Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

Reuters Middle East

Dec 18 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Wednesday:

** European Union state aid regulators launched an investigation into proposed British support for a 16 billion pound ($26 billion) nuclear power plant to be built by EDF , saying they had doubts the project needed help.

** China Mobile Ltd said it was still in talks with Apple Inc to sell iPhones amid mounting industry speculation that the pair are about to announce a deal to net the technology giant hundreds of millions of potential new customers.

** Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group said it acquired a 72 percent stake in Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya for 170.6 billion baht ($5.31 billion) after concluding a tender offer last week.

** Private equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP backed out of its deal to buy LightSquared Inc for about $3.3 billion, amid uncertainty over when federal regulators would clear the way for the company to build out its wireless network, the Wall Street Journal reported.

** Commonwealth Bank of Australia said it would accept an offer from Dexus Property Group and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to buy Commonwealth Property Office Fund for $2.7 billion.

** Talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC and its backer, private equity firm Silver Lake, will acquire IMG Worldwide Inc in a deal that will bulk up William Morris' roster of star athlete clients and give it more exposure to the fast-growing sports market.

Financial details were not disclosed, but Reuters previously reported the deal to be worth about $2.3 billion.

** Spain's bank restructuring fund FROB said Venezuela's Banesco was the chosen bidder to buy 88.33 percent of Spain's nationalised NCG Banco.

Banesco, which made one of six binding offers for the Spanish bank, offered 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion).

** Marketing services provider Harland Clarke Holdings Corp said it would buy Valassis Communications Inc, a marketer of coupons and newspaper inserts, for $1.31 billion.

** Shareholders of South African drugmaker Adcock Ingram agreed on Wednesday to postpone a vote on a sweetened $1.2 billion takeover offer from Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals to next month.

** Qatari-backed broadcaster Al Jazeera is considering a bid for a majority stake in Turkish pay-TV company Digiturk to boost its soccer offering ahead of the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar, banking sources familiar with the plans said.

** Japan's NKSJ Holdings Inc said it would purchase Canopius Group Ltd, a privately held insurance and reinsurance group operating in the Lloyd's of London insurance market, for 99.2 billion yen ($965 million).

** Britain's Centrica said it would sell its Texas gas-fired power stations to Blackstone for $685 million in cash and return the proceeds to investors by extending its share buyback program.

** Spanish group Acciona's Acciona Energia International has agreed to sell three wind farm operators in Germany to Swisspower Renewables for 157 million euros, the company said.

** Spanish travel technology company Amadeus said it is buying U.S. technology group NMTI Holdings and its affiliate group Newmarket for $500 million.

** Nigerian energy firm Oando is offering 30.75 billion naira ($193 million) in shares to help it buy ConocoPhillips' assets in Nigeria, bankers close to the deal told Reuters.

** Swedish online payments firm Klarna is buying German peer SOFORT, giving it a 10 percent share of the e-commerce payments market in the 14 European countries in which the two firms operate, and building up its challenge to larger rival PayPal.

** Exillon Energy Plc said it was no longer actively engaged in offer talks and was unaware of any third party interested in making an offer for the company, a day after its largest shareholder said it would not raise its stake in the oil producer.

** German landesbank BayernLB has agreed to waive its veto and let nationalized Austrian bank Hypo Alpe Adria sell its domestic banking unit to a British investor, a spokesman for the Munich-based bank said.

** French department store group Galeries Lafayette is in talks to buy its British counterpart House of Fraser, according to two industry sources.

** Specialty minerals and fertilizer maker Israel Chemicals (ICL) said it agreed to buy Hagesud Group, a German producer of spice blends and food ingredients for meat processing.

** Croatia decided on Wednesday to sell part of the country's biggest insurer Croatia Osiguranje to local tobacco and tourist group Adris, which will have the controlling stake.

** Hungary's government plans to sell its majority stake in savings bank Takarekbank in an open, international tender, according to a government decree published in the official gazette Magyar Kozlony.

** Exxon Mobil Corp cut its stake in Japan's second-biggest refiner, further reducing its downstream presence in the world's third-biggest economy, amid a rejig in the country's refining industry. Exxon will sell a 10 percent interest in TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK to trading house Mitsui & Co as part of TonenGeneral's takeover of a small oil products retailer, the Japanese refiner said.

** Luxembourg is to sell its 35 percent stake in cargo airline Cargolux Airlines International to a Chinese investor for $120 million, the government said.

** The two largest investors in London-listed iron ore miner Ferrexpo - its chief executive Kostyantin Zhevago and private investment company BXR Group - plan to trim their stakes to help the group meet a key free float target by next March.

** Darty Plc, Europe's third-largest electricals retailer by sales, has agreed to sell its loss-making Turkish business and plans to buy a French retail website to boost online expansion, as it steps up efforts to revive the company.

** Mediaset, Italy's biggest commercial television broadcaster, is considering merging its pay-TV operations in its core Italian and Spanish markets, paving the way for a possible sale of a stake in the new company, it said.

The plan envisages the creation of a new company holding 100 percent of Italian pay-TV business Mediaset Premium and the 22 percent stake Mediaset holds in Spain's Digital Plus, the company said.

** Activist investor Clinton Group said it was exploring financing options for a possible takeover of women's apparel retailer Wet Seal Inc.

** German consulting firm Roland Berger said its 250 partners had voted to keep the company independent, abandoning talks with potential buyers.

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