February 5, 2015 / 4:22 AM / 5 years ago

Market Chatter- Corporate finance press digest

Feb 5 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:

* French telecoms group Orange has explored purchasing some assets in Africa including ones owned by India’s top mobile phone carrier Bharti Airtel, as the company seeks to strengthen its business in Africa, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

* Microblogging site Twitter Inc has reached a deal with Google Inc to make its tweets more searchable online, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

* Verizon Communications is close to selling wireline assets worth $10 billion to regional telephone operator Frontier Communications Corp, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

* Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co, owner of one of the best known malt beverage brands in the United States, is in the early stages of exploring a sale that could value it at more than $1 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter.

* China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co has signed an initial agreement to buy a controlling stake in South Korea’s Tong Yang Life Insurance for around 1.1 trillion won ($1.01 billion), a South Korean newspaper reported on Thursday, without naming specific sources.

* Private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC is exploring a sale or initial public offering of Great Wolf Resorts Inc, the largest U.S. operator of indoor water parks, according to people familiar with the matter.

* Software giant Microsoft Corp is in the process of trying to reinvent itself, and part of that reinvention evidently involves acquiring startups that have created products that compete with its own. The latest acquisition is calendar app maker Sunrise, which Microsoft shelled out at least $100 million for, Techcrunch reported citing sources. (tcrn.ch/1EGRXhs)

* Netflix Inc will launch its movie and TV streaming service in Japan in the fall of 2015, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

* Private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC is in advanced talks to acquire Protection 1 in a deal that could value the U.S. home security company at close to $1.5 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

* Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, the Hero group and a French shipbuilder have started separate discussions with the promoters of Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering to purchase a 19 percent stake in the company that has facilities to build warships, submarines and LNG carriers, the Economic Times reported citing three people with direct knowledge of the matter. (bit.ly/1I4ZDN3)

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