April 17, 2019 / 10:16 AM / a day ago

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds ArcelorMittal, ConocoPhillips, Carige, Nokia, Volkswagen, China Mobile and Uber; Updates Saudi Aramco)

April 17 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:

** Uber Technologies Inc (IPO-UBER.N) is nearing a deal with a group, including SoftBank Group Corp, to invest in its self-driving car unit to be valued at $7.25 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

** Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said he opposes China Mobile Ltd’s bid to provide U.S. telecommunications services and that the commission will vote on whether to deny the application in May.

** The European Commission’s push for a wifi-based standard for cars backed by Volkswagen took a big step forward after EU lawmakers endorsed Wi-Fi over 5G technology promoted by BMW and Qualcomm.

** German car parts maker Continental and French rival Valeo have joined Daimler and Bury Techologies to seek an EU antitrust investigation into Nokia’s patent licensing practices for cars, the Finnish tech company said.

** Italian banks are in talks with BlackRock over a possible deal to salvage troubled lender Carige, the head of a depositor guarantee fund financed by the banks said.

** Private-equity backed Chrysaor is near a deal to buy U.S. group ConocoPhillips’ British North Sea oilfields, two sources close to the process said, a deal that would make it the basin’s biggest producer.

** The European Commission has approved the sale by ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, of plants in several European countries to Liberty House to satisfy regulatory requirements for its acquisition of Italian steelmaker Ilva.

** Reliance Industries Ltd is in talks to buy British toy store chain Hamleys, business news website Moneycontrol reported citing multiple sources, as the Indian conglomerate seeks to expand its footprint in the consumer space.

** Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer, is in talks to buy a stake of at least 20 percent in the refining and petrochemicals businesses of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd , sources familiar with the matter said.

** Saudi Aramco plans to buy Royal Dutch Shell’s 50 percent stake in Saudi refining complex SASREF, a joint venture between the firms, two sources said.

** Czech utility CEZ is entering exclusive talks to potentially sell its assets in Bulgaria to local firm Eurohold, a CEZ spokeswoman said.

** Japan’s Toshiba Corp said it has decided to scrap a plan to sell its U.S. LNG business to China’s ENN Ecological Holdings and to resume a process to dispose of the business with an aim to complete the transfer by March 2020.

** Private equity firm TPG Capital Management LP said it is leading a group of investors to buy 30 percent of jewellery brand APM Monaco.

** Japan’s Nippon Paint Holdings Co Ltd has proposed buying Australia’s biggest paint maker DuluxGroup Ltd for A$3.8 billion ($2.7 billion), expanding its global footprint though entering Australia just as a housing boom there falters.

** Pernod Ricard, which is being targeted by activist investor Elliott, plans to buy super premium Italian gin brand Malfy from Biggar & Leith, as it further strengthens its fast-growing portfolio of so-called ‘craft’ spirits.

** NIC Group’s shareholders have approved its merger with the Commercial Bank of Africa, the company said, paving the way for the two companies to create the third-biggest bank by assets in east Africa.

** Mediaset is in contact with various players over a cross-border tie-up but has no intention of including its shareholder Vivendi in any potential deal, the head of the holding controlling the Italian private broadcaster said.

** France’s Credit Agricole and Spain’s Santander plan to combine their custody and asset servicing operations, in a deal that could point the way for European banks to achieve scale without the complexity of a full merger.

** Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska said he was ready to give up control of GAZ after sanctions against the van maker began to bite and as Western partners, such as Germany’s Daimler, stopped doing business with the company. (Compiled by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru)

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