(Adds Cigna, Pfizer, TransCanada, Deutsche Bank, Twenty-First Century Fox; Updates Encana)
Nov 1 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday: ** Canada’s Encana Corp will buy Newfield Exploration Co for $5.5 billion, giving the natural gas producer greater access to North America’s biggest oilfields, and potentially spurring further deals.
** U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc is considering options, including a sale of its women’s health portfolio, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
** Canadian pipeline operator TransCanada Corp said it is eyeing joint ventures and asset sales, among other options, to finance the construction of its $8 billion Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.
** Twenty-First Century Fox Inc Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch said it is still an “open question” whether the company will buy back the regional sports networks it sold to entertainment company Walt Disney Co in July as part of a $71 billion deal.
** Cigna Corp said its $52-billion acquisition of pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts Holding Co was on track to close by the end of the year. ** Talks between Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA and France’s Engie over the latter’s acquisition of pipeline company TAG are not expected to end before February or March of next year, the chief executive officer of Engie’s Brazilian unit said in a conference call with analysts. ** An activist hedge fund led by the former finance chief of JP Morgan Chase has taken a 3.1 percent stake in Deutsche Bank , saying it backed new CEO Christian Sewing’s efforts to turn around Germany’s biggest bank, but there was more to do. ** Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP said it has agreed to buy SGI Frontier Capital Pte Ltd, giving it a foothold to invest in frontier markets in Asia and Africa.
** State-appointed administrators at Alitalia said on Wednesday they had received two binding offers for the Italian airline and one non-binding expression of interest.
** Shares in Australia’s largest-listed wealth manager, AMP Ltd , jumped more than 7 percent, following reports that the country’s largest investment bank, Macquarie Group, was considering a tilt at the embattled firm. (Compiled by Arundhati Sarkar and Soundarya J in Bengaluru)