March 21 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1635 GMT on Thursday:
** France’s Elior Group said it has entered into exclusive discussions with European private equity firm PAI Partners about a potential sale of its concession catering business.
** London-listed Ophir Energy Plc said it agreed to be bought by Indonesian oil and gas group Medco for a sweetened cash bid of 408.4 million pounds ($539 million) after previously agreeing to a lower offer.
** French healthcare group Stallergenes has agreed to a 730 million euro ($834 million) takeover by the Waypoint/Ares Life Sciences vehicle of Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, and subsequent de-listing, the companies said.
** Australian adult education provider Navitas Ltd said its board would recommend shareholders accept a A$2.09 billion ($1.49 billion) takeover offer by a consortium comprising its founder and a private equity firm.
** Tata Steel is likely to offer to sell parts of its European packaging activities to secure regulatory approval for a planned joint venture with Thyssenkrupp, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** Italian telecoms operator Telecom Italia (TIM) would sell its stake in TIM Partecipacoes to reduce its debt only if it received a very good offer for its in Brazilian unit, a source close the situation said.
** Volkswagen and Swedish battery maker Northvolt and other companies as well as science labs are joining forces in battery cell research, the German carmaker said in a statement.
** Murphy Oil Corp is nearing a deal to sell its Malaysian oil and gas assets to Thailand’s PTTEP PCL, people familiar with the matter said, in the latest energy M&A transaction in the Southeast Asian nation.
** CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd, the ports-to-telecoms arm of retired billionaire Li Ka-shing, said it does not feel Chinese companies are being barred from M&A opportunities in the global markets, even though its bid in Australia was blocked.
** Activist investor Elliott called for a shareholder vote to push the management of German utility Uniper into talks with its top investor Fortum, hoping this will result in the Finnish group getting full control.
** Italian engineering group Coesia and German industrial holding Koerber are preparing offers for Bosch’s packaging machinery business, people close to the matter said.
** Sunrise Communications believes it can win shareholder backing to raise $4.1 billion to complete its takeover of Liberty Global’s Swiss business, Chief Executive Olaf Swantee told Reuters.
** BASF’s oil and gas subsidiary Wintershall will boost profitability after its planned merger with rival DEA, drawing on cost cuts from the move, an expansion of proven reserves and increased output, its chief executive said.
** Christian Sewing, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank , believes there is a strong case for a merger with rival Commerzbank, according to a person with direct knowledge of his thinking.
** The commissioners appointed by the European Central Bank to run Banca Carige expect offers from potential buyers of the troubled Italian lender by mid-April, one of the three administrators said.
** Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board debated a possible merger with rival Commerzbank for three hours at a meeting on Thursday, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Compiled by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru