* Adds Expedia, Valeant, Enel, Sumitomo Mitsui, Centrica, BT, Fininvest
Feb 12 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** Expedia Inc said it would buy Orbitz Worldwide for about $1.33 billion in cash, its third acquisition in four months, to take on larger rival Priceline Group Inc in a burgeoning online travel industry.
** Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc has arranged financing for a potential takeover bid for bowel-drug maker Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** Italy is trying to wrap up the planned sale of a 2 billion euro minority stake in top utility Enel SpA by end-March, paving the way for more asset disposals, sources close to the matter said.
** Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank is in exclusive talks with Citigroup Inc to buy its credit card business in the country, the Nikkei reported, as the U.S. lender goes ahead with plans to exit consumer banking in the country.
** UniCredit has signed a deal to sell its UCCMB bad loan management unit and a pool of non-performing loans to U.S. investment firm Fortress Investment Group, as the Italian bank sheds non-core assets to boost its balance sheet. The bank did not give financial details, but said the bad loan portfolio being sold had a gross book value of 2.4 billion euros ($2.7 billion).
** British utility Centrica Plc is in the process of assessing final bids for the gas-fired power plants it has put up for sale but offers are likely to be below the company’s target price of 500 million pounds ($767.8 million), sources familiar with the matter said.
** German engineering firm Bilfinger said it would sell its struggling offshore wind turbine division after a 35 percent slide in operating profit in 2014 and a string of profit warnings.
** Britain’s BT Group Plc raised around 1 billion pounds through a placing of shares on Thursday at 455 pence to help fund its 12.5 billion pound ($19 billion) acquisition of mobile operator EE.
** Fininvest, the holding of Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s family, has started placing a 7.8 percent stake in private broadcaster Mediaset SpA to boost its own financial strength and fund a diversification of assets, it said.
** Norwegian food retailer Coop has offered to sell stores in 102 local markets to win permission for the planned acquisition of competitor Ica’s stores in Norway, the Norwegian Competition Authority said.
** GDF Suez will end its free market natural gas retail activity in Hungary from July and sell this portfolio to Swiss-based energy trader MET Hungary, the companies said.
** Britain’s Court of Appeal rejected Ryanair’s appeal against an order to dispose of most of its 30 percent stake in Irish rival Aer Lingus on competition grounds.
** British Airways owner IAG is “nowhere near” walking away from its bid to buy Irish airline Aer Lingus , despite political opposition to the deal, chief executive Willie Walsh said in an interview published on Thursday.
** Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) rebuffed the idea of a merger with Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB) in response to a newspaper interview in which a senior Raiffeisen executive had not ruled out such a combination.
** Microsoft Corp is buying N-trig, an Israeli provider of digital pens and chips for touch screens, for at least $200 million, the Calcalist financial news website said.
** Poland’s No.2 refiner Lotos does not want to sell 100 percent of its railway freight unit Lotos Kolej, but is still looking for a financial partner to buy a stake in the unit, Lotos’ chief executive said.
** Indian generic drugmaker Claris Lifesciences Ltd said it was not in talks to sell its stake in injectable drugs business, and has not considered such an action.
** Preliminary expressions of interest from private equity funds for Italy’s ICBPI value the payment services bank controlled by domestic cooperative lenders at up to 2.4 billion euros ($2.7 billion), the CEO of Creval said.
** China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) provided most of the capital for a more than $1 billion purchase of Tokyo’s landmark property Meguro Gajoen from Mori Trust Co, in China’s largest investment in Japanese property, advisers said.
** Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut will expand its manufacturing in the United States with a $5.7 million deal with World’s Finest Chocolate, a family-owned company. ($1 = 0.88 euros) ($1 = 0.66 pounds) (Compiled by Neha Dimri and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru)