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The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:
* Activist hedge funds Barington Capital Group LP and Macellum Advisors GP LLC are urging specialty retailer Children’s Place Inc to improve its operating results and to explore a potential sale, according to a person familiar with the matter.
* SoulCycle Holdings LLC, the U.S. indoor cycling chain that describes its classes as a “dance party on a bike,” is mulling an initial public offering as part of a review of strategic options, according to people familiar with the matter.
* General Mills Inc is looking to sell its Green Giant frozen and canned vegetable business, people familiar with the matter said, as the maker of Bisquick and Betty Crocker cake mixes struggles with weak sales of products like cereal.
* A consortium of private equity firms CVC and KKR has tabled the highest bid to take control of Philips’ lighting components business, though rival Bain Capital could still make a better offer, three sources familiar with the matter said.
* French oil major Total is selling its stake in the North Sea Laggan-Tormore oil and gas field as it seeks to shed assets after a steep fall in the oil price, banking sources said.
* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is investing $200 million in photo-messaging app Snapchat, a source familiar with the deal said, striking its latest Silicon Valley deal as the Chinese ecommerce company builds up mobile services.
* Cement maker Summit Materials Inc’s initial public offering was priced at $18 per share, according to a market source, valuing the Blackstone Group-controlled company at $1.67 billion.
* The Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal Trade Commission and other U.S. agencies are discussing allegations that some Lumber Liquidators flooring contains dangerous levels of formaldehyde, a senior official knowledgeable about the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
* Endo International Plc has made an offer to buy Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd for more than $10 billion, trumping Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc’s offer, a person familiar with the matter said.
* Spanish oil major Repsol is working to issue a hybrid bond next week, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday, a move that had been flagged when the company bought Canadian firm Talisman Energy last year.
* Private equity firms and sovereign investors including Temasek Holding, Capital International and GIC of Singapore have lined up to acquire a stake in life insurer ICICI Prudential Life for $300 million, valuing the firm at $6 billion, the Times of India reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. (bit.ly/1b3qLgQ)
* Foxconn Technology of Taiwan has initiated a discussion with Kunal Bahl-led Jasper Infotech for $550 million-600 million of funds at a valuation of $6 billion-7 billion, the Business Standard reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. (bit.ly/1Fd2LDs)
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