Aug 6 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Tuesday:
** Blackstone Group LP is exploring a sale of La Quinta Inns & Suites, a budget hotel chain it values at around $4.5 billion, a person familiar with the matter said.
** Global Tower Partners, a U.S. wireless tower operator, is up for sale and may fetch more than $4 billion, according to a person familiar with the asset.
Other telecom tower operators as well as infrastructure funds are expected to have a look at the largest privately held operator of U.S. cell towers, the person said.
** The Washington Post Co said on Monday it has sold its flagship newspaper to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com Inc for $250 million.
** Morgan Stanley is exploring various options for its multibillion dollar commodities business, with the sale of a minority stake being one possibility, three sources familiar with the situation said on Monday.
** U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase & Co, which plans to stop trading in physical commodities, has bought the over-the-counter business in commodity derivatives of Switzerland’s UBS AG, the banks said.
** Three big-name bidders for Rio Tinto’s majority stake in Canada’s largest iron ore producer are now out of the running, sources familiar with the talks said, after offers came in well below the mining group’s targets.
** Two of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s partners in his telecoms holding company Garsdale — which owns a stake in telecoms operator MegaFon — are planning to sell out for up to $1.9 billion, the Vedomosti newspaper reported.
** A group including former U.S. insurance magnate Maurice “Hank” Greenberg and an Abu Dhabi sovereign fund have agreed to buy a prominent Tokyo office building for $1 billion, the biggest property deal in Japan since February, said people with direct knowledge of the transaction.
** Alliant Techsystems Inc, the world’s largest ammunition maker, is in advanced talks to buy Bushnell Outdoor Products Inc in a deal that could value the gun accessory maker at around $1 billion, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.
** Emerson Electric Co said it was selling a majority stake in its embedded computing and power business for about $300 million.
** Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, a supplier of parts to Boeing Co and Airbus, said it plans to divest its Oklahoma operations, including sites in Tulsa and McAlester, in a bid to improve operations and drive down costs.
** German generic drugmaker Stada said it was entering exclusive talks to buy British over-the-counter drug manufacturer Thornton & Ross.
Stada will use cash on hand and existing free credit lines to finance the acquisition, the company said, without saying how much it expected to pay for Thornton & Ross.
** Austrian property firm Conwert Immobilien said it had agreed to buy a German residential portfolio for 179 million euros ($237 million) cash in one of its biggest acquisitions.
** Raizen Energia SA bought a 10 percent stake in STP, owner of the electronic payment system Sem Parar (non-stop in Portuguese), to allow the tool to be used at Shell gas stations in Brazil, according to a securities filing on Monday.
Raizen, the world’s largest sugar and ethanol producer, is a joint venture between Brazil’s Cosan SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Raizen paid 250 million reais ($108.23 million) for the stake.
** The National Hockey League sold the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday to a group of investors headed by Canadian businessmen George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc, successfully ending a four-year search for a new owner who would keep the team in Arizona.
The terms of the sale were not disclosed, but ESPN.com pegged it at $170 million.
** German gold trading company Degussa Goldhandel said it acquired regional precious metals dealer SilviOr GmbH in a bid to expand trading and vaulting capacity to meet expected growth in coin and bar demand.
SilviOr, based in Wuerzburg, manages precious metals investments worth around 50 million euros ($66.33 million).
** Telefonica Czech Republic is close to a cost-cutting deal to share infrastructure with rival Vodafone , newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes reported on Tuesday, citing sources close to both companies.
Vodafone, No. 3 in the Czech market, would pay Telefonica CR 40 million euros ($52.96 million) under the arrangement, according to company documents cited by the newspaper.
** A new Brazilian telecommunications company backed by billionaire financier George Soros plans to invest at least 500 million reais ($218 million) over the next three years, executives said on Tuesday, ramping up competition among Internet providers in a cooling market.
** Spain’s “bad bank” Sareb said it closed its first property portfolio deal, with investment firm H.I.G. Capital taking a 51 percent stake in a package of close to 1,000 homes around Spain, known as Project Bull.
Sareb said the deal priced the portfolio at 100 million euros ($133.10 million).
** The city of Berlin is close to agreeing a deal to buy back French water and waste group Veolia Environment’s 24.95 percent stake in Berliner Wasserbetriebe, which provides water to the German capital.
** France’s stockmarket regulator said it extended a takeover bid for French resort group Club Med by China’s Fosun International and AXA Private Equity after shareholder complaints.
** Siemens AG is hoping to fetch as much as $700 million in the auction of its water technologies unit and is seeking second-round bids by the middle of August, several people familiar with the matter said this week.