(Adds Lafarge Africa, Coca-Cola, Mediclinic, Hellman & Friedman, ICAP ; Updates Suncor, General Electric, Nestle, Xchanging, Potash Corp)
Oct 5 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Monday:
** Activist investor Nelson Peltz’s fund has bought a $2.5 billion stake in General Electric Co, adding fresh pressure on the U.S. conglomerate to pull off its plan to shift away from finance operations toward its industrial roots.
** Nestle is in “advanced discussions” to merge its international ice cream business with R&R Ice Cream, in its latest effort to refocus on other, higher-performing brands.
** Potash Corp of Saskatchewan said on Monday it had withdrawn its 7.9-billion-euro ($8.9 billion) offer for German rival K+S, citing a decline in global commodity and equity markets and a lack of engagement by K+S management.
** Suncor Energy launched what could be drawn-out takeover battle for Canadian Oil Sands Ltd on Monday, a deal that could increase its stake in Alberta’s massive Syncrude project and cement its position as the country’s largest oil producer. Suncor’s all-stock offer is valued at about C$4.3 billion ($3.29 billion)
** Activist investor Starboard Value LP said it raised its stake in Brink’s Co, a provider of cash transportation and ATM services, to about 12.4 percent.
** European Union competition regulators will rule by Nov. 9 whether to approve a plan by three Coca-Cola bottlers in Europe to merge their businesses to deal better with industry challenges.
** European Union antitrust regulators opened a full-scale investigation on Monday into U.S. cable company Liberty Global’s bid for Dutch peer KPN’s Belgian unit, concerned that the deal may lead to higher prices.
** Britain’s finance ministry will sell at least 2 billion pounds (about $3 billion) in Lloyds Banking Group to retail investors in spring 2016 as part of plans to return the bank to full private ownership, it said on Monday.
** German wind turbine maker Nordex is buying the wind power business from Spain’s Acciona SA for 785 million euros ($880 million) in cash and shares, it said late on Sunday.
** Bankers have lined up 3 billion euros ($3.37 billion) of debt to back Hellman & Friedman’s (H&F) acquisition of a stake in Sweden’s Securitas Direct Verisure Group that it did not already own and refinance existing debt, banking sources said on Monday. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but H&F is expected to invest an additional $500 million, which takes the value of the equity to about $1.5 billion.
** Italian publisher RCS MediaGroup said on Sunday it had agreed to sell its book publishing unit to rival Arnoldo Mondadori Editore for 127.5 million euros ($143 million).
** Oman’s Renaissance Services plans to sell Topaz Engineering Ltd for $18.5 million to Chalmers Holdings, the company said on Sunday.
** Insurance-focused outsourcing company Xchanging Plc said it had received competing takeover offers from larger rival Capita Plc and U.S.-based private equity investor Apollo Global Management LLC.
** South African private hospital group Mediclinic International is talks with Abu Dhabi-based rival Al Noor Hospital Group about a potential merger to create a market leader in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, Al Noor said on Monday.
** Norway’s Telenor has not yet been in touch with potential buyers of its shares in Vimpelcom, the firm’s chief executive told Reuters on Monday.
** Austrian property firm Immofinanz is expanding in Germany as part of its strategy to reduce its exposure to the volatile Russian retail market, building offices costing 145 million euros ($163 million) in Duesseldorf, it said.
** Hungary could sell all but a 10-20 percent stake in state-owned MKB Bank by late December, Chief Executive Adam Balog told Reuters, adding that the “preferred” ownership structure of the privatized lender would also include foreign investors.
** European Union antitrust regulators will rule by Nov. 9 whether to clear a $37 billion bid by U.S. chipmaker Avago Technologies for rival Broadcom Corp, the biggest ever merger in the sector.
** APR Energy Plc, the embattled provider of temporary power systems, said it was in talks to be bought out by a consortium including Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd , its largest shareholder.
** An affiliate of Lafarge Africa has completed a 100 percent acquisition of Nigeria’s third-largest cement manufacturer United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM), the local unit of the French cement maker said on Monday.
** ICAP-owned trading platform EBS took another step into the asset management sector on Monday with the announcement it had purchased Molten Markets, a specialist in foreign exchange trading technology for funds and other investment managers.
($1 = 0.8903 euros)
($1 = 0.9704 Swiss francs)
$1 = 1.3077 Canadian dollars Compiled by Subrat Patnaik and Manish Parashar in Bengaluru