March 18, 2016 / 10:18 AM / 2 years ago

Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds KKR, Royal Dutch Shell, Petróleo Brasileiro, Thermo Fisher, CRH, Steinhoff, Sainsbury, Zegona; Updates Starwood Hotels, Banca Popolare)

March 18 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1950 GMT on Friday:

** Private equity firm KKR has agreed to buy Airbus Group’s defence electronics business for 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), the European aerospace group said.

** Saudi Arabia’s national oil company wants to buy more U.S. refining and chemical plants to expand its footprint in the world’s largest energy market once the break-up of its joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell Plc is complete, sources said.

** Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) and Banco Popolare will decide by March 22 whether to accept tough conditions set by European Central Bank to approve their merger plan to create Italy’s third-largest bank.

** Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA is considering selling control of fuel distribution unit BR Distribuidora SA after bidders failed to emerge for a minority stake, two sources with direct knowledge of the plans said.

** A group of former Affymetrix Inc executives offered to buy the gene testing and analysis provider for about $1.5 billion, looking to derail the company’s deal with Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

** Building materials companies CRH and LafargeHolcim are contesting the final price of CRH’s acquisition of assets from the Swiss-French company, the two companies said.

** South Africa’s Steinhoff offered $975 million for Darty Plc, Europe’s No.3 electrical goods retailer, trumping a competing takeover bid from French retailer Fnac .

** Sainsbury‘s, Britain’s No. 2 supermarket, was given a clear run to buy Argos-owner Home Retail for 1.4 billion pounds ($2 billion) after rival suitor, South Africa’s Steinhoff International, withdrew from the race.

** British fund Zegona said it was in exclusive talks with Sweden’s Teliasonera to buy its Spanish budget mobile operator Yoigo.

** Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc on Friday said a $13 billion cash offer from China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co was superior to one from Marriott International Inc , setting the stage for the largest ever deal by a Chinese company in the United States.

** TransCanada Corp, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, said on Thursday it would buy Columbia Pipeline Group for $10.2 billion, creating one of North America’s largest regulated natural gas transmission businesses.

** Buyout firm KKR has started the sale of coffee machine maker WMF in a potential 1.5 billion euro ($1.70 billion) deal, attracting interest from several household appliances makers and private equity groups.

** Blackstone Group LP is nearing a deal to acquire Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s controlling stake worth about $940 million in Indian IT outsourcing services provider MphasiS Ltd, according to three sources directly involved in the deal.

** Canadian mid-size oil producer Paramount Resources Ltd agreed on Thursday to sell a natural gas processing complex in the Montney shale formation in Alberta to Pembina Pipeline Corp for C$556 million ($428.5 million) in cash.

** The planned takeover of Spanish wind power group Gamesa by Siemens will not include Gamesa partner Areva’s offshore wind turbine technology nor its plans to build a turbine factory in France, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

** U.S. investment fund Elliott has raised its position in rail signaling company Ansaldo STS to just under 29 percent, fuelling a row with top shareholder Hitachi.

** Nine Entertainment Co Ltd, Australia’s top-rating free-to-air television broadcaster, bought a 9.99 percent stake in Southern Cross Media Group Ltd for A$88 million ($67 million), Nine said on Friday.

** Online takeaway delivery firm Foodpanda is acquiring the Hong Kong assets of U.S.-based Delivery.com as it consolidates its position in key markets while shedding assets elsewhere.

** Kenya’s KCB Group is looking at medium-sized lenders to buy as part of an expansion plan and is building up capital to boost its acquisition war chest, the chief executive of country’s biggest bank by assets said on Friday.

** Bang & Olufsen A/S has entered a strategic technology partnership with LG Electronics Inc on the development and production of its televisions, the Danish company said on Friday.

** Teen apparel retailer Aeropostale Inc said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale, after posting its 13th straight quarterly loss. (Compiled by Anet Josline Pinto and Vishaka George in Bengaluru)

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