(Updates EMC; Adds Akorn, Comcast, Grupos Salinas, Lucchini, Dentsu Aegis, Slovenske Elektrarne, Enel, BauMax, Verizon, Wind, BSkyB, Allergan, Hapag-Lloyd, Douglas, Eastman Chemical and Vodafone)
Sept 11 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2030 GMT on Thursday:
** U.S. specialty drugmaker Akorn Inc is exploring a bid for Belgian drugmaker UCB SA’s U.S. subsidiary, a deal that would allow the company to move its tax domicile overseas, according to people familiar with the matter. UCB is looking to sell its U.S. specialty generics subsidiary, Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc, in a deal that could fetch as much as $2 billion.
** State attorneys general working to determine whether Comcast Corp’s deal to buy Time Warner Cable Inc is legal have expanded their investigation to include AT&T Inc’s plans to buy DirecTV, according to sources close to the merger probe.
** Mexico’s Grupo Salinas said on Wednesday that its chairman would buy out its partner Grupo Televisa SAB’s 50 percent stake in the country’s No. 3 wireless operator Iusacell for $717 million and seek a strategic partner to build up the carrier.
** European Union antitrust regulators approved on Thursday British broadcaster BSkyB’s planned $9 billion takeover of Rupert Murdoch’s pay-TV companies in Germany and Italy, which will make it the biggest pay-TV provider in Europe.
** Billionaire William Ackman is close to signing up Allergan investors who combined own at least 35 percent of the Botox maker to call a special shareholder meeting, according to people familiar with the matter, giving the hedge fund manager a victory in his fight to acquire Allergan.
** Italian steelmaker Lucchini said on Thursday that it has received a binding offer from India’s JSW Steel for its core assets in Piombino and is considering the offer.
** Hapag-Lloyd and Compania SudAmericana de Vapores secured conditional European Union approval on Thursday for their tie-up to create the world’s fourth-largest container shipping company.
** German books-to-cosmetics retailer Douglas has asked for second-round bids for its Christ jewellery arm in a potential deal worth more than 400 million euros ($517 million), two sources familiar with the deal said.
** Eastman Chemical Co said it will buy Taminco Corp for $1.8 billion to get a key chemical used in products for the food, agricultural and water treatment markets.
** Vodafone’s chief executive Vittorio Colao said Europe’s biggest cable group Liberty Global could be a good fit for the mobile operator “for the right price”, according to a Bloomberg report.
** Italian mobile phone operator Wind, a unit of Russian telecoms group Vimpelcom, has set an end-October deadline to receive non-binding offers for its phone masts, two sources close to the matter said. The long-expected deal could be worth at least 500 million euros ($647 million), Reuters reported last week.
** Verizon Communications Inc Chief Executive Lowell McAdam said on Thursday that the telecoms company would open to selling some of its towers if the price was right.
** Struggling Austrian home improvements group BauMax has sold its Bulgarian unit with eight stores to local investor Haedus JSC, it said, taking another step in its campaign to shrink back to health.
** Italian utility Enel said it had made a binding offer to buy a 60.62 percent stake in Chile’s Enersis from its own Spanish unit Endesa for 8.25 billion euros ($10.66 billion) in a move to simplify operations.
** Slovakia is looking at various ways to strengthen its position in domestic electricity producer Slovenske Elektrarne, which has been put up for sale by majority owner Enel, Prime Minister Robert Fico said.
** A Dentsu Aegis executive said the advertising company was not interested in acquiring rival Interpublic Group of Cos, putting merger speculation to rest for the moment.
** Portuguese healthcare company Jose de Mello Saude has started a takeover battle for the indebted Espirito Santo family’s hospitals business, offering 4.4 euros per share in an attempt to trump last month’s bid by Mexico’s Grupo Angeles. Jose de Mello Saude said on Thursday that its bid for main rival Espirito Santo Saude (ES Saude) is 2.3 percent higher than the Mexican offer of 4.3 euros per share, which valued ES Saude at about 411 million euros ($531 million).
** Atlantic City’s Revel casino-hotel, which closed earlier this month after filing for bankruptcy, reached a deal to sell itself to a Florida developer for $90 million in cash, a fraction of the billions of dollars it cost to build.
** Dubai private equity firm Ithmar Capital has sold a 7.3 percent stake in Al Noor Hospitals Group Plc for 10.30 pounds per share, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday, in a deal worth 87.55 million pounds ($142 million).
** Southern Copper Corp said on Wednesday that it still hoped to buy a share in Anglo American Plc’s $3.3 billion Quellaveco project in Peru, and that talks must now take place at the highest level.
** BlackBerry Ltd said on Thursday it had acquired Movirtu, a provider of virtual identity solutions, as part of its move to continue building out its portfolio of value-added services that cater to the needs of its core base of corporate and government clients.
** P&O Maritime, a subsidiary of Dubai’s DP World Ltd , one of the world’s largest port operators, has bought a majority stake in Spain’s Remolcadores de Puerto y Altura, the acquirer said in a statement on Thursday.
** A group of U.S. senators wants Burger King Worldwide Inc to scrap its plans to invert, or move its tax domicile to Canada, as part of a deal to buy coffee and donut chain Tim Hortons Inc.
** Brazilian telecom Grupo Oi SA reiterated on Wednesday it had commissioned investment bank BTG Pactual to seek possible partners in a joint bid for rival wireless carrier TIM Participacoes SA.
** Russia’s No.2 oil producer NK Lukoil OAO has launched a bid to buy a diesel pipeline which runs through Ukraine to Hungary, Vedomosti reported on Thursday, citing a letter from the company’s head to President Vladimir Putin.
** Poland wants energy firms PGE, Tauron, and Enea to buy some of the mines from the ailing state-run coal producer Kompania Weglowa, Deputy Economy Minister Tomasz Tomczykiewicz said on Thursday.
** EMC Corp plans to keep its majority stake in software maker VMware Inc despite pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management, a person familiar with EMC’s thinking told Reuters on Thursday.
** Spanish telecoms group Jazztel PLC said on Thursday that it was in talks over the possible acquisition of smaller competitor Yoigo, the Spanish arm of TeliaSonera AB .
** The chief executive of Argos-owner Home Retail Group Plc said the group had not taken a decision to sell its Homebase D.I.Y chain amid media speculation that the group could sell the division to private equity investors.
$1 = 0.77 euro $1 = 0.62 British pounds Compiled by Anya George Tharakan and Manya Venkatesh in Bangalore