Jan 7 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Tuesday:
** Under terms of the accord announced in filings late on Monday, Australian office property developer Commonwealth Property Office Fund CPA’s preferred bidder, a consortium led by Dexus Property Group, will sell five office buildings in Sydney and Melbourne with a combined value of about A$1.2 billion ($1.08 billion) to its rival property firm, The GPT Group.
** A.P. Moller-Maersk has agreed to sell substantial stakes in Denmark’s largest retailer and a department store chain, as the shipping and oil conglomerate slims down to boost performance.
** Royal Bank of Scotland said it is selling its 94 Chicago-area retail branches and small business operations in the area to U.S. Bancorp.
** Microsoft Corp said it would buy cloud-based software maker Parature Inc, which helps businesses manage help desks and provide other customer support services.
** Customer management services provider Convergys Corp on Monday said it would buy rival Stream Global Services Inc for $820 million in cash to expand its client base and international presence.
** Oil and gas company SandRidge Energy Inc struck a deal Tuesday to sell its Gulf of Mexico assets to private-equity-backed Fieldwood Energy for $750 million, ending a brief, much-criticized foray into offshore drilling.
** Swedish engineering group Sandvik said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy U.S.-based Varel International Energy Services Inc. in a deal worth about $740 million.
** Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Ltd said on Tuesday it expects a regulatory decision on its offer for Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Holdings Co by the end of February, a shorter time-frame than initially anticipated. Murray Goulburn is anxiously awaiting approval for its A$530 million ($474.96 million) bid as it faces strong competition from Canada’s Saputo Inc, which has the only unconditional offer on the table.
** Dutch pension fund ABP said it has sold its stake in Tokyo Electric Power Co after the operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant failed to respond to repeated requests to discuss public safety and environmental concerns.
** Prague has completed a deal to buy German utility E.ON’s majority stake in Czech gas company Prazska Plynarenska for 6.25 billion crowns ($310.20 million), the city said on Tuesday.
** Europe’s biggest dairy group Lactalis has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in India’s Tirumala Milk Products for between $250 million and $300 million, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.
** Goldman Sachs and private equity firm KKR will sell a 10.8 percent stake in German forklift maker Kion Group AG starting immediately, Goldman said in a statement on Tuesday.
** Private equity group Arle Capital Partners is planning to either sell or float British oil services company Expro as soon as this year, Sky News reported, citing insiders.
** Bank of America-Merrill Lynch shut its European power and gas sales and trading operation on Tuesday, the fourth major player to close parts of its commodities business as tighter regulation and fewer arbitrage opportunities erode profits.
** Italian insurer UnipolSai is still assessing an offer by Belgian rival Ageas for the assets it must sell to satisfy competition regulators, Chief Executive Carlo Cimbri was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
** Specialty pharmaceutical company Sinclair IS Pharma Plc said it entered an agreement to buy the global rights to dermal gel brand Perfectha through the acquisition of dermatology company Obvieline Laboratories SA.
** The board of directors of Austrian lender Raiffeisen may form an opinion as soon as Tuesday on selling all or part of its Hungarian business, the business daily Napi Gazdasag reported without naming its sources. A spokesman for Raiffeisen in Hungary declined immediate comment.
** A government decree in Vietnam, on Tuesday said effective on Feb. 20, foreign banks could be allowed to buy majority stakes in domestic lenders considered weak, and marginally greater shares than at present in stronger banks. It did not stipulate what constituted a “weak” bank.
The move is one of a series of incremental steps taken by Vietnam’s communist government to revive a once-thriving economy that has been stuck in a quagmire in large part due to high levels of toxic debt and tight lending .
** Time Warner’s Warner Bros division is in talks to buy Dutch television production company Eyeworks, Dutch media reported on Tuesday, giving no details of the value of the deal or sources.
** Franco-Belgian financial group Dexia said on Tuesday it had agreed to sell its 40 percent stake in private bank Popular Banca Privada to its joint venture partner Banco Popular for 49.2 million euros ($67.12 million).
** Australian food manufacturer Goodman Fielder said on Wednesday it will sell its New Zealand meat and pizza businesses, raising net proceeds of NZ$15 million to NZ$17 million ($12 million-$14 million) which would be used to reduce net debt.