(Adds Banco Popolare, Dow Chemical, Nykredit Bank)
Aug 8 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** U.S. publisher Hachette Book Group, owned by France’s Lagardere SCA, has dropped its plan to buy unlisted Perseus Books Group, the companies confirmed on Friday.
** Shares of Chilean lender CorpBanca SA are likely to keep trading sideways in spite of stronger-than-expected second-quarter results, as uncertainty grows over completion of the merger with Brazilian banking giant Itaú Unibanco Holding SA , Santander Investment Securities analysts said in a client note.
** Italy’s Banco Popolare is looking to sell chunks of soured loans after pulling the sale of a majority stake in its bad debt unit earlier this year and is currently in talks over the disposal of a 300-400 million euro pool, its CEO said on Friday.
** Dow Chemical Co is seeing interest from private equity firms in buying its Sodium Borohydride unit, according to sources familiar with the transaction.
** Denmark’s Nykredit Bank said on Friday it had acquired a 4 billion Danish crown ($719 million) commercial loan portfolio from FIH Erhvervs Bank.
** Alitalia and Etihad airlines’ executives signed a tie-up agreement on Friday in Rome that foresees Abu Dhabi-based Etihad taking a 49 percent stake in Italy’s loss-making carrier.
The total investment in Italy’s Alitalia airline following a tie-up agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways will be 1.758 billion euros ($2.36 billion), a statement from Alitalia said on Friday.
** Several Italian utilities and private equity groups are expected to hand in tentative offers worth about 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) for E.ON’s Italian unit early next week, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** The parent of yearbook and class ring company Herff Jones is exploring a sale of the whole corporation that could fetch up to $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
** Azeri state energy company SOCAR is in talks with Turkish businessman Fettah Tamince to sell its 50 percent stake in Turkey’s Star media group, SOCAR Turkey told Reuters on Friday.
** British engineering firm Hyder Consulting Plc has accepted a 268 million pound ($451 million) takeover offer from Japan’s Nippon Koei Co Ltd, just days after recommending a bid from Dutch firm Arcadis.
** Malaysia’s government will carry out a “complete overhaul” of its troubled national airline Malaysia Airline System in an attempt to revive the loss-making company after it was hit by two jetliner disasters this year. State investment fund Khazanah Nasional has proposed a 1.4 billion ringgit ($436 million) buy-out of the shares it does not own and take the airlines private.
** Gemalto NV, a digital security company that makes SIM cards for mobile phones and biometric passports, will buy U.S.-based data protection specialist SafeNet Inc for $890 million in a move set to boost its earnings and reach.
** Telecom Italia SpA has lined up Citigroup , Mediobanca and Banco Bradesco SA to advise on a deal to acquire Vivendi’s Brazilian unit GVT, people familiar with the situation said.
** DirecTV and AT&T Inc would jointly own a Houston sports network under a plan to end the network’s bankruptcy, although current part-owner Comcast Corp warned it may challenge the proposal.
** Australia’s Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Ltd rejected an unsolicited takeover proposal from biopharmaceutical company Retrophin Inc, saying the offer “materially undervalues the company”.
** London-based private equity firm 3i Group Plc had hired U.S. bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc to run a potential sale of British luxury lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur, the New York Times reported, citing a source.
** Singapore’s competition watchdog has cleared a proposal from struggling budget airline Tiger Airways Ltd and Scoot Pte Ltd to extend their partnership in a move that is expected to help both carriers boost traffic.
** Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya said an exclusive deal with Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) to acquire a stake in the Turkish lender was annulled, opening the way for alternative suitors. (Compiled by Amrutha Penumudi and Lehar Maan in Bangalore)