(Adds Immofinanz, Fortis and AT&T; updates Shire)
April 19 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday: ** Rare disease drug maker Shire Plc said it had rejected a $63 billion cash-and-stock acquisition offer by Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, while Allergan Plc reversed course on pursuing a rival bid. ** Austrian property group Immofinanz is putting its 26 percent stake in peer CA Immo on the block, it said, after a review of its strategic options.
** Fortis Healthcare Ltd said it had received an improved binding offer worth 15 billion rupees ($228.3 million) from Hero Enterprise Investment Office and Burman Family Office.
** AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said his company’s bid to buy movie and TV show maker Time Warner would allow the two firms to serve customers better by lowering pay TV rates, rejecting government arguments the deal would raise consumer prices.
** Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA is considering selling 60 percent stakes in two regional blocks comprising four refineries, and keeping full ownership of nine other units, it said in a securities filing. ** China’s competition authorities may ask for minor restrictions before clearing a merger between Italian eyewear group Luxottica and French lens manufacturer Essilor, Luxottica chairman said. ** Spain’s Codorniu, a maker of cava sparkling wine, said it had rejected a takeover bid by U.S. fund The Carlyle Group, confirming a report in newspaper La Vanguardia, but added the company was open to an approach by a potential minority partner. ** Weir Group Plc, which makes pumps and valves for the mining and energy industries, said it had agreed to buy ESCO Corp for $1 billion as it looks to bolster its mining business. ** Japanese trading house Itochu Corp said it was raising its stake in convenience store operator FamilyMart Uny Holdings to 50.1 percent from 41.5 percent, cementing its control over the country’s second-biggest chain of such stores. ** Procter & Gamble Co will acquire the consumer health business of Merck KGaA for about 3.4 billion euros ($4.2 billion), giving it vitamin brands such as Seven Seas and greater exposure to Latin American and Asian markets. ** Indian hospital operator Fortis Healthcare will set up an advisory committee to evaluate takeover proposals, it said, as suitors hover around the cash-strapped company. ** U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm will have to do more to complete its proposed takeover of NXP Semiconductors, a Chinese commerce ministry spokesman said. ** Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes on Wednesday defended his company’s planned merger with telecoms firm AT&T as necessary to compete effectively for advertising with internet giants like Google and Facebook. ** Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, which agreed in December to sell most of its assets to Walt Disney Co for $52.4 billion, had previously rejected a bid from Comcast Corp over concerns about the regulatory risks and its stock value, a regulatory filing on Wednesday showed. (Compiled by Ahmed Farhatha and Akshara P in Bengaluru)