Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions
(Adds Kohl's, Nestle, Kone, Non-Standard Finance)
May 15 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** U.S. department store operator Kohl's Corp KSS.N has approached At Home Group Inc HOME.N to express interest in acquiring the U.S. home decor retail chain, people familiar with the matter said. Nestle SA NESN.S is in exclusive talks with a consortium led by private equity firm EQT Partners for a sale of its skin health unit, according to a source familiar with the matter. Finland's Kone KNEBV.HE is assessing the viability of a bid for Thyssenkrupp's TKAG.DE 14 billion euro ($15.7 billion) elevators division even as the German conglomerate pursues plans to list it, four people familiar with the matter said. Russia's second-largest bank VTB VTBR.MM is in talks to buy a stake in Rustranscom (RTC), the country's biggest transporter of grain by rail, four industry sources told Reuters. Singapore-listed real estate firm City Developments Ltd CTDM.SI said it intended to invest nearly $1 billion in China including the purchase of an indirect stake in Sincere Property Group. Australian gold miner St Barbara Ltd SBM.AX said it will buy smaller Canadian peer Atlantic Gold Corp AGB.V for C$722 million ($536 million), marking a second overseas acquisition for cashed-up Australian producers. LafargeHolcim Ltd LHN.S expects to increase the number of small acquisitions it makes this year after buying four businesses so far in 2019, Chief Executive Jan Jenisch said. SPAR Group Ltd SPPJ.J is in the final stages of talks to buy a controlling stake in Polish deli and supermarket chain Piotr I Pawel group, the South African retailer said, part of efforts to expand in Europe. French supermarket group Auchan Retail's AUCH.UL plans to sell its loss-making business in Vietnam is already drawing interest from potential buyers, a company spokesman told Reuters. Italian lender Bper Banca EMII.MI is not looking to lead a rescue of ailing rival Carige CRGI.MI after U.S. asset manager BlackRock Inc (NYSE: BLK ) BLK.N dropped a potential bid for the Genoa-based bank, CEO Alessandro Vandelli said. Israeli business intelligence software provider Sisense said it acquired Periscope Data, a U.S. provider of analytics for cloud data professionals. Merging broadband infrastructure group Open Fiber with the networks of Telecom Italia (TIM) TLIT.MI would be positive, TIM's chief executive said. Four private equity firms are looking to submit final bids for Italian chemicals firm Industria Chimica Emiliana (ICE (NYSE: ICE )) in a deal valued at about 600 million euros ($673 million), sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Searchlight Capital Partners moved a step closer to taking control of Israel's largest telecoms group, Bezeq Israel Telecom BEZQ.TA , after its parent company said it was satisfied with Searchlight's latest offer. One of Brazilian retail Via Varejo SA's VVAR3.SA biggest shareholders is hiring a financial advisor to consider increasing his stake, the company said in a filing. A deal to merge Vodafone's tower infrastructure in Italy VOD.L ninto INWIT INWT.MI , the mast group 60 percent owned by Telecom Italia (TIM) TLIT.MI , will be signed by the summer, INWIT's Chief Executive Giovanni Ferigo said. Britain's Non-Standard Finance NSF.L dropped the level of acceptances needed to press ahead with a 1.3 billion pound ($1.7 billion) hostile bid for Provident Financial PFG.L after winning over investors with 53.53% of its shares. Two Czech energy billionaires and state-controlled CEZ CEZP.PR have bid to buy Swiss firm Alpiq's ALPH.S coal-and gas-fired power plants in the Czech Republic, sources close to the deal said. Turkey's Teklas Kaucuk, which supplies parts to carmakers such as General Motors (NYSE: GM ) GM.N and BMW BMWG.DE , has put itself up for sale in a deal that could value the company at as much as 700 million euros ($782.9 million), two people familiar with the matter said.
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