(Adds GMR Group, Italia Media; Updates Hess, Aurizon Mines, Ferro)
March 4 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1600 GMT on Monday:
** News Corporation has sold its near 44 percent stake in New Zealand’s dominant pay television operator, Sky Network Television Ltd, although no immediate details on the price were available, the companies said.
** Spanish oil group Repsol has sold a 5 percent stake to Singapore’s government fund, Temasek, in a further step towards financial stability after the sale last week of gas assets to Shell. Temasek, which has been boosting investments in the energy sector, bought Repsol’s entire portfolio of treasury stock for 1.04 billion euros ($1.35 billion), lifting its holding to 6.3 percent, Repsol said.
** Hess Corp will offload its energy trading arm, Hetco, and exit its retail gasoline and marketing businesses by 2015 after pressure from investors accelerated plans to break up the company’s sprawling energy empire.
** U.S. silver miner Hecla Mining Co agreed to buy Aurizon Mines Ltd for about C$796 million ($774 million) to ramp up its gold production, topping an unsuccessful bid by the Canadian company’s largest shareholder.
** Chemical maker A. Schulman Inc offered to buy peer Ferro Corp for $563 million to increase its pricing power amid weak demand, but the smaller rival rejected the bid saying it was better off continuing its own strategy.
** India’s GMR Group said it would sell its 70 percent stake in the Island Power Project in Singapore to FPM Power Holdings for S$660 million ($532 million).
** Irish drugmaker Elan has sweetened the terms on offer to shareholders under its $3.25 billion disposal plan, as it aims to stave off an approach for the company from U.S. investment firm Royalty Pharma. Elan said it would give shareholders 20 percent of future royalties from multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, in which it holds a 50 percent interest that it proposes selling to its U.S. partner Biogen Idec .
** Stan Kroenke has no plans to sell his majority stake in Arsenal, a spokesman for the Premier League soccer club said on Sunday, responding to a report that a Middle East consortium planned a 1.5 billion-pound ($2.25 billion) bid.
** Telecom Italia Media said it would pump money into its cash-burning La7 channel before offloading it to media firm Cairo Communication for a token price.
The Italian broadcaster, controlled by telecoms group Telecom Italia, has agreed to sell its flagship network for 1 million euros ($1.30 million) in a deal that underscores the difficulties of Italy’s media industry.
** Bahrain-based investment manager Investcorp has completed the sale of industrial supplies distributor IPH Group to a Paris-based European private equity firm, PAI Partners.
$1 = 0.6662 British pounds $1 = 1.0280 Canadian dollars $1 = 0.7687 euros Compiled by Maria Ajit Thomas and Garima Goel in Bangalore