Aug 20 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc said it would buy privately owned Sprout Pharmaceuticals, whose drug became the first approved treatment this week for low sexual desire in women, for about $1 billion plus milestone payments.
** British online gambling company GVC Holdings Plc may increase its offer for rival Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc for a third time, a source close to GVC said on Thursday.
** Depomed Inc rejected Horizon Pharma Plc’s takeover bid for the third time, reiterating that the offer undervalued the company.
** United Technologies Corp is in talks to buy residential products maker Nortek Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** Royal Dutch Shell Plc unit Sarawak Shell Bhd has transferred its 50 percent stake as operator of the MLNG Dua liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant to Malaysian state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), Petronas said.
** DONG Energy A/S IPO-DONG.CO and ScottishPower Renewables on Thursday sold 269 million pounds ($421.90 million) worth of transmission assets in an offshore UK wind farm to a consortium of Macquarie Corporate Holdings and 3i Infrastructure Plc, a statement said.
** The owners of the Weather Channel have hired Morgan Stanley and PJT Partners Inc to explore a sale, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** Ageas has short-listed bidders for its Hong Kong life insurance business to firms including Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li’s FWD Group and Fosun International Ltd , Bloomberg reported.
** The Bank of Portugal is in exclusive talks with China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co on the sale of state-rescued Novo Banco, leaving two other bidders on the sidelines, sources said.
** Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), one of Morocco’s biggest lenders, has taken control of Niger’s Banque Internationale pour l’Afrique (BIA-Niger), an official from the Moroccan bank said on Thursday.
** British America Tobacco Plc on Thursday sweetened an offer for the 24.7 percent stake it does not already own in Souza Cruz SA, Brazil’s largest cigarette maker, to woo reluctant shareholders.
** Solera Holdings Inc, which provides technology services to insurance companies, is in advanced talks to sell itself to private equity firms, according to a person familiar with the matter.
** Slovak Economy Minister Vazil Hudak said China’s CNNC is expected to place a binding bid for Enel’s stake in Slovak electricity producer Slovenske Elektrarne by the end of August.
** Evolution Mining launched a counter bid for fellow Australian miner Phoenix Gold, setting up a battle with China’s biggest gold producer.
** The Australian unit of JBS SA, the world’s largest meatpacker, agreed on Thursday to offer to buy at least 50.1 percent of outstanding shares in New Zealand technology firm Scott Technology Ltd for NZ$1.39 ($0.9191) a share.
** Mexican private-equity fund Finaccess Capital agreed to buy a 32 percent stake in Poland’s restaurant chain Amrest from Warburg Pincus, Amrest said.
** Vodafone Group Plc has scrapped its interest in obtaining a management contract to run one of Lebanon’s two state-owned mobile operators, the UK-based company said on Thursday.
** The New York Daily News is no longer for sale, according to a memo sent to employees by the newspaper’s owner, Mort Zuckerman, on Thursday.
$1 = 0.6407 pounds $1 = 1.5124 New Zealand dollars Compiled by Anannya Pramanick and Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru