February 14, 2019 / 10:21 AM / 4 days ago

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds National Investment, VTB, Nestle, Telecom Italia)

Feb 14 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Thursday:

** Italy’s state holding CDP said its board had approved the purchase of additional shares in Telecom Italia, in which it already owns around 5 percent.

** The process to sell Nestle’s skin health division is off to a good start, with strong interest in the business following an overhaul, Chief Executive Mark Schneider said.

** Russia’s second-biggest bank VTB is buying one of the biggest grain terminals at the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, in a surprise move that gives the state lender more control over the country’s main deep-sea grain export hub.

** A consortium led by Kuwait’s National Investment Co and including the Athens bourse won a tender to acquire 44 percent of the Kuwait stock exchange, NIC’s chairman said.

** Troubled outsourcing group Interserve would have to pay 66 million pounds ($84.54 million) immediately to lenders if its largest shareholder Coltrane blocks the debt restructuring deal and removes some board members, Sky News reported.

** Israeli cyber surveillance firm NSO Group said its founders and management had acquired the company from U.S. private equity firm Francisco Partners with the support of European private equity firm Novalpina Capital.

** Indian gas importer Petronet LNG signed an initial agreement with Tellurian Inc to invest in its proposed Driftwood project in Louisiana in the United States and buy liquefied natural gas (LNG), Tellurian said in a statement.

** Saudi Aramco and French oil giant Total have signed an agreement to develop a network of retail fuel service stations in Saudi Arabia, the companies said in a joint statement.

** Russia’s second-largest bank VTB said it will buy the Novorossiisk grain terminal from Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (NMTP).

** Puma Energy, the retail and storage arm of commodities trader Trafigura, plans to restructure and sell assets to cut its debt and improve profits, a source familiar with the matter said.

** Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio told unions that the Treasury and the state-controlled rail operator Ferrovie dello Stato together could take a more-than 50 percent share in struggling air carrier Alitalia, union sources said.

** Activist investor Elliott challenged a bid by China Three Gorges for utility EDP-Energias de Portugal, saying it had a “superior” plan that included raising 7.6 billion euros from asset sales.

** Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation has bought a 20 percent minority stake in British power supplier OVO Energy for 200 million pounds ($257 million), the firms said.

** Ant Financial has agreed to acquire UK-based currency exchange WorldFirst, a spokeswoman of the Chinese consumer finance giant said, marking a successful western deal for the firm which saw a U.S. purchase blocked by regulators last year.

** Kinnevik is spending 900 million Swedish crowns ($97 million) to buy a 38 percent stake in MatHem, an online domestic grocery retailer that it sees benefiting from more Swedes shopping online for food items, the investment company said.

** Norwegian oil industry-focused investment firm Aker still sees mergers and acquisitions opportunities for its oil service firms, including Aker Solutions, its chief executive said.

** Scandal-hit British cafe chain owner Patisserie Holdings has been bought out of administration by its management with help from Los Angeles-based investment management firm Causeway Capital, the Financial Times reported.

** Danish hearing aid maker Widex expects its merger with Germany’s Sivantos to complete next month after getting European approval, creating the third-largest player in the industry.

** French media conglomerate Vivendi will finalise the purchase of an initial 20 percent stake in the television subscription arm of Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) in March, a senior MNC executive said.

** Italy’s Salini Impregilo has offered to invest 225 million euros ($254 million) to rescue troubled rival construction group Astaldi, the company said.

** French supermarket retailer Casino, which has been divesting assets to trim debts, said it had agreed to sell its contract catering business ‘R2C’ to Compass.

** Oslo-listed fish farmer Salmar has raised its stake in Iceland’s largest salmon producer, Arnarlax, to 54.2 percent from about 42 percent and plans to bid for the rest of the company, the Norwegian company said.

** Several international companies are considering buying a stake in Woodside Petroleum’s Scarborough gas project off Western Australia, Woodside Chief Executive Peter Coleman said. (Compiled by Bharath Manjesh and Debroop Roy in Bengaluru)

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