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Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions
August 8, 2013 / 9:51 AM / 4 years ago

Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Printemps, Tesco, Goldman Sachs, GlaxoSmithKline and others)

Aug 8 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:

** About seven bidders are lining up for Telediffusion de France’s (TDF) domestic business and lenders are preparing debt packages of more than 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) for a deal worth about 4 billion euros, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Interested parties include U.S. mobile tower operators American Tower Corp and Crown Castle International , Canadian pension funds CPP and PSP Investments, infrastructure funds Antin of France, Australia’s AMP Capital and Macquarie, three sources said.

** TPG Capital LP has been exploring a sale of Aptalis Pharma, a specialty drugmaker it has owned since 2008 and values at more than $3 billion, four people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

** A Paris court on Thursday rejected demands by the works council at Printemps to suspend the sale process of the retail chain to Qatari investors for 1.75 billion euros ($2.33 billion).

Printemps unions had complained they were not sufficiently consulted and informed about the transaction or its terms, as the law requires, and had called for the deal to be halted.

** Britain’s Tesco Plc, the world’s number three retailer, is set to announce on Friday an agreement to merge its operations in China with a division of state-controlled retailer China Resources Enterprise (CRE), Sky News reported on Thursday citing people close to the talks.

** Latvia said on Thursday it was considering a merger of its local fixed-line and mobile telecom operators following a media report that said the government might be preparing for a sale of its remaining stakes in the two companies.

Latvia owns 51 percent of fixed line network operator Lattelecom with Nordic telecoms group TeliaSonera holding the remaining 49 percent. Lattelecom in turn has a 23 percent stake in mobile operator Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT). TeliaSonera controls 60.3 percent of LMT through direct and indirect ownership with the state controlling the rest.

** Megafon , Russia’s second-biggest mobile phone operator by subscribers, is buying next-generation service provider Scartel for $1.2 billion to extend its lead in the race to provide high-speed internet.

** Hong Kong’s Chong Hing Bank Ltd has received a takeover approach from a company controlled by a Chinese city government, said a person familiar with the matter.

Chong Hing has a market value of about $1.5 billion and is part-owned by Japan’s top lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.

** Goldman Sachs Group Inc plans to sell a majority stake in its European insurance business over the next year, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday.

The UK-based life insurer, Rothesay Life, was established in 2007 and is run by Goldman partner Addy Loudiadis, according to its website.

** GlaxoSmithKline raised its bet on using electrical signals in the body to target diseases on Thursday with the launch of a $50 million strategic venture capital fund.

Britain’s biggest drugmaker hopes to have the first medicine that effectively speaks the electrical “language” of the body ready for approval by the end of this decade.

GSK said the new fund’s first investment would be a $5 million stake in SetPoint Medical, a California company working on implantable devices to treat inflammatory diseases.

** ConocoPhillips is selling its stake in a Canadian oil sands project to Exxon Mobil Corp and Imperial Oil Ltd for about $720 million as it focuses on its U.S. shale oil and natural gas operations.

** State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland is unlikely to decide how it plans to sell more than 300 UK branches until the end of next month after extending a deadline for prospective bidders, industry sources said.

** Singapore Telecommunications has received at least two offers for its Australian satellite business in the final round of the bidding process, including one from U.S.-listed Intelsat SA, sources familiar with the matter said.

** Poland’s biggest lender PKO BP has entered exclusive talks with private equity group Enterprise Investors to purchase of Skarbiec Asset Management Holding, four sources told Reuters.

** Global miner Rio Tinto signaled it has scrapped efforts to sell its loss-making Pacific Aluminium business.

Rio put Pacific Aluminium - which houses five aluminum smelters, a bauxite mine and alumina refinery in Australia and New Zealand - on the block in 2011, but has failed to find a buyer and decided not to pursue a spin-off to shareholders.

The company, which is developing the southern half of the Simandou iron ore deposit in Guinea, also said it could be interested in a larger footprint, including additional blocks held by rivals.

** Italian brake maker Brembo has bought the 30 percent stake of its Chinese joint venture it did not already own, the company said.

Brembo paid around 11 million euros ($15 million) to buy the remaining stake in Brembo Nanjing Brake Systems Co from its Chinese partner Donghua Automotive Industrial Co Ltd, a subsidiary of leading Chinese automotive group SAIC.

** The independent directors of Kazakh miner ENRC said on Thursday that a lack of alternatives and an imminent delisting meant shareholders should consider a buyouy offer from its founders, despite a price they said undervalued the group.

** Germany’s SGL Group said it was considering the sale of stakes in its aircraft components unit Hitco and wind rotor blade business Rotec as part of an overhaul at the loss-making carbon-fibre specialist.

** A group of Chinese and other Asian investors have expressed interest in buying a 95 percent stake in one of the Icelandic banks that was created after the island’s financial crisis in 2008, Glitnir’s winding-up board said on Thursday.

Islandsbanki is the domestic operation of old bankrupt Glitnir, owned 5 percent by Iceland and 95 percent by ISB Holding ehf., which is the creditor group behind Glitnir.

** Italy’s Unipol is not interested in buying a stake in Banca Carige, Unipol’s Chief Executive Carlo Cibri said on Thursday. (Compiled by Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore,)

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