Jan 31 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Thursday:
** British private equity firm Actis plans to instigate an investor vote from next week on its proposed takeover of one of Abraaj’s biggest funds, seeking indemnity from potential legal claims against the Dubai buyout group, said a source close to Actis.
** Bulgaria will build a pipeline to transport mainly Russian natural gas to Serbia from its border with Turkey after three companies, including Gazprom, filed binding offers for capacity at its gas network, officials said.
** Russian gold and silver producer Polymetal said it will focus on asset sales in 2019 rather than getting involved in industry consolidation.
** Private equity firm Blackstone Group LP said it would buy a controlling interest in midstream energy company Tallgrass Energy LP for $3.3 billion.
** U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management Corp has raised its stake in Telecom Italia (TIM) to 9.4 percent, a SEC filing showed, escalating a power battle over the Italian phone group with top shareholder Vivendi SA.
** Italian non-performing loan management company Cerved Group SpA said it had agreed to buy the property services arm of Greek lender Eurobank Ergasias SA for up to 13 million euros ($15 million).
** Time is running out for Deutsche Bank to turn around on its own, making a merger with rival Commerzbank more likely, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
** Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd, the world’s biggest shipbuilding group, has announced a share swap deal worth 2.1 trillion won ($1.98 billion) to take over second-ranked Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd and create a global heavyweight controlling over 20 percent of the market.
** South Korean gaming firm Netmarble Corp said it will form a consortium to bid for a controlling stake in NexonCi Ltd’s holding company, the latest to show interest in a deal that could be worth about $9 billion after Kakao Corp.
** German financial watchdog Bafin said that it is launching a probe into potential market manipulation in the trading of Wirecard AG shares, after Wednesday’s sharp drop in the share price.
** Australia’s Link Administration Holdings Ltd said it would sell its corporate and private clients business to fund administrator Apex Group Ltd for 240 million pounds ($315.17 million).
** Kenya’s NIC Bank Ltd announced plans to merge with Commercial Bank of Africa to create the third-biggest bank in the region, sending NIC’s shares up more than 20 percent.
** Hyundai Motor Co announced a $48 million investment in a contract auto manufacturing joint venture in South Korea that will create 1,000 new jobs but prompted strong protests from its unionized workers.
** Berry Global Group is considering a cash offer for British packager RPC Group in a challenge to a 3.3 billion pound ($4.3 billion) bid from the U.S. company’s former parent, Apollo Global.
** Indonesia will finalize in May a plan to put four state banks under a holding company, marking the sector’s biggest shake-up since the Asian financial crisis as authorities try to create a lending powerhouse in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
** Thailand’s Central Group, the country’s largest retail conglomerate, confirmed on Thursday it will invest $200 million in a local entity of Singapore-based ride-hailing application Grab.
** Grocery distributing company United Natural Foods Inc filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Bank of America Merrill Lynch claiming the investment banks put their financial interests ahead of the company’s when they advised it on a multi-billion acquisition last year.
** Advertising group WPP PLC has agreed to sell its 49 percent stake in consulting firm Richard Attias & Associates (RAA) to the founder of the firm, Richard Attias, a RAA spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
** Chevron Corp said on Wednesday it would pay $350 million to buy a refinery in Pasadena, Texas, from Brazilian state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, confirming a Reuters report from Monday.
** AGL Energy Ltd said it had terminated the sale of its North Queensland gas assets to a consortium of China’s Shandong Order Gas and Orient Energy. (Compiled by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru)