March 5 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Tuesday:
** A U.S. administrative law judge has dropped a hearing into Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc’s $3.9 billion bid to purchase Tribune Media Co because the deal had failed and further proceedings would be an “academic exercise.”
** Aon Plc said it is in early talks to buy rival insurance brokerage Willis Towers Watson Plc.
** Swiss drugmaker Novartis has no plans to sell all or parts of its Sandoz generics business, Chairman Joerg Reinhardt said in a newspaper interview, saying it was keeping its options open.
** Media conglomerate Vivendi has sold its remaining shares in video games company Ubisoft, making a capital gain of 220 million euros ($249 million).
** Harley-Davidson Inc moved into kids electric bikes with the purchase of California-based StaCyc Inc, tapping a new business outside its declining core market in classic motorcycles.
** Nigeria’s Access Bank said it had received shareholders’ approval to take over rival Diamond Bank in a $235 million deal that would create Africa’s largest bank by customers.
** Germany’s Merck KGaA called on shareholders of Versum Materials to put pressure on the electronic materials maker’s management to consider its jilted takeover proposal over a rival offer.
** Private equity firm Carlyle Group is ahead of other contenders to buy a 30 percent stake in Spain’s Cepsa for up to 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion), just four months after owner Mubadala shelved a listing of the energy company, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** Shares in German chemicals group Evonik jumped to a three-month high after it sold its clear acrylic sheet unit for a larger-than-expected sum of 3 billion euros and allayed investor concerns about its cash flow.
** The Dutch government submitted a law to parliament that would enable it to block takeovers of telecom companies if they were deemed a threat to national security.
** Italian investment group Investindustrial said it had bought a majority stake in iconic British sportscar maker Morgan Motor Company Ltd.
** Hong Kong flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said it is in “active discussions” about an acquisition involving budget airline Hong Kong Express Airways Ltd, although an agreement has yet to be reached.
** Total has agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in the Arctic LNG 2 project from Russia’s Novatek, as the French energy group looks to build up its presence in the area to service a fast-growing Asian market. (Compiled by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru)