(Adds Linde, Salini Impregilo, HEMA, CEZ; Updates Acadia)
Oct 18 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** Novartis AG will acquire U.S.-based cancer drugmaker Endocyte Inc for $2.1 billion in cash as the Swiss drugmaker expands its radiopharmaceuticals business, the companies said.
** Private equity giant Blackstone Group has quit a takeover battle for Australian office-block owner Investa Office Fund after it was gazumped by Canadian landlord Oxford Properties Group’s A$3.35 billion ($2.4 billion) bid.
** Linde said it had no knowledge of its planned merger with Praxair being given the green light, denying a media report which said the deal had passed anti-trust hurdles in the United States.
** Acadia Healthcare Co Inc, a U.S. operator of behavioral health centers, is in talks with private equity firms about selling itself after attracting buyout interest, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** Italian construction company Salini Impregilo is looking at the assets of troubled builder Astaldi but any eventual deal must happen soon, a source close to the company said.
** HEMA, one of the Netherlands’ largest retail chains, said it will be bought for an undisclosed sum by investment firm Ramphastos Investments, owned by Dutch billionaire Marcel Boekhoorn.
** Bulgaria’s anti-monopoly regulator said it would not consider a new bid by Bulgarian company Inercom to win approval for its deal to acquire the Bulgarian assets of Czech power utility CEZ due to ongoing court procedures.
** State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co is looking to sell a stake in its multibillion-dollar pipeline infrastructure assets, three financial sources said.
** ABB is exploring a sale of its Power Grids business, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, representing a U-turn by Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer who defied activist shareholders to keep the unit two years ago.
** Russia’s largest lender Sberbank plans to search for a new buyer of its Ukrainian unit, the Interfax news agency cited the first deputy chairman of Sberbank’s board as saying.
** Singapore water treatment firm Hyflux Ltd, which is in the midst of a court-supervised reorganization, said Indonesia’s Salim Group and Medco Group had agreed to acquire 60 percent of the company for S$400 million ($290 million), a move that gives it a lifeline for its struggling business.
** Norwegian Energy Company (Noreco) plans to acquire offshore assets on Britain’s continental shelf in 2019, following its purchase of Shell’s upstream oil and gas licenses in Denmark, its chairman told Reuters.
** Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will invest 2 billion yuan ($288.25 million) in domestic wine and spirits importer and retailer 1919.cn to tap into resurgent demand for imported wine in China.
** State-run Polish gas firm PGNiG has agreed to buy Equinor’s 42.38 percent stake in the Tommeliten Alpha gas and condensate field in Norway for $220 million, as part of its plan to diversify supplies, PGNiG said.
** Hungary’s Opus Global and Konzum plan to merge, the firms announced, creating a holding company with a market value of some 350 billion to 400 billion forints ($1.25-1.43 billion).
** German copper products maker Wieland-Werke has submitted concessions in an attempt to allay European Union antitrust concerns over its plan to buy a flat rolled copper products business from Aurubis AG, Europe’s biggest copper smelter.
** North African-focused oil and gas company SDX Energy said that talks to buy some of BP’s Egyptian assets have been abandoned.
** Greece expects to get final bids for a majority stake in its biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum next month after a key regulatory decision on the process, a source close to the sale said.
** Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd said Japan’s Fair Trade Commission had approved its $62 billion acquisition of Shire Plc, bringing the Japanese firm closer to sealing a deal that will make it a global top 10 drugmaker.
** Freenet is not considering buying further shares in German electronics retailer Ceconomy, WirtschaftsWoche magazine quoted the telecoms company’s chief executive as saying.
** French supermarket retailer Casino has agreed to sell a portfolio of real estate assets for 180 million euros ($207 million), as it continues an asset-sale program to cut debts which have concerned some investors.
** Indian business conglomerate Tata Group has held preliminary discussions to buy a large stake in debt-laden Jet Airways (India) Ltd, the Times of India reported. (Compiled by Mary Ann Alapatt and Debroop Roy in Bengaluru)