Market Chatter-Corporate finance press digest

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 20:00 hrs

March 18 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media over the weekend and on Monday:

* Marks & Spencer Group Plc was at the centre of fresh bid speculation after The Sunday Times said that the Qatar Investment Authority, the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, wants to assemble a consortium to mount an 8-billion-pound ($12 billion) takeover of Britain's biggest clothing retailer.

However, a source close to Qatar Holding told Reuters on Monday it is not considering a bid for Marks & Spencer.

* India's Hindalco Industries Ltd and London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc have separately shown an interest in buying a piece of Rio Tinto's iron ore operations in Canada, said The Wall Street Journal.

* The Indian government is quickly pushing ahead with a blockbuster share sale worth 200 billion rupees ($3.7 billion) for 10 percent of Coal India Ltd, thereby meeting half of the disinvestment target for the fiscal year 2013-14 in one stroke, the Economic Times said.

* National Shipping Co of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) is considering a debut Islamic bond issue to help refinance debt taken on for its $1.3 billion acquisition of Saudi Aramco's marine unit last year, three sources said on Sunday.

* Swedish listed private equity firm Ratos will buy a majority stake in the SF cinema chain in a deal worth around 2.7 billion Swedish crowns ($420 million), daily Dagens Industri said on Sunday.

* The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), one of the world's biggest pension funds, could be interested in bidding for nuclear fuel producer Urenco, the Sunday Times said.

* Japan's Panasonic Corp is considering selling its healthcare business to raise cash as the consumer electronics maker fights to end losses with flat-panel televisions, two sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

* The infrastructure arm of Larsen & Toubro Ltd, which handles assets worth 450 billion rupees ($8.33 billion), will raise up to 25 billion rupees by selling up to 20 percent stake to potential investors, including Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah, the Economic Times said, citing three people familiar with the negotiations.

* E.ON, Germany's biggest utility, declined to comment on Saturday on Brazilian financial newspaper Valor Economico's report that the company had agreed to buy half of Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's stake in MPX Energia .

* Japan's Sony Corp on Friday completed the sale of its U.S. headquarters for $1.1 billion to a group led by real estate developer the Chetrit Group, three sources familiar with the deal said.

* HD Supply, a one-time division of Home Depot Inc that was taken private for $8.5 billion in 2007, has chosen Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co to lead a proposed initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said.

More from Sify: