Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

Reuters Middle East

(Adds Pfizer, Bayer, Rolls-Royce, Blades Tech, Mizuho Financial, Telefonica, Castleton, updates Viacom and Dubai Islamic Bank)

May 1 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:

** Pfizer Inc may sweeten its offer for Britain's AstraZeneca Plc to more than 63 billion pounds, or $106 billion, and raise the cash portion of the deal, to kickstart negotiations, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

** German drugmaker Bayer AG is nearing an agreement to buy Merck & Co Inc's consumer healthcare unit, people familiar with the matter said, in a deal that could value the business at around $14 billion.

** Sprint Corp is meeting with banks to work out funding for its bid for smaller rival T-Mobile US Inc, a source familiar with the situation said, as the mobile carrier works to ease regulatory concerns that the deal would hurt competition.

** AT&T Inc has approached DirecTV about a possible acquisition of the satellite TV company, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

** Qualcomm Inc is spinning off its location awareness technology, which is compatible with Apple Inc's iBeacon version, to a group of investors including music, sports and arena conglomerate AEG.

** Merck & Co Inc is considering selling a big portfolio of mature drugs that could fetch more than $15 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, as the U.S. drugmaker continues to streamline businesses to focus on high-growth areas.

** Private equity firm Golden Gate Capital is in advanced talks to acquire Phillips-Medisize Corp, a provider of medical device manufacturing services, from buyout firm Kohlberg & Co LLC for close to $800 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

** U.S.-based Viacom Inc said on Thursday it would buy British TV broadcaster Channel 5 from media baron Richard Desmond for $760 million (450 million pounds) as a keystone to develop its worldwide presence.

** Britain's Rolls-Royce is hopeful of concluding an estimated 1 billion euro ($1.4 billion) disposal, talks on which it announced earlier this week as it looks to exit an energy-related business it sees as too small to effectively compete globally.

** Italian transport minister Maurizio Lupi is optimistic about ongoing talks between Etihad Airways and Alitalia over a possible investment by the Abu Dhabi-based airline in Italy's troubled carrier, the newspaper La Stampa reported on Thursday.

** The chief executive of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) said it was in talks to buy a 40 percent stake in an Indonesian Islamic lender, as the bank eyes the world's most populous Muslim country to help diversify its revenues.

** Salamander Energy Plc is considering selling itself and has opened talks with "a small number" of potential buyers, the company said on Thursday.

** British property consultant Savills Plc said it would buy U.S.-based commercial real estate services firm Studley Inc for up to $260 million to expand in North America.

** Northill Capital, the independent asset manager backed by the Bertarelli family, said on Thursday it had acquired a majority stake in fellow independent asset manager Longview Partners.

** Negotiations to buy Israeli stem cell therapies developer Gamida cell have been terminated, Gamida's parent company said on Thursday.

** Plastic-packaging maker RPC Group Plc said it would buy Hong Kong-based ACE Corp Holdings Ltd for as much as $430 million.

** British pub and breweries group Greene King sold 275 tenanted and leased pubs for 75.6 million pounds ($127.66 million) on Thursday and said it would accelerate disposals to concentrate on its faster-growing own-managed outlets.

** France's Danone SA will buy milk formula processing and packing factories in New Zealand to replace supply lost by terminating contracts with the Fonterra dairy cooperative following a food safety scare last year.

** Israeli billionaire Stef Wertheimer sold its remaining 51 percent stake in Blades Technology (BTL), a manufacturer of airplane parts, to U.S. jet engine-maker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, for hundreds of millions of shekels, Israeli media said.

** The core unit of Mizuho Financial Group Inc is talking to several Asian banks about investing in their operations, a top executive said, but Japan's second-largest lender by assets is unlikely to make the sort of flashy deals like those done recently by its rivals.

** Telefonica Deutschland has sweetened its offer of concessions in order to win European Union approval for its planned takeover of KPN's E-Plus unit in Germany, a spokesman for the telecoms firm said.

** Castleton Commodities International LLC, a privately held U.S. commodities merchant, said Thursday it acquired a gas processing plant in Kirtland, New Mexico and about 225 miles of gathering pipelines from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. ($1 = 0.5922 British Pounds) ($1 = 0.7212 Euros) (Compiled by Avik Das and Ankit Ajmera in Bangalore)

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