April 6 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1000 GMT on Thursday:
** Seven & i Holdings Co on said it would buy convenience stores and petrol stations from Texas-based Sunoco LP for about $3.3 billion, as the Japanese retailer closes in on its goal to reach 10,000 North American outlets.
** Unilever promised a multi-billion pound programme of shareholder rewards after a corporate rethink sparked by a takeover approach from Kraft Heinz, aiming to prove it can generate lucrative returns as an independent company.
** Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has reached a preliminary deal to buy a stake of between 45 percent and 49 percent in French rival STX France, Le Monde newspaper reported, citing sources with knowledge of the transaction.
** Old Mutual has put up for sale its 50 percent stake in a Chinese insurance joint venture, people with direct knowledge of the matter said, as part of a revamp of the Anglo-South African financial group and amid a tough market for foreign insurers in China.
** China’s Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd will pay $960 million for a 50 percent stake in Barrick Gold Corp’s Veladero gold mine in Argentina, the Canadian miner said.
** French group Saint-Gobain has extended until the end of this year its contract to buy a controlling stake in Swiss construction chemicals maker Sika from Sika’s founding family and may prolong it again until the end of 2018, it said.
** Britain’s Co-operative Group, the mutually-owned supermarkets to funeral services group, wrote off the value of its stake in the struggling Co-operative Bank, citing uncertainty about the value of the bank during its sale process.
** The board of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest lender, has instructed management to explore options for selling off its credit card unit Isracard, the bank said.
** German consumer goods group Henkel will keep looking for acquisitions to bolster its business, its new chief executive said.
** U.S. drug distributor Cardinal Health Inc is nearing a deal to acquire medical device maker Medtronic Plc’s medical supplies business for close to $6 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
** MGM Holdings Inc said it would acquire the 81 percent of premium U.S. channel Epix it does not already own from two of its partners, Viacom Inc and Lionsgate Entertainment Corp, for about $1 billion.
** Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos said on Wednesday he is selling about $1 billion worth of the internet retailer’s stock annually to fund his Blue Origin rocket company, which aims to launch paying passengers on 11-minute space rides starting next year. (Compiled by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru)