(Adds General Electric, Thyssenkrupp, Weatherford, American Equity, Limagrain and R2G)
May 22 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Tuesday:
** General Electric Co is working with investment bankers to find ways to shed its insurance business, which has caused it to book hefty charges while sparking shareholder lawsuits and an investigation by U.S. regulators, people familiar with the matter said.
** Activist investor Elliott, which is currently stepping up its campaigns in Europe, is close to taking a stake in Thyssenkrupp, a source familiar with the matter said, increasing pressure on management to restructure the group.
** American Equity Investment Life Holding Co, a U.S. provider of annuities and life insurance products, is exploring a sale after it attracted takeover interest, people familiar with the matter said.
** French cooperative group Limagrain’s grain ingredients arm has agreed to buy Dutch business Unicorn Grain Specialties from Nordian Capital, it said without disclosing the deal’s value.
** Investment firm R2G, the majority owner of Czech artificial textile maker Pegas Nonwovens, is buying U.S.-based First Quality Enterprises’ nonwovens operations in the United States and China, Czech newspaper Hospodarske Noviny reported.
** Oilfield service company Weatherford International Plc may have to sell one of its larger businesses next year to pay down its sizeable debt, Chief Executive Officer Mark McCollum said.
** India’s antitrust regulator has approved the acquisition of U.S. seed major Monsanto Co by Bayer AG, in a decision that moves the $62.5 billion deal a step closer to the finish line.
** Sony Corp said it would pay about $2.3 billion to gain control of EMI, becoming the world’s largest music publisher in an industry that has found new life on the back of streaming services.
** Varian Medical Systems said it would not increase its offer to buy Australian liver cancer treatment provider Sirtex Medical Ltd after Sirtex said Chinese private equity firm CDH Investments had submitted a formal bid.
** Australia’s Santos ended talks with Harbour Energy and rejected the U.S.-based firm’s $10.8 billion takeover offer, saying it undervalued the oil and gas producer as oil prices surge.
** Dubai’s biggest lender Emirates NBD has agreed to buy Turkey’s Denizbank from Russia’s state-owned Sberbank for $3.2 billion to help establish itself as a leading bank in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.
** Shares in Norwegian Air soared as investors reacted to a report of renewed interest in the budget carrier from British Airways-owner IAG.
** Taiwan’s Yageo Corp said it would buy U.S.-based Pulse Electronics for $740 million, marking its biggest deal ever as it looks to expand in the United States and Europe.
** Russia’s Sberbank said it had signed a definitive agreement on selling its 99.85 percent stake in Turkey’s Denizbank to Emirates NBD for 14.6 billion Turkish lira ($3.2 billion).
** Anbang Insurance Group Co’s Century Securities was put up for sale with a price tag of at least $560 million - the first of planned asset sales under the watch of the state takeover group that has seized control of the troubled firm.
** Australian hospital group Healthscope Ltd rejected two takeover approaches and said it will instead explore selling its properties, in what analysts called a risky move that could invite a more favourable takeover bid.
** Australia’s APN Outdoor Group Ltd confirmed it had submitted a bid to buy HT&E’s outdoor advertising unit, Adshel, for an enterprise value of A$500 million ($379.05 million). (Compiled by Tamara Mathias and Karan Nagarkatti in Bengaluru)