(Adds Belk, Genworth Financial, Cassa Depositi)
April 2 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** Belk Inc is exploring a sale that could value the largest family-owned and operated department store chain in the United States at as much as $4 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said. Major department stores, such as Macy’s Inc and Nordstrom Inc, as well as large private equity firms are expected to be contacted by Belk to solicit their interest in a deal, the people added.
** Diageo, the world’s largest spirits maker, said on Thursday it had agreed to acquire control of United National Breweries beer business in South Africa, buying the remaining 50 percent stake it did not already own.
** Saint-Gobain’s attempted takeover of Switzerland’s Sika took another twist on Thursday as two investors said they would appeal a ruling stipulating that the French building materials company was not required to make an offer for all of Sika’s shares.
** Billionaire businessman Vincent Bollore’s holding company Bollore spent a further 568 million euros ($614 million) to raise its stake in French media group Vivendi as he gears up for a fight with activist shareholders.
** DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators, has agreed to buy Canada’s Fairview Container Terminal from Deutsche Bank for C$580 million ($457 million), the Dubai firm said on Thursday.
** Koch Industries Inc and Pacific Equity Partners have made a $325 million approach for Australia’s Bradken Ltd - half the price of bids it received last year and one that was summarily knocked back by the mining equipment maker.
** Gambling technology company Playtech Plc said it would buy a majority stake in TradeFX Ltd for 208 million euros ($224.4 million) in cash to enter the trading platform and payment services market.
** U.S. insurer Genworth Financial Inc is seeking buyers for a life and annuity unit, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** Italian state-backed lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti would be ready to buy out Metroweb if no buyer is found when Italian fund F2i decides to sell its stake, CDP Chairman Franco Bassanini said on Thursday.
** International Business Machines (IBM) has struck a deal with China Telecom Corp Ltd to offer and manage corporate-grade mobile apps, the latest in a string of tie-ups with Chinese firms.
** Switzerland’s civil aviation office has approved Etihad Airways’ purchase of a stake in Darwin Airline, the Swiss company said on Thursday.
** Internet and network security provider Check Point Software Technologies will acquire Israel-based Lacoon Mobile Security to help prevent attacks on mobile phones.
** Funds advised by Apax Partners have agreed to sell their stake in Italian bank Banca Farmafactoring SpA to an affiliate of investment management firm Centerbridge Partners LP, the private equity firms said on Thursday.
** Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek and money manager BlackRock are set to buy stakes in Funding Circle in deals that could value the British peer-to-peer lending platform at more than $1 billion, Sky News said on Thursday.
** U.S. private equity firm Advent International is planning to put on the market its 80 percent stake in perfume and cosmetics retailer Douglas, the head of its French unit Nocibe said on Thursday, confirming a previous Reuters report. ($1 = C$1.26) ($1 = A$1.32) ($1 = 0.93 euros) (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee in Bengaluru)