(Corrects to remove reference to Gannett Co exploring bid for Cars.com. This story was first reported on May 7, not May 22)
May 22 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** Refiner Marathon Petroleum Corp said it would buy oil and natural gas producer Hess Corp’s retail business for $2.87 billion to expand its network of gas stations and convenience stores along the U.S. East Coast.
** CVS Caremark Corp made a formal bid to purchase Brazilian drugstore firm DPSP for about 4.5 billion reais ($2 billion), though the offer was rejected, a Brazilian news website reported on Thursday.
** Unilever agreed to sell its Ragu and Bertolli pasta sauce brands to Japanese condiments maker Mizkan Group for $2.15 billion in cash, bringing it closer to wrapping up the restructuring of its North American food business. The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company is still exploring options for its troubled Slimfast brand, but has said a conclusion on that would be the last step in the streamlining of its food business in the United States.
** China’s Bright Food Group Co Ltd has struck a deal to buy control of Israel’s largest food company, gaining new products and technology as it chases rivals that have overtaken it in China’s fast-growing cheese and dairy markets. Under terms of a preliminary accord, Bright Food said it will buy 56 percent of dairy firm Tnuva from private equity house Apax for an undisclosed sum. A person familiar with the transaction said it values all of Tnuva at about $2.5 billion.
** Activision Blizzard Inc said Vivendi S.A. will sell 41.5 million of the videogames publisher’s shares, as part of a planned stake sale announced by the French conglomerate last July. The offering is expected to close on May 28 and Activision will not receive any of the proceeds, the company said on Wednesday.
** Reynolds American Inc is in active discussions to buy Lorillard Inc in a complicated, three-way transaction that could see British American Tobacco Plc take a major role to back a potential merger, according to people familiar with the matter.
** Goldman Sachs Group Inc will sell its rights to operate as a designated market maker in more than 600 New York Stock Exchange-listed stocks to Dutch high-speed trading firm IMC Financial Markets, IMC and NYSE said.
** Flipkart, India’s largest e-tailer, acquired the country’s biggest fashion portal Myntra, as Amazon.com Inc’s rapid expansion in the country stokes consolidation in the e-commerce industry. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to one person with knowledge of the development, the transaction is worth about $300 million.
** Commerzbank is close to selling a 700 million euro ($957 million) portfolio of commercial property loans in Japan, a source familiar with the transaction told Reuters.
** Manhattan Resources Ltd, a Singapore-listed shipping firm controlled by Indonesian billionaire Low Tuck Kwong, said it planned to acquire a mining firm in Low’s business empire for S$1 billion ($800 million).
** Sanchez Energy Corp said it would buy oil and gas properties in the Eagle Ford region of south Texas from Royal Dutch Shell Plc for about $639 million cash as the Dutch oil company looks to pare its exposure to U.S. shale.
** Italian businessman Andrea Bonomi may boost his stake in Club Mediterranee to 29.9 percent and does not rule out launching a new bid should the 557 million euros ($761 million) bid he opposes fail, a source close to the situation told Reuters. The 17.50 euros per share bid launched a year ago by private equity players Ardian of France and China’s Fosun International for the French holiday firm is set to close on Friday.
** Russia’s gold and silver miner Polymetal has bought a large gold mine in neighboring Kazakhstan for $618.5 million almost half of which will be paid with the firm’s new shares, the company said in a statement.
** Microchip Technology Inc said it would buy Taiwanese wireless products maker ISSC Technologies Corp to gain ground in a technology that helps connect everything from cars to lightbulbs through the Internet.
** South African telecoms company Telkom made a second stab at buying IT infrastructure firm Business Connexion with a 2.7 billion rand ($256 million) offer, seven years after competition concerns scuppered its first bid.
** Exxon Mobil Corp said it acquired additional properties in the Permian Basin of Texas in an asset swap deal with LINN Energy LLC.
** U.S. agribusiness Cargill Inc bought a Turkish liquid oil and margarine firm Turyag, Cargill Turkey chief Murat Tarakcioglu told reporters late on Wednesday. Cargill will invest over $100 million into the firm, including the acquisition amount, Tarakcioglu said.
** Britain’s Barclays is sounding out potential buyers for its Spanish retail bank, people familiar with the matter said, adding that local peers and private equity firms could be interested in parts of the business.
** Starboard Value LP launched a fight to take over Darden Restaurants Inc’s board, saying the planned sale of Darden’s struggling Red Lobster chain was a “destructive transaction” that ignored the rights of shareholders.
** Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent said it was in exclusive talks to sell its network security unit to defense electronics group Thales as part of a broader partnership in cybersecurity.
** Italian state-controlled power engineering company Ansaldo Energia has agreed to buy British nuclear decommissioning firm Nuclear Engineering Services (NES) for about 36 million euros ($49 million), Italy’s state fund FSI said.
** The French government is studying an all-French solution for Alstom that could involve public funds to strengthen the engineering group if no deal is reached with suitors General Electric or Siemens, Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Thursday.
General Electric Co has agreed to extend its $16.9 billion bid for the power arm of France’s Alstom until June 23 from June 2 at the request of the French government, the U.S. company said on Thursday.
** Slovenia expects binding bids for a 75.5 percent stake in its largest airport Aerodrom Ljubljana in July, state investment fund SOD said. Aerodrom Ljubljana is among the 15 companies the government earmarked for sale last May to boost budget income and improve corporate governance.
** Blackstone Group LP and TPG Capital Management LP are expected to make a combined offer for Kensington, one of Britain’s biggest specialist mortgage lenders, Sky News reported on Wednesday.
** China’s Citic Telecom is in exclusive talks to buy into the undersea cable assets of India’s Reliance Communications Ltd, the Financial Times reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the talks.
** Finnvedenbulten said it would sell its division Finnveden Metal Structures to U.S. based Shiloh.
** Cypriot banking group Bank of Cyprus said it sold loans extended to Serbian real estate company Robne Kuce Beograd to Piraeus Bank of Greece.
$1 = 0.73 euros $1 = 3.49 Israeli shekels $1 = 1.25 Singapore dollars $1 = 10.42 South African rand Compiled by Natalie Grover and Sampad Patnaik in Bangalore