Jan 24 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Thursday:
** Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday that it acquired speech-recognition company Ivona Software, a sign the world’s largest Internet retailer may be looking to develop more services similar to Apple Inc’s Siri voice-based search product.
Amazon did not say how much it paid for Ivona and a spokeswoman declined to comment on the price.
** Real estate mogul Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Property Trust and investment firm Starwood Capital will buy LNR Property LLC, the biggest manager of distressed commercial debt, for $1.05 billion to expand into the booming market for such loans.
** BMW will deepen cooperation with Japanese rival Toyota, expanding it to areas such as joint development of fuel cells, batteries and light-weight technologies, the German luxury-car maker said.
** Poland increased the stake in its top lender PKO BP it was placing on the market to 12.2 percent thanks to strong demand and priced it at 34.25 zlotys per share, valuing the deal at 5.24 billion zlotys ($1.67 billion).
** Belgian holding company GBL plans to cash in almost half its stake in French energy firm GDF Suez with 1 billion euros ($1.33 billion) of exchangeable bonds, raising cheap cash to diversify.
** Alamos Gold Inc said it could not sweeten its C$4.65-per-share offer for Aurizon Mines Ltd as the fellow Canadian miner has not provided any new information to warrant a revision of the bid.
Aurizon, operator of the Casa Berardi gold mine in Quebec, on Wednesday advised shareholders to reject the C$780 million ($781.1 million) unsolicited bid, calling it inadequate and opportunistic.
** Bankers are arranging debt packages of up to $500 million to back private equity firm Electra’s potential sale of electronic animal identification firm Allflex, banking sources said on Thursday.
** Indian mobile phone carrier Reliance Communications Ltd’s telecommunications tower arm is in “advanced” stages of discussions with three carriers for “a large” infrastructure sharing deal, a senior company executive told analysts on a conference call.
** A federation of U.S. labor unions is looking to force JPMorgan Chase’s board to consider breaking up the company after the disastrous “London Whale” affair, but the bank is trying to ensure that its shareholders do not get to vote on the union’s proposal.
** Shares of Research In Motion Ltd rose 3 percent on Thursday after a report quoted China’s Lenovo Group as saying a bid for the BlackBerry maker was among the options for boosting its mobile business.
** U.S.-Israeli media magnate Haim Saban will buy about 2 percent in Partner Communications from Bank Leumi in addition to a controlling stake from Partner’s parent.
Partner said it had been informed that Saban’s S.B. Israel Telecom agreed to buy 3.2 million shares of Partner from Leumi Partners, the investment arm of Leumi - Israel’s second largest bank.
** Videogame maker THQ Inc said it received court approval to sell its assets to various buyers for about $72 million and will split up following the sale.
** General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen outlined plans to collaborate on a new range of small cars and minivans based on the French company’s technology in order to spread development costs across more brands and models.
** Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov is close to selling his 38 percent stake in Polyus Gold with a potential deal being reviewed by Britain’s Takeover Panel, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
** Toshiba Corp and General Electric Co will enter a global strategic alliance to develop and sell fossil-fuel power equipment and consider a joint venture in the business, the firms said.
** The publisher of Britain’s Guardian and Observer newspapers has ended talks on selling its stake in Trader Media Group because the price offered fell short of expectations, the Financial Times said.
** Drug company Cipla Medpro is expected to demand more than the $215 million on offer from Indian suitor Cipla Ltd to reflect a lucrative government contract win that will increase its earnings power.
** Rhoen-Klinikum will try to persuade shareholders that blocked its merger with a larger hospitals firm last year to support Rhoen in forging an alliance with peers instead.
Rhoen said on Thursday it would seek to get backing from investors for possible collaboration agreements if they are unwilling to reconsider a merger, which remains its preferred option.
** Kosovo has postponed for a third time the bid deadline for its state telecoms company Post and Telecom (PTK) until March 14, saying that interested buyers need more time to gather funding.