June 5 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** A Dell Inc special committee challenged Carl Icahn on Wednesday, saying the activist investor is almost $4 billion short of the cash needed to fund his proposal for a $12-per-share special dividend.
** A group of investors led by Pirelli Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera will launch a takeover bid for the company that controls the Italian tire maker, in a move that will consolidate the executive’s grip on the business.
** Fish farmer Marine Harvest ASA has eased the conditions of its hostile $1.7 billion bid for rival Cermaq ASA , signaling it would take a minority stake if it is unable to win over a majority of shareholders.
** Swedish drugmaker Meda said it was not discussing being taken over, after a source with knowledge of the matter said talks about a deal with India’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries had foundered on valuation.
** Russian telecoms operator MTS OAO is in talks to acquire Akado, a major broadband and cable television provider, in a drive to expand its presence in the Moscow region, the Kommersant daily reported. The paper also said Akado’s owners valued the company at over $1 billion a year ago.
** Three South Korean banks are arranging 1.1 trillion won ($980 million) in financing to back Tong Yang Life Insurance’s bid for Dutch bank ING’s South Korean insurance business, Basis Point reported citing bank sources.
** A possible tie-up between Telecom Italia and Hutchison Whampoa was put on the back burner on Wednesday when the board of the Italian telecoms company postponed discussing the merger until a future date.
** Three funds have made non-binding offers for the distressed asset unit of Spanish nationalised lenders NCG Banco, a source close to the operation said, as more banks begin offloading the soured assets that nearly felled them in a financial crisis.
** Private equity firms KKR & Co LP, Warburg Pincus LLC and Cinven Ltd are weighing bids for PRA International, a clinical research group, which is for sale and could fetch as much as $1.3 billion, several people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
** System Capital Management Group, a firm owned by Ukraine’s richest businessman Rinat Akhmetov, said it was buying the former Soviet republic’s main fixed-line operator Ukrtelecom PAT from Austrian investment firm EPIC for an undisclosed sum. EPIC had paid the Ukrainian government $1.3 billion for a 93 percent stake in 2011.