its purchase of women’s apparel retailer Intermix Holdco Inc for $130 million.

** Microsoft Corp bought start-up id8 Group R2 Studios Inc as it looks to expand further in technology focused on the home and entertainment, a person familiar with the situation said.

** Hong Kong’s Li & Fung Group agreed to acquire a majority stake in South Korean children’s apparel maker Suhyang Networks for roughly 200 billion won ($188 million), a South Korean newspaper reported.

** French luxury group PPR is in exclusive talks to sell its Cyrillus and Vertbaudet children’s clothing brands to Alpha Private Equity Fund for 119 million euros ($156 million)including debt, it said on Thursday.

** New Zealand’s Pyne Gould Corp Ltd said it has agreed to sell its Perpetual wealth management business and stake in Australia’s van Eyk Research, paving the way for its planned move to London or Sydney.

** Jet Airways said it was in talks with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways for a potential stake sale in the Indian carrier, although terms have not been finalised yet.

The statement was the first confirmation of a potential deal by either side, a day after an Indian government source said the Gulf carrier could pay up to $330 million for a 24 percent stake in Jet.

** After months of trying to play matchmaker between the two largest U.S. shopping mall operators, activist investor William Ackman reversed course on Thursday, saying he is no longer pushing for a sale because one party didn’t want to buy.

Since late August, Ackman has argued publicly and often that No. 1 mall operator Simon Property Group (SPG) should bid for slightly smaller rival General Growth Properties (GGP) , the second-largest mall operator after Simon first made noise about a possible bid for GGP in 2011.

** Dubai Islamic Bank said on Thursday that its board had approved plans to fully acquire Islamic mortgage provider Tamweel, in which it already holds a majority stake of 58.2 percent.

** Privately held technology research firm 451 Group said it has acquired Yankee Group, a competitor that focuses on the mobile communications industry, from private equity firm Alta Communications. (Compiled by Tej Sapru and Pallavi Ail in Bangalore)

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