March 27, 2019 / 9:55 AM / 3 months ago

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Saudi Aramco, Grindr, Deutsche Bahn, Azinor Catalyst, Diversified Gas & Oil; Updates Centene)

March 27 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:

** The world’s largest oil producer Saudi Aramco has agreed to buy a 70 percent stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) from the kingdom’s wealth fund for $69.1 billion in one of the biggest deals in the global chemical industry.

** U.S. health insurer Centene Corp said it would buy smaller rival WellCare Health Plans Inc for $15.27 billion, in a move to bulk up its government-backed Medicare and Medicaid businesses while reducing exposure to Obamacare healthcare exchanges.

** Lufthansa is looking to merge the European operations of its catering unit LSG with a peer as it struggles with low margins in a competitive market on the continent, people close to the matter said.

** Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd is seeking to sell Grindr LLC, the popular gay dating app it has owned since 2016, after a U.S. government national security panel raised concerns about its ownership, according to people familiar with the matter.

** Singapore Exchange Ltd, which is positioning itself as a multi-asset bourse, acquired a 20 percent stake in an upstart foreign exchange trading platform, BidFX, for $25 million, with an option to take a majority interest in the company.

** GMR Infrastructure said a consortium of Tata Group, an affiliate of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, and SSG Capital Management will invest 80 billion rupees ($1.16 billion) in GMR Airports Ltd, which operates India’s biggest airport in New Delhi.

** Sports Direct, the British sportswear firm controlled by Mike Ashley, is considering an offer for Debenhams that values the ailing department store group at 61.4 million pounds ($81 million), prompting a jump in the target firm’s battered shares.

** Consumer goods giant Unilever has made a binding offer to buy French skincare and cosmetics brand Garancia, it said, adding to its portfolio of premium beauty products.

** Private equity fund Seacrest Capital is in talks to sell part or all of its British North Sea-focused oil exploration firm Azinor Catalyst, which could fetch between $60-$100 million, having received unsolicited offers for it, banking and industry sources said.

** Diversified Gas & Oil Plc said it had agreed to buy some producing gas assets located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia from HG Energy for about $400 million.

** Global energy trader Mercuria Energy Group will be able to acquire bankrupt Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc in the coming week after a court approved the plan, Aegean said.

** Greece has set an April 3 deadline for shortlisted investors to submit binding bids for a majority stake in its biggest oil refiner, Hellenic Petroleum, two sources close to the sale said.

** Cathay Pacific Airways said it had agreed to buy Hong Kong Express Airways Ltd from cash-strapped Chinese conglomerate HNA Group for HK$4.93 billion ($628 million), giving it a foothold in the fast-growing budget travel market.

** France’s Renault SA intends to restart merger talks with Japan’s Nissan Motor Co Ltd within 12 months, after which it will set sight on a bid to buy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, the Financial Times reported.

** Troubled South African retailer Steinhoff said it had raised 4.8 billion rand ($332 million) from the sale of its 26 percent stake in KAP Industrial to pay off debt and shore up its finances, sending its shares higher.

** Telenor has sold 100 million shares in Veon for net proceeds of $213 million as it continues a gradual exit from its Netherlands-based telecoms peer, the Norwegian company said.

** Qatari energy investment company Nebras Power is considering selling its stake in PT Paiton Energy, one of Indonesia’s largest independent power producers, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

** Australia-based global real estate investment manager Cromwell Property Group confirmed it has approached London-listed RDI Reit PLC about a possible takeover offer as part of its efforts to expand in the UK and Europe.

** Australia’s Lynas Corp Ltd said it would not engage with conglomerate Wesfarmers on its “highly conditional” $1.1 billion takeover approach for the only proven producer of rare earth elements outside China.

** German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on Tuesday rejected accusations that he was pressuring Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank to merge, adding that the government was in talks with the country’s two largest lenders so it could intervene if needed.

** German railway operator Deutsche Bahn said it will explore a sale or public listing of its British unit Arriva , adding this would enable the group to lower its debt pile. (Compiled by Manas Mishra and Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru)

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