Oct 23 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** American Realty Capital Properties said it would buy Cole Real Estate Investments for about $7 billion to create one of the largest commercial real estate investment trusts in the United States.
** Gulf state funds could take a stake of up to 15 percent in French utility EDF’s 16-billion-pound ($26 billion)project to build two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in the UK, French financial daily Les Echos reported.
** EU antitrust regulators are set to open a lengthy investigation into Hutchison Whampoa Ltd’s bid for Telefonica’s Irish unit unless Hutchison offers concessions to sooth competition concerns, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
** Grupo BTG Pactual SA is considering a bid for JPMorgan Chase & Co’s physical commodities unit, a source familiar with the matter said, a move which would dovetail with the Brazilian bank’s plans to expand heavily into commodities sales and trading. JPMorgan launched the sale of the business, which includes its crude oil, natural gas and base metals trading operations, last week after announcing plans to exit the business in July.
** Temporary power provider APR Energy Plc said it would buy General Electric Co’s power rental business for $314 million in cash and stock, making GE a strategic investor in the company.
** Poland’s largest telecoms group TPSA sold its web arm and the country’s No. 2 Internet portal WP.pl for 375 million zlotys ($124 million) to web company O2, it said.
** British set-top box maker Pace Plc said it would buy U.S.-based network gear maker Aurora Networks Inc for $310 million in cash to diversify its products to cable customers.
** Men’s Wearhouse is looking to buy dress-shoe retailer Allen Edmonds, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter. Reuters reported in July that Allen Edmonds, controlled by private equity firm Goldner Hawn Johnson Morrison, is looking to sell itself and a deal could value the company at $150 million to $200 million.
** South African financial firm Transaction Capital Ltd said it would sell back its majority stake in unsecured lender Bayport Financial Services for 1.3 billion rand ($133 million) to minority shareholder Bayport Management.
** Norway-based international telecoms group Telenor has agreed to buy Tele2’s consumer fiber and cable business in Sweden in a $122 million deal that will make Telenor the second-biggest broadband supplier in Sweden.
** U.S. drugs distributor McKesson Corp is set to make a full takeover offer of up to 23 euros per share for its German peer Celesio, two people familiar with the matter said.
** Yue Xiu Group, a trading arm of China’s Guangzhou city government, is close to signing an agreement to buy Hong Kong-listed Chong Hing Bank Ltd, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. The person could not confirm the price being paid for the agreement. Chong Hing Bank has a market value of $1.96 billion.
** Agricultural Bank of China Ltd is considering a bid for Hong Kong-listed Wing Hang Bank Ltd, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, as China’s fourth-biggest lender eyes its first acquisition outside its home market.
** Corning Inc said it would buy out Samsung Display’s stake in their liquid crystal display glass joint venture in a deal that could see the Samsung Electronics Co Ltd subsidiary take a 7.4 percent share in the Gorilla Glass maker.
** Malaysia’s third-largest listed plantation company Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd said it is in talks with Equatorial Palm Oil PLC to take a stake or buy up all the shares in the Africa-focused, London-listed planter. Listed palm oil firms in Malaysia and Singapore have increasingly turned to setting up operations in Africa, as land in top palm oil producer Indonesia becomes scarce after years of rapid development.
** Poland’s biggest oil refiner PKN Orlen is ready to talk with potential buyers of its fertilizer business, PKN’s chief financial officer said. Polish daily Puls Biznesu wrote without naming its sources that Poland’s largest chemical maker Grupa Azoty might buy the fertilizer part of PKN’s chemicals maker Anwil.
** Italian insurer Generali denied a report in the British press that it could be interested in RSA Insurance .