December 7, 2016 / 11:00 AM / 2 years ago

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Pandora, Abbott, Tata Steel, Linde, Rosneft)

Dec 7 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Wednesday:

** Italy is preparing to take a 2-billion-euros controlling stake in Monte dei Paschi di Siena as the bank’s hopes of a private funding rescue fade following Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s decision to quit, two sources close to the matter said.

** Belgian chemicals group Solvay said it had agreed to sell its Acetow unit, which makes material used in cigarette filters, to private equity group Blackstone for 1 billion euros ($1.07 billion), including debt.

** Software maker Fidelity National Information Services Inc (FIS) is to sell its SunGard Public Sector and Education unit to Vista Equity Partners for $850 million to focus on making software for the financial industry.

** Finnish crane maker Konecranes has agreed to sell its German business Stahl to U.S. company Columbus McKinnon Corp for $240-246 million, the companies said.

** The Petroleum Council of Israel has approved the acquisition of 100 percent of the Karish and Tanin natural gas fields by Energean Oil & Gas from Delek Drilling and Avner Oil for $148 million.

** U.S. office supplies retailer Staples Inc said it would sell a controlling stake in its European business to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP for 50 million euros ($53.65 million) to focus on its North American operations.

** Taiwan’s Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, could take over Austrian IT group S&T AG, S&T’s chief executive told a German magazine.

** Wearable device maker Fitbit Inc said it had bought smartwatch maker Pebble’s software and intellectual property as it looks to strengthen its position in the wearables market.

** Italy’s healthcare group Bracco is working on a potential bid for the radiology supplies unit that Germany’s Bayer AG is looking to sell, people close to the matter said.

** German auto supplier ZF has launched the sale of its Body Control Systems division, Chief Executive Stefan Sommer said, seeking to shed assets it no longer deems essential after its takeover of rival TRW.

** Billionaire businessman Masayoshi Son, also the head of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, pledged a $50 billion investment in the United States, and Apple Inc supplier Foxconn said it was in preliminary discussions to expand its U.S. operations.

** Nestle SA has agreed to sell nutrition drink brand Nutrament to Harvest Hill Beverage Company, parent private equity firm Brynwood Partners said.

** Japanese oil refiners Idemitsu Kosan and Showa Shell Sekiyu said they have not decided on a capital and business tie-up as reported by some media organisations, and that they are still working towards an eventual merger.

** German car parts maker Knorr-Bremse sealed its victory in the battle for Sweden’s Haldex by snaring 86.1 percent of the brake systems firm’s shares.

** EQT has bought a majority of a joint venture that will own most of Getec Energie, a German decentralized energy producer, as the private equity group continues its investments in infrastructure assets.

** German industrial gases group Linde AG invited U.S. rival Praxair Inc to negotiate a merger of equals after Praxair defused some contentious issues that had led to the failure of an initial approach.

** Belgian bank KBC Groep NV and Hungarian lender OTP Bank Nyrt have made offers to acquire United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), the Bulgarian subsidiary of National Bank of Greece SA (NBG), according to banking industry sources.

** Dutch postal company PostNL rejected a raised 2.54-billion-euro ($2.7 billion) takeover offer from Belgium’s Bpost, saying it lacked political support and would hurt profit.

** British software company Sage Group is evaluating potential strategic options for its North American payments business, including a sale, the company said.

** Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ), the Gulf Arab state’s third-largest lender by assets, said that Qatari regulatory authorities had given approval for the bank to buy a further 25 percent stake in Turkey’s Alternatifbank.

** Mozambique’s cabinet has approved changes to liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts with U.S. oil major Anadarko and Italy’s Eni to allow the two companies to sell the government’s share of gas from projects in the Rovuma Basin.

** South Africa’s Steinhoff International is not looking at M&A deals in South America, the company’s chief executive said, responding to a question about a possible acquisition of appliance maker Via Varejo in Brazil.

** Russian fertiliser maker Acron is not planning to sell its potash assets in Canada or a stake in Poland’s biggest chemicals group, state-run Azoty, the company’s chairman told Reuters.

** Internet radio provider Pandora Media Inc is looking at potential acquirers beyond satellite radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc, CNBC reported, citing sources.

** Abbott Laboratories said it had filed a complaint in the Delaware Court of Chancery to terminate its proposed acquisition of Alere Inc, citing a “substantial loss” in the value of the diagnostics company.

** Tata Steel UK offered British unions a deal guaranteeing jobs and investment in return for pension cuts, moving the company closer to merging its European assets with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp.

** Germany’s Linde agreed to revive talks with U.S. rival Praxair to create a $65 billion industrial gases giant which will have its main operations run from Connecticut, two sources familiar with the deal said.

** Russia said it sold a minority stake in oil giant Rosneft for 10.5 billion euros ($11.3 billion) to Qatar and commodities trader Glencore, confounding markets which believed the Kremlin’s standoff with the West would scare off major investors. (Compiled by Ahmed Farhatha, Anet Josline Pinto and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru)

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