Feb 28 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Thursday:
** Petroleo Brasileiro SA is expanding its ambitious divestment program and has “bold” plans for future sales, the Brazilian state-run oil company’s chief executive said after the firm reported its first annual profit in five years.
** Uber Technologies Inc is in advanced discussions to buy its Dubai-based rival Careem Networks FZ, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** United States based Versum Materials unveiled a plan to prevent a hostile takeover in the face of an unsolicited $5.9 billion offer from Germany’s Merck.
** Britain’s Premier Oil has teamed up with U.S. private equity fund Apollo Global Management to bid for oil and gas fields owned by Chevron in the British North Sea, according to industry sources.
** Activist investor Starboard Value LP plans to vote against Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s proposed $74 billion takeover of biotech Celgene Corp and urged other shareholders to join it in voting down the “poorly conceived and ill-advised” deal.
** Sunrise Communications’ $6.3 billion deal to buy U.S. cable giant Liberty Global’s Swiss assets, announced, immediately hit a snag as a key shareholder said it would shun a planned rights issue to finance the acquisition.
** Italy’s Eni has teamed up with private equity firm HitecVision to bid against Chrysaor for ConocoPhillip’s North Sea oil and gas assets, sources close to the process said.
** Aurubis AG, Europe’s biggest copper smelter, is still seeking growth via acquisitions, CEO Juergen Schachler said.
** Automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen confirmed it has held takeover talks with U.S. rival Wabco as the unlisted German company seeks to overhaul its business for an era of self-driving trucks.
** German lender NordLB is considering selling property lender Deutsche Hypo as it reshapes its strategy following a rescue agreed by its owners this month, one of the owners said.
** A merger between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank does not make economic sense at the moment, an advisor to Germany’s Finance Ministry said.
** South Africa’s Liberty Holdings is considering the potential sale of a number of businesses bought in previous years as part of a since abandoned, expansion-focused strategy.
** ABB will not be making big acquisitions in the near future, Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer said, saying money raised from the near-$8 billion gained from the sale of its power grids business will go to shareholders.
** Swiss telecoms group Sunrise wants to crank up price competitiveness following its 6.3 billion Swiss franc ($6.3 billion) takeover of Liberty Global’s Swiss unit and also expects job cuts from the deal, Chief Executive Olaf Swantee told Reuters. (Compiled by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru)