(Adds Tribune Publishing Co, Euronext NV, Phoenix Group Holdings, Anbang Insurance, Alphabet Inc, United Internet, Raízen Energia SA, Banco Popolare, Blackstone Group LP, Peugeot Automobile; Updates Air Products and Chemicals Inc, Peugeot Nigeria)
March 17 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1940 GMT on Thursday:
** The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit aimed at blocking Tribune Publishing Co, which owns the Los Angeles Times, from acquiring papers in Orange and Riverside Counties, the department said.
** European stock exchange operator Euronext NV is considering acquisitions to help it stay competitive after Deutsche Boerse AG and London Stock Exchange Group Plc agreed to merge in a $30 billion deal, according to people familiar with the matter.
** Phoenix Group Holdings, Britain’s largest consolidator of closed life funds, is preparing to bid for Deutsche Bank AG’s British insurance unit, Sky News reported.
** China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co has hired a proxy solicitation firm to advise it on how Starwood Hotels & Resorts Inc shareholders view its $12.8 billion acquisition offer and prepare its next steps, said people familiar with the matter.
** Alphabet Inc has put Boston Dynamics, part of its robotics division, up for sale for lack of revenue potential, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the plans.
** United Internet’s decision last month to raise its stake in Tele Columbus to 25 percent was a defensive move aimed at blocking rivals from buying into the German cable network operator, United’s chief executive said.
** Brazilian antitrust watchdog Cade approved a joint venture formed by sugar and ethanol producer Raízen Energia SA and trader Wilmar International Ltd to export sugar, according to the government’s official gazette.
** Shares in Italian cooperative lenders Banco Popolare and Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) fell on Thursday as their long-expected merger, seen as a crucial step to reforming the sector, appeared close to falling apart.
** Blackstone Group LP is nearing a deal to acquire HP Inc’s controlling stake worth about $940 million in Indian IT outsourcing services provider MphasiS Ltd, according to three sources directly involved in the deal.
** Industrial gas producer Air Products and Chemicals Inc is in advanced talks to sell its performance materials operations to Germany’s Evonik Industries AG, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has teamed up with two Nigerian states to bid for a majority stake in Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) Ltd, a local joint venture with the French automaker, the governor of Kaduna State said.
** Canon Inc has agreed to buy Toshiba Corp’s medical equipment unit for 665.5 billion yen ($5.9 billion), the companies said on Thursday.
** Glencore Plc said on Thursday it had put its coal trains in Australia up for sale, hoping to fetch as much as A$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion) as it taps into a hot market for infrastructure to cut debt.
** Laser tools and systems maker Coherent Inc said it would buy laser developer and manufacturer Rofin-Sinar Technologies Inc in a deal valued at about $942 million.
** Egypt’s EFG Hermes said on Thursday its board had approved the sale of a 40 percent stake in Credit Libanais to Arab and Lebanese investors at $33 per share, along with plans to sell its remaining shares by May next year.
** Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s biggest mobile phone networks operator, has agreed to pay 44.28 billion rupees ($664 million) to Videocon Telecommunications for radio frequencies in six service areas, trumping rival Idea Cellular’s smaller deal for the same spectrum in two service areas.
** The Finnish government said on Thursday it would sell 49.9 percent of shares in defense group Patria to Norway’s state-controlled Kongsberg Gruppen ASA for 272 million euros ($308 million).
** South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co said on Thursday that it had raised about 342.1 billion won ($290.7 million) from the sale of a 5 percent stake in fighter jet manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) Ltd.
** Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd is seeking to sell part of its stake in regional television and radio broadcaster Southern Cross Media Group Ltd for about A$130 million ($99 million), according to a term sheet given to fund managers.
** A private equity arm of Standard Chartered Plc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc have invested a combined $28 million in Vietnamese startup M_Service, the operator of mobile e-wallet MoMo, the companies said.
** Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Saudi Aramco announced plans on Wednesday to break up Motiva Enterprises LLC in a deal that ends a partnership of nearly two decades and hands control of the biggest U.S. refinery to the Saudi state oil giant.
** Banco Santander Brasil SA is eyeing a potential bid for Citigroup Inc’s local subsidiary, as the largest foreign lender in the country seeks to expand into banking for wealthy clients, a senior executive said on Wednesday.
** Billionaire investor William Ackman adjusted his battered hedge fund portfolio on Wednesday when he sold 20 million shares of snack maker Mondelez International Inc, one day after another key holding, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, lost half of its value.
** Toshiba Corp said it had agreed to sell the majority of its white goods business to China’s Midea Group Co Ltd.
** Russia’s government is proposing to sell a 10.9 percent stake in diamond producer Alrosa via the stock exchange, Vitaly Sergeichuk, a department head at the Federal Agency for State Property Management, told reporters on Thursday.
** Heineken NV is likely to ask Vijay Mallya, who owes creditor banks more than $1 billion, to step down from the board of United Breweries Ltd, India’s largest brewer, three people with direct knowledge of the plan told Reuters.
** German utility Steag and its partner Macquarie Atlas Roads Group have proposed a deal for Vattenfall’s German lignite assets, under which the Swedish utility would have to pay a lump sum to offload the mines and power plants, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
** CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd, the ports-to-telecoms arm of Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing, said it might sell a stake in its UK phone carrier Three to help fund its proposed $15 billion takeover of rival operator O2 UK.
** Caixabank SA and Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos are moving towards a deal for the Spanish bank to buy her stake in Portugal’s Banco BPI SA after months of wrangling, a source with knowledge of the talks said.
$1 = A$1.33 $1 = 67.16 Indian rupees $1 = 112.14 yen $1 = 1,177 won Compiled by Anet Josline Pinto and Vishaka George in Bengaluru