March 22, 2018 / 10:39 AM / in 6 months

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Cellnex, M.Video, Dogan Holding; Updates GlaxoSmithKline, Xplornet)

March 22 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:

** GlaxoSmithKline has pulled ahead in a race to buy Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business, which the U.S. drugmaker believes could be worth as much as $20 billion, after its main rival Reckitt Benckiser quit the auction.

** French media giant Vivendi is selling its stake in Ubisoft for 2 billion euros ($2.45 billion) to investors including Chinese tech titan Tencent, ending a potential takeover battle for the French video games maker.

** Canadian privately held broadband provider Xplornet Communications Inc has hired two investment banks to explore a potential sale that could value the company at C$2 billion ($1.55 billion), including debt, according to sources familiar with the matter.

** Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit Systems, said it was in the process of completing the acquisition of privately held U.S.-based Universal Avionics Systems Corp through an asset allocation agreement.

** Britain’s Stobart Group said it has scrapped plans to buy Flybe Group, adding the UK-based regional airline had rejected a bid and it had decided against making a higher offer.

** U.S. private equity firm Starwood Capital Group announced bids to acquire a quarter of Austrian property company CA Immo and a smaller stake in its rival Immofinanz, sending shares in both higher.

** Turkey’s Dogan Holding has started talks to sell its $890 million media arm to an unlisted firm seen as close to Tayyip Erdogan, a deal likely to cement media support for the president ahead of 2019 elections.

** Russia’s electrical goods retailer M.Video and rival Eldorado, both owned by Safmar Group, have been merged in a 45.5 billion rouble ($798 million) long-expected deal.

** Global miner Rio Tinto agreed to sell its 75 percent stake in a Queensland coal project to Australia’s Whitehaven Coal for $200 million, as part of a strategic decision to exit coal and focus on growth in iron ore, copper and aluminum businesses.

** Fans will be glued to the “March Madness” college basketball tournament as the joint owner of rights for the games, Time Warner Inc, goes before a judge on Thursday to defend a proposed takeover by AT&T Inc.

** Chrysaor, which bought a portfolio of Royal Dutch Shell assets last year, said on Thursday it would acquire stakes in three ageing North Sea fields from Spirit Energy.

** Teleology Holdings has agreed to buy 9mobile, Nigeria’s fourth-largest telecoms provider, the investment firm said.

** Emirates NBD could agree to buy Turkey’s Denizbank within weeks, sources said, after intense lobbying by the Turkish bank to convince President Tayyip Erdogan of the benefits of the potential $5.3 billion deal despite a diplomatic rift.

** Four high-profile British lawmakers have called for Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox to be blocked from buying Sky, saying the mogul will be able to influence its news output despite promises to the contrary.

** Chinese conglomerate CEFC had already started paying for a stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft when the economic crime police took its chairman Ye Jianming away, halting the $9.1 billion deal in its tracks, according to three sources close to the matter.

** Towers group Cellnex could end up being owned by Benetton’s Edizione if the Italian holding company’s infrastructure business Atlantia purchases a stake in the Spanish company, two sources close to the matter said.

Compiled by Karan Nagarkatti and Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru

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