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Oct 21 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:
* Vitamin Shoppe Inc, the nutritional supplement retailer under activist shareholder pressure to consider a sale, is speaking to investment banks about hiring a financial adviser, according to people familiar with the matter.
* Allergan Inc shareholder Paulson & Co is urging the Botox maker to merge with specialty pharmaceutical company Shire Plc as an alternative to a deal with hostile bidder Valeant Pharmaceuticals, according to two people familiar with the matter.
* Australian digital billboard firm APN Outdoor will raise A$329 million ($289 million) in an initial public offer, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, at the bottom of the range its private equity owner had hoped to sell for as appetite for new listings wanes in a weaker stock market.
* Italian drugmaker Sigma-Tau is in advanced talks to sell part of its Italian operations to domestic peer Alfa Wassermann that would create an over-the-counter (OTC) powerhouse, several sources familiar with the situation said.
* Qatar Investment Authority and Hong Kong's Lau family are considering options including a full takeover of department store operator Lifestyle International Holdings Ltd after the sovereign wealth fund bought a minority stake, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. (bloom.bg/1sIinYm)
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