February 19, 2008 / 10:19 AM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Staples, Ducati, Cordero Energy, and others)

Feb 19 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals involving European, U.S. and Asian companies were reported by 2100 GMT on Tuesday.

(For Reuters columns on deals, click on [DEALTALK/])

** U.S. office supply retailer Staples Inc SPLS.O made an unsolicited 2.5 billion euro ($3.7 billion) bid for Corporate Express CXP.AS after unsuccessful attempts to hold friendly merger talks with the Dutch office supply company.

To read more, please double click on [nL19687568]

** A unit of Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) has agreed to buy 900,000 acres of forestland and related assets in the southern United States for $1.7 billion including debt, the seller said. [nN19289792]

** Russian steel maker Evraz Group HK1q.L said it may spend as much as $1.5 billion to buy Delong Holdings Ltd (DELO.SI) in its first move into China’s giant steel market, the world’s fastest growing.[nL18432170]

** Home-healthcare provider Amedisys Inc (AMED.O) said it agreed to acquire TLC Health Care Services Inc, which provides home nursing and hospice services, from private equity investment firm Arcapita Inc and its affiliates for $395 million in cash. [nBNG88073]

** NiSource Inc (NI.N) said electricity and gas utility Unitil Corp (UTL.A) agreed to buy two of its units for $160 million in a deal expected to strengthen Unitil’s gas utility operations and expand the company’s customer base by 40 percent. [nBNG91744]

** Australian financial services firm Bell Financial Group (BFG.AX) said it had agreed to buy stock broker Tricom Equities Ltd. [nSYB003639]

** Key shareholders in Italian motorcycle maker Ducati DMH.MI said they would launch an offer to buy the 70 percent of the company they do not own for 390.8 million euros ($575.4 million). [nL19581868]

** China’s Midea Electric Appliances Co 000527.SZ said it will form a refrigeration compressor manufacturing venture with a unit of Toshiba Corp (6502.T), with planned total investment of 492 million yuan ($68.7 million) by October. [nSHA337435]

** Oman Telecommunications Co OTL.OM (Omantel) said it paid $193 million for a controlling stake in Pakistan’s Worldcall Telecom WTCL.KA, its biggest investment outside its home country. [nL19875455]

** Norsk Hydro (NHY.OL) said it has agreed to sell for 800 million Norwegian crowns ($148.2 million) its Production Partner and Production Services units to Germany’s Bilfinger Berger (GBFG.DE). [nL19303889]

** Smart-card maker Oberthur OCS.PA launched an agreed $111 million bid for Swedish peer XPonCard XPON.ST to create the world’s second-largest player in the sector behind Gemalto GTO.PA. [nL19258656]

** ING Real Estate said that one of its funds had bought three hypermarkets from South Korea’s Lotte Shopping Co (023530.KS) and would lease the property back to the retailer. [nHKG331630]

** Belgian steel cord and wire manufacturer Bekaert (BEKB.BR) said it would buy the 50 percent it does not already own in its smaller Turkish counterpart Beksa for 40.3 million euros ($58.94 million). [nWEB5625]

** Lottomatica LTO.MI subsidiary GTech and Medstroms said they together had 61.5 percent of Swedish gaming software firm Boss Media BOSS.ST and must now make a mandatory bid for the rest. [nL1854582]

** Turkey has received four bids for the privatisation of cigarette firm Tekel Sigara, including a bid from British American Tobacco (BATS.L), the Privatisation Administration said. [nIST001624]

** Spice Plc (SPI.L), a support services firm for the energy sector, may consider selling its telecoms division to a global telecoms operator, helping to finance its aggressive growth strategy, its CEO told Reuters [nL18629048]

** Russia’s Novolipetsk Steel (NLMKq.L) NLMK.L, the country’s number four steel maker by output, has clinched a deal with Duferco Group which will permit it to secure control in their joint venture, NLMK said. [nL18705602]

** Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) has reached a deal to more than double its stake in Indian TV and movie content maker UTV UTVS.BO, the two firms said, underscoring the U.S. entertainment firm’s efforts to expand globally. [nBOM46172]

** Spain’s Gaesco Holding GAES.BC said it had received offers to take a major stake in the firm or for the purchase of some of its units. [nL18568407]

** Britain’s Centrica (CNA.L) said it was interested in teaming up with its Belgian partner SPE to buy a majority stake in Belgium’s Distrigas DISTy.BR from French utility Suez LYOE.PA. [nL19875743]

** Enmax Corp, the power utility in Calgary, Alberta, is buying junior gas producer Cordero Energy Inc COR.TO for about C$160 million ($158 million) to secure fuel supply for a plant that generates power for the Western Canadian city, it said. [nN19297272]

** Indian drug maker Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd RANB.BO said its board had approved the spin-off of its drug discovery research unit, which it said would yield cost savings of $25 million in the current year. [nBOM75635]

** Money manager Natixis Global Asset Management said it has bought Gateway Investment Advisers, well known for its options hedging program, for an undisclosed amount of money. [nN19383972]

** Information technology company Agilysys Inc (AGYS.O) said it acquired Eatec Corp, a privately held developer of inventory and procurement software, for $23.2 million. [nWNAS1472]

** Lakeland Industries Inc (LAKE.O) said it intends to buy Brazilian protective apparel supplier Qualytextil S.A., based in Salvador Bahia, Brazil, for about $12.5 million. [nWNAS1447]

** Turkish cement company Baticim Bati (BTCIM.IS) said it had made an offer to Ciments Francais CMFP.PA for its Turkish cement businesses. [nL19337640]

** Energias de Portugal’s (EDP.LS) U.S. subsidiary Horizon has acquired six wind parks with a capacity of 1,050 megawatts, boosting the company’s potential output in the U.S. market. [nL1946367]

** German solar energy group Conergy AG CGYG.DE said it had sold its thermal activities in Belgium and the Netherlands as part of its efforts to return to profitability. [nL19598000] (Compiled by Tina Kwan in Singapore; Ratul Ray Chaudhuri and Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore)

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