Company News

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Ford, Kone, Scout24, Eletrobras, PPF, Vivendi, Banque Centrale Populaire and United Group)

Oct 17 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 hours GMT on Thursday:

** Balkan telecoms and media company United Group B.V. is in discussions to acquire Bulgaria’s leading telecoms operator Vivacom, which went up for sale in July this year, two sources familiar with the matter said.

** Morocco’s Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) said it had bought a 71% stake in Antananarivo-based Banque de Madagascar et de l’Ocean Indien (BMOI) from France’s BPCE.

** Vivendi said that investors other than China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd had shown interest in buying a minority stake in the French media firm’s music division Universal.

** Investment group PPF, owned by the Czech Republic’s richest man Petr Kellner, is close to concluding talks on buying a majority stake in Central European Media Enterprises (CME) from U.S. firm AT&T, Czech and Bulgarian media reported.

** Chinese power company State Grid is considering participating in the privatization of Brazilian state-run energy firm Eletrobras SA, Brazil Chief Executive Chang Zhongjiao said.

** German classifieds group Scout24 has picked three private equity firms for the second round of bidding for its autos unit AutoScout24, people close to the matter said.

** Finland’s Kone has submitted a bid for the elevator division of German industrial group Thyssenkrupp that is 1 to 2 billion euros below those by private equity suitors, business daily Handelsblatt reported.

** Ford Motor Co said it was teaming up with Volkswagen AG and to give its future electric car customers a range of charging options from highways to homes.

** Greene King said the European Commission has given the go-ahead for CK Asset, a Hong Kong-listed company founded by the territory’s richest man Li Ka-Shing, to acquire the British pubs operator.

** Insurance Australia Group said it will sell its 26% stake in India’s SBI General Insurance for about A$640 million ($432.38 million) to private equity firms as it trims overseas holdings to focus on its domestic market.

** U.S. luxury department-store chain Barneys New York has reached an agreement to sell its assets to brand developer Authentic Brands Group and investment bank B. Riley Financial , a court document showed.

** British retailer WH Smith made its second major foray into U.S. airports with a $400 million purchase of Marshall Retail Group, expanding in a fast-growing segment.

** Unizo Holdings’ top shareholder Elliott Management pushed the Japan hotel operator to accept a $1.6 billion tender offer from Blackstone Group, warning it would take “all available measures” if it fails to do its “fiduciary duty”. (Compiled by Praveen Paramasivam and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru)