May 19, 2014 / 2:04 PM / in 4 years

Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Telefonica, Publicis, Actis, Murphy Oil, Google; Updates DirecTV, Twitch)

May 19 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Monday:

** Britain’s AstraZeneca rejected a sweetened and “final” offer of about 70 billion pounds ($118 billion) from Pfizer, casting serious doubt on the U.S. drugmaker’s plan for a merger to create the world’s biggest pharmaceuticals group.

AstraZeneca’s chairman said he saw no prospect of a deal with Pfizer before a deadline of May 26 set under UK takeover rules, or any likelihood of that deadline being extended.

Pfizer is likely to court major investors in AstraZeneca as part of a takeover attempt despite a board rejection of its bid, the head of Britain’s parliamentary science committee said.

** Activist investor William Ackman said in a letter to takeover target Allergan Inc’s board of directors that the top executive has a “disabling” conflict of interest because accepting a takeover means losing the top job. Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International launched a $47 billion takeover of Allergan on April 22, but so far Allergan has rejected its advances and Chief Executive Officer David Pyott is pushing shareholders to let the company stand alone.

** If DirecTV is unable to strike a deal with the National Football League to renew the satellite TV operator’s contract to offer the popular NFL Sunday Ticket football package, AT&T Inc can pull out of the merger, according to a regulatory filing.

AT&T Inc plans to pay $48.5 billion to buy DirecTV, in the latest sign that the wireless industry and the U.S. television market are set to converge as customers consume more video on their mobile devices.

** Yahoo Japan Corp has dropped its plan to buy mobile network operator eAccess Ltd from SoftBank Corp in a 324 billion yen ($3.2 billion) deal that was part of a reorganization of SoftBank group assets.

** South African mobile operator Vodacom Group said it reached an agreement to buy unlisted telecoms firm Neotel in a deal worth 7 billion rand ($676 million) although it would not assume any of the company’s debt. Neotel, majority-owned by India’s Tata Communications, is South Africa’s second-biggest fixed-line phone operator.

** Germany’s Siemens is working on a formal asset-swap offer for Alstom’s power business that could come as early as this week and see France take a stake in a resulting rail-focused French group, sources close to the talks told Reuters. Alstom is already in talks with U.S. conglomerate General Electric over a 12.35 billion euro ($16.9 billion) bid for its power arm, which it is due to review by June 2. However, under pressure from the French government, it has opened its books to Siemens so it can propose its own deal if it wants to.

Separately, French President Francois Hollande told key ministers to keep seeking better offers from potential suitors of Alstom, an official at his office said.

** Google Inc’s YouTube unit has reached a deal to acquire videogame-streaming service Twitch for more than $1 billion, according to a report in Variety, the entertainment news publication.

** Johnson Controls said on Sunday that it had agreed to sell its auto interiors business to a joint venture it is forming with a unit of China’s biggest automaker, SAIC Motor Corp. A Johnson Controls spokesman said the auto parts maker was contributing $3 billion in revenue to the joint venture, giving it a 30 percent stake. The newly formed company will have total value of $7.5 billion in revenue, he said.

** KKR & Co is nearing a deal to buy Singapore’s Goodpack Ltd, the world’s largest maker of intermediate bulk containers which has a market value of S$1.36 billion ($1.1 billion), sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Separately, KKR may team up with a Japanese state-backed fund to find buyout targets for its $6 billion Asian fund, a year after the U.S. private equity firm and some rivals complained that state funds could impinge on their investment opportunities. KKR has been in talks with the Innovation Network Corp of Japan for possible joint investment, Hirofumi Hirano, chief executive of KKR Japan, said at the Reuters Japan Investment Summit.

** Australian engineering and property management company UGL Ltd will likely shelve the planned A$1.2 billion ($1.12 billion) sale of its property services arm, DTZ, after it received just one binding offer for the asset, a source familiar with the process told Reuters.

** Blackstone Group LP has agreed to sell several Boston office properties to a real estate investment consortium led by Oxford Properties Group for approximately $2.1 billion, a person familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

** American Realty Capital Healthcare Trust Inc is in exclusive talks to buy Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II Inc, a deal that could value the healthcare real-estate investment trust at around $3.7 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. American Realty is trying to finalize a purchase agreement in the next two weeks.

** Russia could reduce its stake in oil producer Rosneft this year, bringing forward a privatization that had been scheduled for 2016, the economy minister was quoted as saying on Saturday.

** Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) will purchase a 25 percent stake in Indonesian Islamic lender Bank Panin Syariah , it said, as the United Arab Emirates-based bank looks to expand into the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Under the agreement, DIB - the largest Islamic bank in the UAE - will “jointly manage and operate” Bank Panin Syariah along with parent Bank Pan Indonesia, which will remain a controlling shareholder, it said in a Dubai bourse filing.

** South Korean steelmaker POSCO said on Monday that it might consider selling a stake in its profitable trading and resources arm Daewoo International Corp as part of a restructuring plan aimed at shoring up its finances.

** French telecom operator Orange said it would sell its majority stake in Orange Uganda to Africell as part of its optimization plan where Africa and the Middle East remain a strategic priority. Financial terms were not disclosed.

** Shipping company BW Group and Asian investment firm PAG have formed a joint venture that will buy 10 medium range product tankers from shipper Elandra, BW said in a statement.

** Dixons Retail, Europe’s No. 2 electricals retailer which said last week that it planned to merge with Carphone Warehouse, has agreed to sell its ElectroWorld operations in Central Europe to local specialist NAY a.s..

** German toy maker Schleich, known for its lifelike figurines, has been bought by French private equity firm Ardian from its British owner HgCapital, the two private equity companies said on Sunday. Neither side disclosed the price of the transaction which the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Sunday reported was 220 million euros ($302 million), citing unnamed sources in the finance industry.

** Egypt’s Pioneers Holding plans to finalize its acquisition of 60 percent of real estate company Rooya Group within three months at a cost of 1.23 billion Egyptian pounds ($172 million), its chief executive told Reuters on Sunday.

** European Union antitrust regulators will decide by July 3 whether to clear Telefonica’s 8.6-billion-euro ($11.8 billion) offer for KPN’s German arm, extending the deadline for what they called procedural reasons.

** France’s Publicis Groupe SA has won a digital marketing deal with Facebook Inc worth about $500 million including spending, website Ad Age reported citing an executive familiar with the matter.

** British-based private equity firm Actis said on Monday it had sold part of its Ugandan subsidiary’s stake in local power distributor Umeme Ltd for $85.5 million to institutional investors.

** The head of Murphy Oil’s UK operations Tom McKinlay has taken a leave of absence in order to pursue the acquisition of the company’s ailing Milford Haven refinery and retail business, a source close to the company said on Monday.

** Google Inc said it has acquired Divide, a company whose software allows corporations to manage the personal smartphones that consumers increasingly use on the job. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

$1 = 1.07 Australian dollars $1 = 1.25 Singapore dollars $1 = 0.73 euros $1 = 7.11 Egyptian pounds Compiled by Natalie Grover and Sampad Patnaik in Bangalore

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