Oct 17 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** Italy’s Ferrero, the maker of Nutella chocolate spread, denied it received an offer from Swiss food group Nestle or any other competitors and said it was not for sale. Italian daily La Repubblica had said earlier that Nestle had submitted an offer for Ferrero, a family-owned firm that bankers say is worth more than 10 billion euros ($13.5 billion).
** U.S. apparel retailer Jos A. Bank Clothiers Inc has received support for its $2.3 billion takeover bid for Men’s Wearhouse Inc from the majority of the shareholders with big stakes in both companies, Jos A. Bank chairman Robert Wildrick said in an interview on Wednesday.
** Pactera Technology International Ltd, China’s largest technology outsourcing company, agreed to be taken private by a consortium led by Blackstone Group LP for $625 million.
** South Africa’s Pan African Resources and Canada’s Giyani Gold have jointly bid for AngloGold Ashanti’s Navachab mine in Namibia for $131 million, the Namibian Sun reported. AngloGold put the Navachab mine up for sale earlier this year as part of cost-cutting measures.
** Pipeline firm Transneft said it had bought 10 percent of Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port, moving to increase its stake as it battles Summa Group for control of NCSP, whose ports handle most of Russia’s oil exports.
** The owner of STK, a New York-based steakhouse restaurant group that markets itself to women, has attracted $44.3 million from investors, bringing a chain billed as “not your daddy’s steakhouse” a step closer to the stock market. One Group LLC, which operates hotels, restaurants and lounges, said it is being acquired by Committed Capital Acquisition Corp, a cashed up investment vehicle
** British insurer Just Retirement, a provider of pensions to unhealthy retirees including heavy smokers, is seeking a London listing as its private equity owners look to reduce their holdings. Chief Executive Rodney Cook told Reuters “at least 40 percent” of the company will be offered to investors.
** Poland may put up for sale its 500 million-zloty ($160 million) stake in chemicals group Ciech before the end of this year to help fund state-owned investment vehicle PIR’s infrastructure investments, market sources said.
** Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo has signed a non-disclosure deal to examine the books of troubled Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd, the Wall Street Journal said, quoting unnamed sources.
** Colombian state-owned oil producer Ecopetrol and Venezuela’s PDVSA are considering setting up a joint-venture to search for oil in Venezuela’s Orinoco belt, Colombia’s foreign minister said.
** Australian iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group Ltd said it would not rule out the sale of a minority stake in its Western Australia port and rail infrastructure assets, but no talks were currently underway.
** Media group Lagardere said it planned to sell 10 magazine titles to focus on growing its most strategic brands online, such as the French edition of “Elle”, in a restructuring that threatens 350 permanent jobs, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
** Belgian investment fund Gimv said it sold its remaining stake in biotech firm Ablynx after partnering the company for 12 years.
** L‘Oreal said it was in exclusive talks to acquire skincare brands Decleor and Carita from Japan’s Shiseido , citing promising international growth prospects. No financial terms were disclosed.
** Trading giant Louis Dreyfus Commodities said it has entered a joint venture agreement with Brooklyn Kiev LLC to develop and manage a multi-commodity terminal in Odessa to compete with rivals such as Bunge.
** Insolvent German home improvement store chain Praktiker Group said exclusive talks were under way to sell its upmarket brand Max Bahr stores to rival Hellweg. Praktiker, a household name in Europe’s biggest economy, is being sold off piecemeal after the administrator failed to find a buyer for the whole group.
** Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM is open to giving struggling Italian carrier Alitalia its rightful role in a merged entity but only if certain conditions are met, Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac told French television.
Alitalia, which recently got shareholder approval for a 300 million-euro ($409.92 million) capital increase to help keep the near-bankrupt carrier flying, needs deeper restructuring if Air France is to eventually hike its 25 percent stake and take control, Juniac said.