Market Chatter-Corporate finance press digest

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 01, 2013 04:40 hrs

Feb 1 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media on Friday:

* Authorities in the UK are looking into an allegation that Barclays loaned Qatar money to invest in the bank as part of its cash call during the height of the financial crisis in 2008, allowing the bank to avoid a bailout, The Financial Times reported.

* Ocwen Financial Corp is in the lead to buy a portfolio of mortgage collection rights from Ally Bank worth around $1 billion, three people familiar with the situation said.

* Bristol-Myers Squibb Co is seeking a buyer for some of its brands in Mexico and Brazil with any sale possible bringing in as much as $750 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.

* The board of stockbrokers Seymour Pierce held talks on Thursday night to discuss the future of the organisation after struggling to raise funds, the Financial Times reported.

* Private equity firms including Carlyle and KKR this week submitted non-binding offers for control of French fashion brands Maje, Sandro and Claudie Pierlot, sources familiar with the transaction told Reuters.

* Indian energy major ONGC Videsh is set to battle it out with Asian rivals from China and Thailand as well as some of the biggest global names for Videocon Industries' 10 percent stake in Mozambique's Rovuma offshore block, the Economic Times reported. At least six bidders, including Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, Spain's Repsol and China's Sinopec ,have expressed initial interest.

* German real estate group LEG priced its stock market flotation at 44 euros ($59.73) per share, sources said on Thursday, raising as much as 1.34 billion euros for its selling shareholders.

* Gardner Denver Inc has asked private equity bidders to submit final offers for the industrial machinery maker by mid-February, three people familiar with the matter said.

* Fashion company Fifth & Pacific Cos is in the early stages of exploring alternatives for its struggling Juicy brand, including a potential sale, according to two people familiar with the matter.

* Italian private equity fund Clessidra has decided to present an improved offer for Telecom Italia Media before its controlling shareholder Telecom Italia meets on Feb. 7 to examine the sale of the television company, a source close to the matter said.

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