(Adds NZME, Dialog Semiconductor, Itambé Alimentos, Autodis, Total System; Updates Thales, Northern Dynasty, Penn National Gaming, Statoil)
Dec 18 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Monday:
** Campbell Soup Co will buy Pretzels and Cape Cod chips maker Snyder’s-Lance Inc for $4.87 billion as it looks to expand its snack business amid sagging soup sales.
** A unit of Thai Beverage won the auction to buy a $5 billion or 54 percent stake in top brewer Sabeco in the country’s biggest ever privatization process, an official from the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange said.
** Aerospace and defense group Thales has agreed to buy chipmaker Gemalto for 4.8 billion euros ($5.6 billion), trumping an earlier bid by fellow French firm Atos to expand in the fast-growing digital security market.
** Australia’s Aconex Ltd said it had received a A$1.56 billion ($1.2 billion), or A$7.80 in cash-per-share, buyout offer from U.S. software major Oracle Corp, sending the target’s share price up 45 percent.
** U.S. candy maker Hershey Co said it would buy SkinnyPop popcorn maker Amplify Snack Brands in a deal valued at $1.6 billion, including debt, to gain a firmer footing in the fast-growing market for healthy snacks.
** Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd said it would lead an $863 million investment in apparel platform Vipshop Holdings Ltd, upping its rivalry in retail with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
** Real estate group Buwog has agreed to be taken over by Germany’s Vonovia in a cash deal valuing the Austrian firm at 5.2 billion euros ($6.12 billion), the two companies said.
** Casino operator Penn National Gaming Inc said it would buy Pinnacle Entertainment Inc in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $2.8 billion, cementing its position as the leading U.S. regional gaming operator.
** A receiver of insolvent German airline Air Berlin told a newspaper he is optimistic about the sales process of the airline’s subsidiary Niki after a number of would-be investors stepped forward under a fast-approaching deadline.
** Kwek Leng Beng, the Singaporean billionaire attempting to take over Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, defended his bid after a group of investors argued it was too low and sought to block the deal.
** Dialog Semiconductor said that entities controlled by Tsinghua Unigroup, China’s top state silicon chipmaker, had further increased their holdings in the Anglo-German company to 9 percent.
** A Brazilian court issued an injunction suspending the sale of dairy company Itambé Alimentos SA to France’s Groupe Lactalis SA, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.
** The U.S. private equity owner of French vehicle spare parts distributor Autodis is selecting banks for a share sale next year in a deal that could value the business at more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), six sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** Total System Services Inc (TSYS) said it would buy payment technology firm Cayan for $1.05 billion in cash to expand its offerings to small and mid-sized U.S. businesses.
** PetroChina’s oil and gas trading arm aims to buy petrol stations and fuel storage facilities, setting up business in West Africa, Brazil and Pakistan in a major global expansion aimed at taking on international rivals, according to three senior oil industry executives briefed on the plans.
** Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said it would start buying back up to A$1.5 billion ($1.15 billion) of its shares on-market, as it begins returning surplus capital to shareholders after a series of divestments.
** Blackstone Group has snapped up an 80 percent stake in property financing company La Trobe Financial for an undisclosed amount, in a move that will help the New York-based investment giant expand in Australia’s lucrative mortgage-lending market.
** Medical marijuana company Aurora Cannabis Inc said its acquisition-target CanniMed Therapeutics Inc’s plan to buy smaller rival Newstrike Resources Ltd was a “terrible deal” for CanniMed shareholders.
** Idemitsu Kosan’s founding family, which is locked in a battle with the firm’s management over a proposed buyout of a rival, said that it had increased its stake in the Japanese refiner to more than 28 percent.
** U.S. health insurer Humana Inc is in advanced talks to acquire acute care provider Kindred Healthcare Inc in partnership with private equity firms Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and TPG, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
** Norway’s Statoil will triple its output off the coast of Brazil after agreeing to buy a 25 percent stake in Roncador, one of the country’s largest oilfields, from national oil company Petrobras for up to $2.9 billion.
** British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline said it has boosted its stake in its Saudi Arabian unit to 75 percent as it seeks to benefit from the kingdom’s plan to transform the economy and raise local manufacturing of pharmaceutical products.
** A joint venture between Bombardier Inc and China’s CRRC Corp Ltd has won a 1.79 billion yuan ($270.76 million) contract to build a monorail line for a Chinese city, the Canadian transport giant said.
** Northern Dynasty Minerals,, said it had found a potential partner to help develop its Pebble mine in Alaska, breathing new life into the world’s biggest undeveloped gold and copper project in the face of strong opposition from environmentalists.
** A unit of India’s JSW Group said it will buy a 49 percent stake in iron ore pellets manufacturer Brahmani River Pellets Ltd for an undisclosed amount, after Tata Steel Ltd, which was a front-runner to acquire the company, dropped out.
** NZME Limited, the owner of New Zealand’s top-selling newspaper, said the country’s High Court upheld the competition regulator’s decision to block its purchase of Fairfax Media Limited’s New Zealand unit. (Compiled by Taenaz Shakir and Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru)