Deals of the day -- mergers and acquisitions

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 06, 2013 04:34 hrs

July 5 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1330 GMT on Friday:

** Italy's biggest bank UniCredit may consider a partnership for its business that manages 42 billion euros ($54.24 billion) in bad loans following interest from international investors, banking sources said on Thursday.

** Swedish private equity firm EQT has hired Morgan Stanley for the sale of gas grid operator Swedegas, which could fetch more than 500 million euros ($650 million), two people familiar with the matter said.

** Greece will sell its natural gas company DEPA in the first half of 2014, a timetable that could push back plans to sell the country's biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum , an official at the country's privatisation agency said on Friday.

** Swiss private bank Landolt & Cie has merged with the Swiss subsidiary of Banque Degroof Luxembourg to offer more services to clients as the industry comes under pressure from falling revenues and higher compliance costs.

** One of Italian publisher RCS Mediagroup's main shareholders said on Thursday he is prepared to increase his stake to over 20 percent by acquiring unsold rights to buy shares in a capital increase that ends on Friday.

** Telecom Italia SpA has ended contacts with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd on merging their Italian mobile businesses, preferring to focus on a plan to spin off its fixed-line network.

** Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company Unilever said it had acquired a little over two-thirds of Indian unit Hindustan Unilever following the close of a voluntary tender offer, falling short of its plan to raise its stake to as much as 75 percent.

** Japan's Panasonic Corp plans to shut down its sole European solar cell plant next March and dismiss about 500 workers at the factory, the Nikkei reported.

** Argentinian businessman Eduardo Elsztain has backed out of a planned investment of $75 million in indebted Israeli conglomerate IDB Holding Corp, an industry source and Israeli media said.

** Czech businessman Petr Otava is interested in buying a coking plant put up for sale by loss-making coal miner New World Resources , news website reported.

** The Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced its official approval of two related deals by Sprint Nextel Corp SoftBank Corp and Clearwire Corp.

The regulatory approval was the last hurdle for SoftBank's $21.6 billion bid to buy 78 percent of Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. wireless provider.

** Shares of Dell Inc fell more than 3 percent on Friday, as investors grew skeptical that founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners will raise their $24.4 billion buyout bid in order to overcome growing opposition

** Japanese consumer electronics firm Panasonic Corp will buy up to 13 percent of Gorenje, one of the biggest household appliance makers in Eastern Europe, as it aims to tap growing demand in the region.

The maker of Viera televisions will pay 10 million euros ($12.9 million) for the stake in Gorenje, which manufactures energy efficient appliances under multiple brand names. It sells to 90 countries and exports 95 percent of its output.

** Daimler's premium car brand Mercedes-Benz has sold its stake in a French dealership with four showrooms, the carmaker said on Thursday.

** More than a dozen top banks are finalising plans to run a 20 billion pound ($30 billion) share sale in part-nationalised Lloyds, one of the most prestigious British deals in recent years, but with fees cut to the bone.

Banks need to pitch by Monday to handle the sale of the government's 39 percent shareholding in Lloyds and - later - its 81 percent of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the government's shares, says.

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