Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions
The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals involving European, U.S., Canadian and Asian companies were reported by 1000 GMT on Thursday:
** The board of News Corp approved in principle splitting the $60 billion media conglomerate into separate publishing and entertainment businesses, a person familiar with the situation said.
** French utility Veolia Environnement said it sold its regulated UK water business for an enterprise value of 1.24 billion pounds ($1.92 billion) as part of its restructuring, cutting its debt pile by 1.45 billion euros.
** Oil major Shell again extended a deadline for Cove Energy shareholders to accept its offer, giving itself more time to decide its next move as it vies with Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production to acquire the explorer.
** Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim notched another victory in Europe on Wednesday as he acquired a quarter of Dutch telecom KPN, bolstering his expanding mobile phone empire.
** German industrial gas producer Linde AG is the leading bidder for Lincare Holdings Inc and could offer at least $3.4 billion for the U.S. oxygen provider, the Financial Times Alphaville blog reported late on Wednesday, citing sources.
** Telekom Austria's planned acquisition of budget obile operator Yesss from Orange faces an extended review by Austria's competition authorities, delaying Hutchison 3G's agreed $1.6 billion takeover of Orange Austria.
** French food group Danone agreed to pay 550 million euros ($685.2 million) to take control of Morocco's top dairy firm Centrale Laitiere to broaden its presence in North African markets amid weakening sales in southern Europe.
** British lender HSBC raised about $430 million after selling its holdings in India's Axis Bank and Yes Bank , with both lenders fetching prices higher than term sheets amid a strong rally for the country's banking sector stocks this year.
** Norwegian publisher A-pressen has been given the green light to acquire Edda Media from Mecom after agreeing to the competition regulator's condition that it sell some of its newspapers.
** State-owned Beijing Enterprises Group (BJEG) again raised its stake in its takeover target China Gas Holdings Ltd , further frustrating Sinopec's attempts to take control of the piped-gas distributor.
That pits it against Sinopec and ENN Energy Ltd , which in December made a $2.2 billion joint offer to acquire China Gas. The Hong Kong-listed gas distributor rebuffed their HK$3.50-a-share offer.
** Cigna Corp said it agreed to buy some Medicare Advantage plans in Texas and Arkansas from health insurer Humana Inc.
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