(Adds Allianz, Giordano‘s, Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais; Updates Premier Foods, Twenty-First Century Fox)
March 30 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** German insurer Allianz SE is looking to sell a $5 billion portfolio of life insurance policies in Italy, sources familiar with the matter said.
** Taiwan’s Foxconn agreed to buy Sharp Corp at a big discount to its original offer after a month of wrangling that sowed more doubts over whether the two companies can work well together and fend off fierce competition from smartphone display rivals. Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, will pay about $3.5 billion for a two-thirds stake, nearly $900 million less than its initial offer, the companies said.
** Britain’s Premier Foods Plc agreed to hold talks with McCormick & Co after the U.S. company raised its takeover proposal for a second time, pushing for a deal that would boost its stable of kitchen cupboard brands.
** China’s Shandong Ruyi is set to buy control of SMCP, the French firm behind fashion brands Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot, for 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) including debt, two sources close to the deal said on Tuesday.
** Canadian engineering firm Stantec Inc said on Tuesday it had agreed to purchase MWH, a water resources infrastructure company based in Colorado, for $793 million in cash.
** India’s Tata Steel wants to sell Britain’s biggest steelmaker, putting thousands of jobs at risk and forcing the government to seek a solution ahead of an EU referendum dominated by concerns about the economy.
** State Street Corp said it would buy General Electric Co’s asset management business for up to $485 million as the industrial conglomerate winds down its financing arm to reduce regulatory burden.
** Twenty-First Century Fox Inc is interested in acquiring a minority stake in Viacom Inc’s Paramount Pictures, a source close to the situation said.
** Air New Zealand Ltd, the biggest shareholder of Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd, said it may sell its 26 percent stake in a sign that backers of Australia’s No. 2 carrier are growing impatient with its slow profit turnaround.
** German retailer Metro has proposed to split itself in two, separating its wholesale and food business from its consumer electronics chain to help each focus and grow faster.
** Peninsula Participacoes Ltda, the investment vehicle of Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz’s family, has raised its stake in Carrefour SA, just weeks after the French retailer nominated the tycoon for a board seat.
** China’s closely held CEFC China Energy Co Ltd will raise its stake in J&T Finance Group, including banks in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to 50 percent from 9.9 percent, the two firms said on Wednesday.
** Giordano‘s, the Chicago-based restaurant chain famous for the city’s stuffed deep-dish pizza, is exploring selling itself, according to people familiar with the matter.
** Brazil’s electricity firm Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais CEMIG plans to divest some non-core activities to reduce its debt and free up money for investments, CEO Mauro Borges said. (Compiled by Arunima Banerjee and Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru)