7 Min Read
(Adds BNP Paribas, One Equity, Deere, Aer Lingus, Grupo Bimbo, Roche; updates Alcatel Lucent)
Dec 18 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Thursday:
** Telecoms tycoon Xavier Niel's NJJ Capital has agreed to buy Swiss mobile operator Orange Switzerland from private equity group Apax Partners for 2.8 billion Swiss francs ($2.9 billion), Apax said.
** Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc will buy smaller U.S. rival Pantry Inc for about $861 million to boost its presence in the southeastern and Gulf Coast regions of the United States.
** Shareholders in British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline have approved a planned deal with Switzerland's Novartis , which will see the two pharmaceutical groups trade more than $20 billion of assets.
** BNP Paribas' personal finance arm has agreed to buy the consumer loans business of South Africa-based JD Group for an undisclosed sum, the French bank said on Thursday.
** Two of Europe's top three remaining telecommunications equipment companies, Nokia Networks and Alcatel-Lucent, have revived talks on a possible merger, Germany's Manager Magazin reported on Thursday, citing company sources.
** German insurer Allianz said on Thursday that it had agreed to sell its Fireman's Fund personal insurance business with high net worth individuals to insurer ACE Ltd for $365 million.
** Bankers are working on debt financing totaling around 1.5 billion euros ($1.84 billion) to back a potential sale of One Equity Partners' (OEP) Austrian packaging company Constantia Flexibles, banking sources said on Thursday.
** Deere & Co has sold its crop insurance unit to Farmer's Mutual Hail Insurance Co. In a memo to agents obtained by Reuters, Deere said it would make an official announcement regarding the sale later Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
** British mutual insurance group LV said on Thursday that it had agreed to take over the majority of rival company Teachers Assurance's business interests.
** Aer Lingus has rejected a takeover approach from the owner of British Airways, which is keen to gain control of the Irish airline's slots at London's Heathrow Airport.
** Mexico's Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV, the world's No. 1 breadmaker, has agreed to buy the bakery division of Saputo Inc in its second Canadian purchase this year.
** Switzerland's Roche said on Thursday it had agreed to pay up to $489 million to acquire Austrian biotech company Dutalys, a specialist in the discovery and development of so-called bi-specific antibodies.
** Billionaire Dietmar Hopp has been given the go-ahead to take majority control of Hoffenheim next season after two decades of investment, the German Football League said on Thursday.
** German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen will consider further small acquisitions, it said on Thursday, as it sets up integration teams to complete its purchase of U.S. rival TRW in the first half of 2015.
** Shares in German Internet service company QSC jumped on Thursday after Manager Magazin reported bigger peer United Internet was interested in buying its network.
** Oil major Shell said on Thursday it had sold parts of its Norwegian downstream business to Finnish fuel firm ST1 for an undisclosed sum, further divesting parts of its downstream activities.
** French rail operator SNCF is considering using its preemption purchase rights on the Eurostar train service to block certain bidders for the stake put up for sale by its partner, the British government, according to Les Echos newspaper.
** Deutsche Bank is considering strategic changes and may sell its Postbank-branded retail unit, in a major reversal as a hoped-for turnaround in profitability slips out of reach.
** Indonesian telecommunications firm PT Bakrie Telecom Tbk said it would gain a 6 percent stake in peer PT Smartfren Telecom Tbk as part of a network merger deal.
** Carrefour has sold a 10 percent stake in its Brazilian business to billionaire Abilio Diniz, in a first step towards a possible separate listing, as Europe's largest retailer looks to raise cash to accelerate growth in its second-largest market.
** Breakfast cereal maker Kellogg Co has again raised its bid for Egyptian snack maker Bisco Misr, outbidding private equity group Abraaj for the third time and snatching the lead in a $140 million takeover battle.
** Shareholders of DP World have approved buying Economic Zones World from its majority shareholder and also backed the port operator's delisting from the London Stock Exchange, the Dubai-based company said on Thursday.
** Finland's top media house Sanoma has agreed the sale of its stake in Fashion Press, which publishes magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Esquire in Russia, more than a year after putting the stake on sale as part of a strategic review.
** U.S. auto parts maker Visteon Corp has agreed to sell its majority-owned South Korean unit for $3.6 billion, cashing in on a quadrupling of the air conditioning firm's share price in the last five years as Visteon refocuses on in-car electronics.
South Korea's Hankook Tire said on Thursday that it had agreed to buy a 19.49 percent stake in the unit for 1.08 trillion Korean won ($984 million) to diversify the tire maker's business portfolio.
** Hungary's central bank is to take control of government-owned MKB Bank and reorganize the loss-making lender while its problem loans may be hived off into the country's newly-created bad bank.
** Australia's New South Wales state said it planned to raise $16 billion by selling just under half its electricity network, using proceeds from one of the country's biggest privatizations for major rail, road and other infrastructure upgrades.
** Olam's $1.3 billion deal to buy rival Archer Daniels Midland's cocoa processing business may reduce liquidity in the niche cocoa bean trade, raising concerns about volatile prices and a potential shake-up of customer relationships.
** Tech-focused private equity firm Spectrum Equity is acquiring control of ExactBid, a private company that makes software for the commercial real estate sector, according to sources close to the matter.
** A unit of South Korean poultry firm Harim Group said on Thursday that a court chose its parent's holding company as the preferred bidder to buy bulk shipper PanOcean Co Ltd in a deal worth at least 850 billion won ($771 million). ($1 = 2.71 Brazilian reais) ($1 = 7.15 Egyptian pounds) ($1 = 0.81 euros) ($1 = 1,097.74 won) ($1 = 254.31 forints) ($1 = 1.23 Australian dollars) ($1 = 0.64 pounds) ($1 = 0.98 Swiss francs) (Compiled by Shailaja Sharma and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru)