ETF News

Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions

July 19 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1330 GMT on Friday:

** BP Plc’s former chief executive John Browne is to preside over the biggest set of oil and gas assets in the shallower, mature section of the Gulf of Mexico after buying them from U.S.-based Apache Corp.

Private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC, where Browne is a partner, is to pay Apache $3.75 billion for its continental shelf assets, Houston-based Apache announced on Thursday.

** Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd said it is in early talks with Inc to buy its Sogou search engine, a deal estimated to be worth up to $1.4 billion and which would help the upstart command a quarter of China’s search market.

** Australia’s takeover regulator declined a request from Oaktree Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners to delay a $359 million refinancing deal for surfwear company Billabong International Ltd on anti-trust concerns.

** U.S.-based investor Kawa plans to buy most of Conergy AG’s global sales operations, the German solar group said, two weeks after it filed for insolvency.

Kawa intends to acquire two of Conergy’s German entities -- Conergy Deutschland GmbH and Conergy Services GmbH -- as well as subsidiaries in North America, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Cyprus and Britain.

** Private equity firm Cinven has agreed to buy internet domain and hosting company Host Europe Group from Montagu Private Equity for 438 million pounds ($666 million), the two buyout houses said.

** Malaysian plantation firm Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd has offered to pay 1.21 billion ringgit ($378.84 million) for an unlisted planter, as it seeks to boost land assets and palm oil output after its listing last year.

** Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp said it had sold a portion of its 32.8 percent stake in Manila Electric Co at 270 pesos per share to raise 17.4 billion pesos ($400 million).

** BlackRock Inc said on Thursday that it opposes Nelson Peltz’s proposal that PepsiCo Inc buy Mondelez International and shed its beverage business, signaling that the activist investor’s proposal could fall flat with fellow investors.

** Apache Corp said on Thursday that it had agreed to sell its Gulf of Mexico shelf assets for $3.75 billion to private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC as the oil and gas company focuses on growth from its U.S. onshore assets.

** Italy aims to extract value from shareholdings in companies including oil group Eni SpA, aerospace and defence group Finmeccanica SpA and energy group Enel SpA but is cautious about a possible sale of the stakes, a finance ministry spokesman said on Friday.

** Private equity firm Astorg Partners is considering refinancing debt in its leading French funeral firm OGF and paying itself a dividend as an alternative to a sale process which is still ongoing, banking sources said.