(Adds Societe Generale, Just Energy Group, Santander, Holcim)
June 5 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1400 GMT on Thursday:
** Microblogging platform Twitter Inc has been in talks with Berlin-based audio-sharing website SoundCloud in its efforts to add a music service to its offering, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Twitter has weighed up deals worth billions of dollars and also considered buying music-streaming service Spotify and internet-radio provider Pandora Media Inc, the newspaper said.
** Sprint Corp has agreed to pay about $40 per share to buy T-Mobile US Inc, a person familiar with the matter said, marking further progress in the attempt to merge the third- and fourth-largest U.S. mobile network operators. The $40 price represents a 17 percent premium to T-Mobile US’s closing share price on Wednesday, giving it a valuation of more than $32 billion. The shares have more than doubled in price since the group bought smaller rival MetroPCS a year ago.
** France’s Societe Generale and Spain’s Santander are mulling a tie-up with Germany’s second-largest lender, Commerzbank AG, German magazine Bilanz reported on Thursday. A delegation from Societe Generale recently met representatives of the German government to talk about Berlin’s 17 percent stake in Commerzbank, the report said, without specifying its sources.
** Canadian natural gas and electricity retailer Just Energy Group Inc said it would sell its Ontario-based water heater and air conditioning home services business for $505 million to pay down debt. The sale will also help Just Energy focus on its core electricity and natural gas businesses across North America and its recently started UK business, the company said.
** The German government’s “bad bank”, which is winding down assets of nationalized lender Hypo Real Estate, has sold a $1.2 billion U.S. commercial real estate loan portfolio to Deutsche Bank, two sources familiar with the transaction said.
** Spain’s biggest bank, Santander, has sold a historic skyscraper in Madrid to Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group for 265 million euros ($361 million), as foreign investors pile into the country’s property market.
** European Union antitrust regulators cleared unconditionally on Thursday a German asset swap deal between Swiss cement company Holcim Ltd and Mexican peer Cemex SAB de CV. The European Commission said the deal would not raise competition concerns as there were enough rivals competing with the merged company. Reuters reported on June 4 that the companies would secure EU approval for the deal.
** Swiss cement maker Holcim Ltd said on Thursday it had won unconditional approval from European antitrust regulators for its proposed acquisition of the German operations of its Mexican rival Cemex SAB de CV. Sources told Reuters on Wednesday that the European Commission was set to give the Swiss company the green light to acquire Cemex West, one part of an asset swap between the two companies.
** Henkel & Co plans to buy French household cleaner maker Spotless for 940 million euros in cash, its second purchase in a week as the German consumer goods company builds its presence in large, profitable, mature markets.
** The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on June 24 to discuss AT&T Inc’s proposed deal to buy DirecTV, the panel said on Wednesday. The $48.5 billion deal would combine the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier with the No. 1 satellite TV provider.
** Telefonica SA will make an offer to buy Mediaset SpA stake in Spanish pay-TV group Digital Plus, according to media reports. Telefonica is ready to offer 350 million euros to buy Mediaset’s 22 percent stake in Digital Plus, several Italian papers said. The Spanish telecoms group is willing to also buy the 56 percent of Digital Plus held by Spain’s Prisa, the papers added.
** China’s Baosteel Resources and its Australian bidding partner on Thursday set a deadline of July 11 on their $1 billion offer for Aquila Resources Ltd, which they are chasing for its iron ore and coal projects. Aquila, 29 percent owned by its founder and Executive Chairman Tony Poli, now has until June 20 to tell shareholders whether to accept the bid.
** Tokyo Star Bank Ltd said on Thursday that Taiwan’s CTBC Financial Holdings had acquired the entire stake in the second-tier bank, completing the first takeover of a Japanese bank by a foreign lender.
** FMS Wertmanagement, the bad bank winding down assets from nationalized German lender Hypo Real Estate, has sold a $1.2 billion U.S. commercial real estate loan portfolio, it said on Thursday. FMS said in a statement that it made the sale to take advantage of strong liquidity and heightened investor interest in the United States, adding that the portfolio consisted mostly of performing loans.
** Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has agreed to sell the team for $2 billion and will drop his lawsuit against the National Basketball Association, his lawyer Maxwell Blecher said on Wednesday, five weeks after taped racist remarks Sterling made caused the NBA to ban him for life.
** Brazilian retailer Grupo Pao de Acucar said on Wednesday that its board, along with other subsidiaries of the French retailer Casino, approved a plan to merge their e-commerce units, which would have combined annual sales of $4.9 billion.
** Lloyds Banking Group Plc said it would sell a book of UK commercial real estate loans to U.S. hedge fund Cerberus for 352 million pounds ($589.72 million), a 34 percent discount to their gross value. Lloyds said the loans had a gross value of 536 million pounds and were being sold to Promontoria Holding 109 BV, an affiliate of Cerberus Global Investors.
($1 = 0.7341 Euros)
$1 = 0.5969 British Pounds Compiled by Lehar Maan in Bangalore