Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Sensus USA, ICL Israel Chemicals, Aston Villa, Cargill, Avanquest, Vivendi , Elliott International; Updates Technip , Enel )

May 19 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1615 GMT on Thursday:

** German drugs and chemicals group Bayer AG BAYGn.DE has made an unsolicited takeover proposal to U.S. seeds company Monsanto (NYSE: MON ) Co MON.N , aiming to create the world's biggest agricultural supplier and take advantage of converging pesticides and seeds markets. France's Technip TECF.PA announced an all-stock merger with U.S. rival FMC Technologies FTI.N , as it seeks to offset weaker spending on exploration and production by cash-strapped oil companies. Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and a consortium that includes China Investment Corp (CIC) and KKR & Co KKR.N have advanced to a second round of bidding for a minority stake in Yum Brands Inc's YUM.N China unit, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Buyout firm Onex Corp OCX.TO has revived an auction for Carestream Health that could value it at more than $3 billion, including debt, and is exploring a breakup of the U.S. medical imaging company, people familiar with the matter said. Chinese businessman Xia Jiantong has agreed to buy struggling former English champions Aston Villa, the latest in a series of investments as President Xi Jinping aims to make China a global powerhouse in the sport. Xia, who will be the first mainland Chinese to fully own an English team, told Reuters his company, Recon Group, could pay more than 100 million pounds ($146 million) for the club, though he also said he would not be "burning money" to turn it around. Sensus USA Inc is exploring a sale that could value the private equity-owned provider of advanced metering technologies to utilities at as much as $1.7 billion, including debt, according to four people familiar with the matter. French office property group Gecina GFCP.PA made a cash offer worth at least 1.5 billion euros ($1.68 billion) for rival Fonciere de Paris FDPA.PA , setting off a bidding war over some prime property in the French capital. Real estate investment trust Sovran Self Storage Inc SSS.N said it had agreed to buy privately owned self storage operator LifeStorage LP for about $1.3 billion in cash to enter markets including northern California, Las Vegas and Nevada. French media group Vivendi VIV.PA raised its unsolicited bid for mobile video games maker Gameloft GLFT.PA for the second time, adding pressure on the founding Guillemot family. Oil major BP Plc BP.L sold part of the stake its unit Castrol Ltd holds in Castrol India Ltd CAST.NS , but said it would remain a majority shareholder in the company. Italy's biggest utility Enel ENEI.MI made a formal offer to buy fibre-optic company Metroweb, valuing it at 806 million euros ($903 million), three sources close to the matter said. Australian electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi Ltd JBH.AX said on Thursday it was considering a buyout of appliances chain the Good Guys Discount Warehouses (Australia) Pty Ltd, a deal reported to be worth A$1 billion ($721 million). Private equity firm Cinven CINV.UL is considering a bid for Restaurant Group Plc RTN.L , the owner of Mexican food chains Chiquito and Joe's Kitchen, Sky News reported. India's Tata Communications Ltd TATA.NS is selling a 74 percent stake in its data center business to Singapore-based ST Telemedia for about $630 million including debt, the company said. Australian wealth manager AMP Capital said it had reached a deal to acquire the largest U.S. underground parking system for $370 million in a joint venture with private equity firm Northleaf Capital Partners. Pacific Exploration & Production Corp PRE.TO said its board was in favor of a restructuring proposal submitted by Catalyst Capital Group, after comparing it with a bid by EIG Global Energy Partners. Norway's Yara International YAR.OL sees Vale SA's VALE5.SA fertilizer business as one of several investment opportunities, as the company eyes potential further acquisitions in Brazil, its chief financial officer said on Wednesday. French state-controlled nuclear group Areva AREVA.PA is in talks with its Spanish partner Gamesa GAM.MC and Germany's Siemens (NS: SIEM ) SIEGn.DE about a possible sale of Areva's stake in offshore wind joint venture Adwen. Fertilizer maker ICL Israel Chemicals Ltd ICL.TA is interested in investing in Chilean lithium and potash producer SQM SQMa.SN , but it is unclear if the company and key shareholder Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO are eager, ICL's chief executive said on Thursday. Avanquest AVQ.PA is about to acquire a U.S.-based software company and is currently finalising the financing of the deal, a source close to the matter told Reuters. Agricultural commodities trader Cargill Inc CARG.UL is in talks to sell two crushing plants in Western Europe, sources with knowledge of the matter said. U.S. investment fund Elliott International is ready to offer as much as 560 million euros ($627 million) for four Italian real estate funds in a bet on the country's real estate market recovering after years of stagnation.

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