March 6, 2019 / 12:17 PM / 18 days ago

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds GAZ, Advent, Logitech; Updates Aon, Bristol-Myers Squibb)

March 6 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Wednesday:

** Bristol-Myers Squibb defended its planned $74 billion takeover of Celgene Corp, saying it had carried out a “robust” assessment of the merger after two major investors opposed what could be the largest pharmaceutical deal ever.

** Aon Plc said it had scrapped plans to pursue a merger with rival insurance brokerage Willis Towers Watson Plc WLTW.O, a day after it revealed it was in early stages of considering an all-stock offer for the Irish company.

** The U.S. Treasury said it was extending by four months the deadline for investors to divest from Russian automaker GAZ , a company linked to Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska that Washington sanctioned over Russia’s “malign activity.”

** Buyout fund Advent has made a bid approach for Cerved ahead of a possible take-private deal for the credit data provider, which has a long history of private equity ownership, Cerved said.

** Logitech International could make much bigger deals than it has before to accelerate growth in areas such as controllers for players of blockbuster computer games like Fortnite, Chief Executive Bracken Darrell said.

** Lufthansa will be an active player in consolidation among European airlines, Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said, declining to comment on whether the German airline group was interested in Thomas Cook’s Condor.

** British Airways owner IAG is unlikely to renew its interest in Norwegian Air after ruling out a new bid for the Scandinavian carrier earlier in the year, but “never say never”, IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh said.

** Provident Financial Plc stood its ground against a hostile 1.3 billion pound ($1.7 billion) takeover bid by smaller rival Non Standard Finance Plc, saying it will focus on growing its banking business.

** Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman’s LetterOne (L1) investment fund has received strong signals of support for its plan to take over struggling Spanish supermarket group DIA , L1’s managing partner said.

** China’s Benxi Steel Group will not merge with regional rival Ansteel Group, the chairman of Benxi Steel told Reuters, putting paid to long-running talk of a potential merger.

** DS Smith Plc has agreed to sell its plastics division to private equity firm Olympus Partners as the packaging company looks to focus on fibre and corrugated products, it said.

** Sweden’s Assa Abloy AB, the world’s biggest lockmaker, said it had agreed to buy an additional 54 percent in Swiss entrance systems firm Agta Record AG for 502 million euros ($567.26 million).

** Oil and gas producer SOCO International Plc said that it would not make an offer for Ophir Energy Plc after an original all-share proposal was rejected by Ophir in January. (Compiled by Vibhuti Sharma, Debroop Roy, and Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru)

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