June 14 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** China’s Sinopec is negotiating to join a $20 billion liquefied natural gas project run by Russia’s Novatek, a source close to the talks said, which would be the biggest foray yet by a Chinese firm into Russia’s Arctic.
** British mobile firm Vodafone is considering raising its offer for Kabel Deutschland after an initial 7.2 billion euro ($9.6 billion) bid was knocked back by Germany’s biggest cable operator, one person close to the matter said.
** JPMorgan Chase & Co said its private equity unit, One Equity Partners, will become independent from the bank and raise future funds from an external group of partners. One Equity currently manages about $4.5 billion in investments for JPMorgan.
** PetroChina Co Ltd is entering a joint venture contract with Taikang Asset and the Guolian Fund, to which it will contribute its 20 billion-yuan ($3 billion) West Pipeline Assets, it said in a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday.
** EnBW, Germany’s No. 3 utility, will increase its asset sale program to at least 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) from a previously planned 1.5 billion, German paper Handelsblatt said on Friday, without citing sources.
** Indonesian budget carrier PT Citilink Indonesia, a unit of state-owned carrier PT Garuda Indonesia, plans to expand its fleet to 50 planes and sell a 30 percent stake in a public offering by 2015, the company’s CEO said on Friday.
** Luxury hotel owner Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc has hired investment bank Eastdil Secured to explore a possible sale of the real estate investment trust, two sources familiar with the matter said this week.
** British financial services firm Resolution Group and private equity firms TPG Capital and J.C. Flowers are bidding for Allstate Corp’s Lincoln Benefit Life subsidiary, according to two people familiar with the situation.
** Irish drug company Elan put itself up for sale on Friday, seeking to fend off a hostile bid by Royalty Pharma that shareholders will consider next week.
** German publisher Springer Science+Business Media will be listed on the stock exchange after plans to sell the group to private equity firm BC Partners failed, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.
** Austrian construction group Strabag SE could use treasury shares to finance a small acquisition as early as this year, outgoing Chief Executive Hans Peter Haselsteiner told shareholders on Friday.
** Qatar-backed telecom group Ooredoo has withdrawn its bid for Vivendi’s 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom, leaving rival Gulf operator Etisalat as the remaining bidder.
** Wal-Mart de Mexico, Mexico’s largest retailer, surprised analysts on Friday by saying it may sell its restaurant unit, including the popular Vips chain, after receiving interest from potential buyers.
** Slovenia’s largest beverage producer Pivovarna Lasko on Friday said that it will sell its stake in the country’s largest food retailer Mercator to Croatian food producer and retailer Agrokor.