December 12, 2018 / 2:22 PM / 9 months ago

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Unicaja, Axel Springer, Pernod Ricard; Updates Hitachi, Sainsbury’s)

Dec 12 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1430 GMT on Wednesday:

** Elliott Management has taken a stake in Pernod Ricard worth more than 930 million euros ($1.05 billion) and will work with the family-backed French drinks company to try to improve its performance, the activist hedge fund said.

** ABB Ltd is in talks with Japan’s Hitachi about the Swiss engineering group’s power grid business, which it may sell to focus on more profitable divisions.

** Axel Springer SE is considering splitting its fast-growing digital classified advertising business from its content operation in a bid to enhance shareholder returns, CEO Mathias Doepfner said.

** Spain’s Unicaja and Liberbank confirmed they had held talks about a potential deal, driving shares in both banks higher on expectations of a tie-up.

** Sainsbury’s and Asda, the two British supermarkets that want to combine their businesses, have asked for a delay in the competition inquiry into their proposed 7.3 billion pound ($9.3 billion) deal.

** Alstom and Siemens have agreed to submit measures to the European Commission that would reduce their combined sales by more than half a billion euros in a bid to get their planned rail merger approved, showing they will budge, but not at any expense.

** Kazakh state-controlled telecommunications firm Kazakhtelecom is buying a 75 percent stake in local mobile operator Kcell, from Sweden’s Telia TELIA.ST and Turkcell, Kazakhtelecom and Telia said.

** China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co has put up its 35 percent stake in Chengdu Rural Commercial Bank for sale with a price tag of 16.8 billion yuan ($2.44 billion), according to a filing to the Beijing Financial Assets Exchange.

** Australian pathology and radiology group Sonic Healthcare Ltd said it had agreed to buy Florida-based Aurora Diagnostics LLC for $540 million.

** U.S. battery maker Energizer Holdings gained EU antitrust approval on Tuesday for its $2-billion bid for Spectrum Brands’ battery and portable lighting business after agreeing to sell a Spectrum unit in Europe.

** Dell Technologies Inc said on Tuesday it has received shareholder approval for its earlier announced deal to buy back shares tied to its interest in software maker VMware, paving the way for it to return to the market.

** Buyout firm L Catterton said on Tuesday it has agreed to acquire Cholula, a privately held hot sauce producer whose investors include Mexican tequila producer Jose Cuervo , in a bet that zesty condiments will continue to become more popular with U.S. consumers.

** New Zealand’s top online marketplace Trade Me Group is set to be acquired by private equity investor Apax for NZ$2.56 billion ($1.8 billion) after the British firm matched a rival offer.

** The takeover of Kazakh mobile operator Kcell by Kazakhtelecom values Kcell at $615 million, Kazakhtelecom chief executive Kuanyshbek Yesekeyev said.

** Spanish banks Unicaja and Liberbank both confirmed preliminary contacts on a potential corporate operation.

** Norway’s DNO is sticking to its offer to buy Faroe Petroleum for 152 pence per share, valuing the company at about 610 million pounds ($761.65 million), insisting it is an attractive offer despite its rejection by the Faroe board. (Compiled by Manogna Maddipatla in Bengaluru)

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