Market Chatter-Corporate finance press digest

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 21, 2013 06:20 hrs

March 21 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media on Thursday:

* Blackstone Group LP, which is weighing an offer for Dell Inc, is making an aggressive push to recruit Oracle Corp President Mark Hurd to be chief executive of the world's No. 3 PC maker, a person familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

* India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd is eyeing a producing field in OPEC member Nigeria for up to $2 billion as it prepares to expand its international portfolio after striking a $5-billion deal in Kazakhstan in November, the Economic Times reported, citing a source involved in the negotiations. ()

* Vivendi SA is considering splitting off its biggest unit, French mobile telecoms operator SFR, and putting a chunk of the group's debt into the subsidiary, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

* As part of its debt restructuring package, the beleaguered Suzlon Energy will raise $650 million via five-year dollar-denominated bonds, backed by a consortium of lenders including State Bank of India, the Financial Express reported. ()

* South Carolina-based Benefitfocus, a software company that develops healthcare and benefits technology, has hired banks for an initial public offering later this year, according to two people familiar with the matter. A filing could come as soon as next month, they added.

* Specialty chemicals producer Rockwood Holdings Inc is preparing to launch a sale of two units that could fetch more than $2 billion, hoping to benefit from an uptick in the U.S. construction sector, people familiar with the matter said.

* Private equity firm BC Partners has held talks with bankers about a possible initial public offering of its UK estate agency business Foxtons, the Financial Times reported, citing people with knowledge of the situation. ()

* Spanish infrastructure firm Abertis is expecting non-binding offers for its airports business before the end of March, in a deal worth about 900 million euros ($1.16 billion), two sources familiar with the process said on Wednesday.

* South Korea's Samsung C&T Corp has been picked as the preferred bidder for a multi-billion dollar development deal for Australia's Roy Hill iron ore project, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

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