(Adds Whole Foods Market, Lufthansa, China Paper Holdings, Nipco Plc, South African Bank of Athens; Updates Toshiba Corp)
Aug 23 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** Lufthansa has submitted a letter of interest in Air Berlin’s Niki unit and other parts of the insolvent carrier, a source familiar with the talks said.
** Whole Foods Market Inc said shareholders in the natural and organic grocery chain cleared the way for its proposed $13.7 billion sale to Amazon.com Inc.
** China Paper Holdings has joined a group of companies competing to buy control of Brazilian pulpmaker Eldorado Brasil Celulose SA, Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported.
** South Africa’s competition watchdog said it had given a green light to the sale of the South African Bank of Athens (SABA), owned by Greece’s National Bank (NBG), to a subsidiary of AFGRI Holdings and Fairfax Africa Investment.
** Italy’s largest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo said it had reached an agreement to buy Switzerland’s Banque Morval.
** After paying hundreds of millions of dollars for Dutch-based grains trader Nidera in a three-year takeover completed just months ago, Chinese state-owned food group COFCO is considering selling the troubled business, according to people familiar with its plans.
** China’s commerce ministry has conditionally approved chipmaker Broadcom Ltd’s acquisition of Brocade Communications Systems, it said.
** China’s JD.com Inc is in advanced talks with Thailand’s Central Group to launch an e-commerce joint venture in Thailand with a planned total investment of $500 million, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** The Gupta family agreed to sell their South African mining unit for $225 million, the second disposal this week from the company’s portfolio of investments which have been caught up in an influence-peddling scandal.
** Maersk Tankers, a unit of shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk, said it has entered into an equity agreement with U.S. hedge fund CargoMetrics, giving it access to analytical models and algorithms to better manage its tanker operations.
** Air Berlin’s creditors are meeting for the first time as bidders jostle for position for the insolvent carrier’s assets, although major progress is not expected yet, sources told Reuters.
** Nigerian fuel distributor Nipco Plc has bought another 3.23 percent stake in 11 Plc, the fuel retailer formerly known as Mobil Oil Nigeria, for 4.84 billion naira ($16 million) to increase its holding to 70 percent.
** India approved a proposal to set up a ministerial panel to speed up consolidation of state-run banks as part of its efforts to revive credit and economic growth.
** Chinese state-owned Chery Automobile Co aims to rely only on organic means to grow its international sales, its CEO said, underlining a strategy that is different from its private sector rivals who have either made or are considering acquisitions.
** South Africa’s Oakbay Investments said it would sell its mining unit Tegeta for $225 million, the second sale this week in the company’s portfolio of investments caught up in an influence-peddling scandal.
** Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group has made a foray into blockchain with an investment in the Shanghai startup behind Onchain, a local version of the much-hyped technology that underpins virtual currencies such as bitcoin.
** Playtech Plc will buy technology, intellectual property and some customer assets from ACM Group as the gambling technology company looks to build on its financials division.
** Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd’s plans to sell its stake in AMMB Holdings (AmBank) Bhd have fallen through after a proposed acquisition of the Malaysian lender by a domestic rival was scrapped, sources familiar with the matter said.
** Unlisted Norwegian savings banks Nesset Sparebank and Bud, Fraena og Hustad Sparebank late announced merger plans.
** Japan’s Toshiba Corp is prioritising negotiations with Western Digital to sell its memory chip business after talks stalled with a previously preferred bidder, sources familiar with the matter said.
** Malaysia’s RHB Bank Bhd and AmBank Holdings Bhd shares climbed in early trade, a day after calling off their merger talks, saying they could not arrive at mutually acceptable terms.
** Online travel provider Expedia Inc is looking to build up its rail booking services in the United States, Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said in an interview with Reuters.
** Germany’s Osram has agreed to buy U.S.-based software provider Digital Lumens for a mid-double-digit million-dollar sum, a source familiar with the matter said.
** The European Commission has started an in-depth investigation of Bayer’s planned $66 billion takeover of U.S. seeds group Monsanto, saying it was worried about competition in various pesticide and seeds markets. (Compiled by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru)