(Adds Staples, Allianz, New Jersey Resources, Dyal Capital Partners, Iliad, Abengoa)
April 4 The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Tuesday:
** Staples Inc is in talks with private equity firms about a potential sale, sources familiar with the matter said, as the largest U.S. office-supplies seller tests buyer appetite for an industry rattled by online competition and hefty debt burdens.
** A consortium led by a unit of Allianz is looking to buy a third of the 15 percent stake Atlantia is selling in its Italian motorway business, two sources close to the matter said.
** New Jersey Resources Corp is considering to combine with South Jersey Industries Inc in a deal that would bring together two natural-gas utilities in New Jersey, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** Dyal Capital Partners, the Neuberger Berman Group unit that takes minority stakes in hedge and private equity fund firms, has bought into credit investor Sound Point Capital LP, according to a person familiar with the situation.
** Iliad founder and majority shareholder Xavier Niel will sell a 1.72 percent stake in the French telecoms and internet group, bank Societe Generale said in a statement.
** Spanish renewable energy and engineering company Abengoa has started the process of selling the 41 percent stake it still owns in U.S. utility assets operator Atlantica Yield , a source close to the company said.
** Liberty Interactive Corp said it would buy Alaska-based telecoms firm General Communication Inc for $1.12 billion.
** U.S. handbag and accessories maker Kate Spade & Co will spend a few more weeks negotiating a potential sale of the company after receiving an offer last week from Coach Inc, three people said on Monday on condition of anonymity.
** BNP Paribas, France's biggest bank by market capitalisation, is to buy online retail banking service Financiere des Paiements Electroniques, as BNP Paribas steps up its investments in the digital banking sector.
** Toshiba has been forced to buy out French utility Engie from a project to build three nuclear reactors in Moorside, northwest England, adding to strains on the Japanese company's finances and to uncertainty over the project.
** Swiss engineering group ABB has bought Austrian industrial automation company Bernecker & Rainer, a move that fits in with its strategy of expanding its products to better challenge German rival Siemens on the factory floor.
** Four investors submitted binding offers to acquire a majority stake in Greek lender National Bank's (NBG) insurance unit National Insurance, a banking source close to the deal told Reuters.
** Morgan Stanley and Banco Bradesco BBI SA topped Brazil's mergers and acquisitions rankings in the first quarter, buoyed by advisory roles in the $21 billion corporate reorganization of Vale SA, the world's No.1 iron ore producer.
** Israeli flavour and fine ingredients company Frutarom Industries said it acquired French flavours company Rene Laurent for $21.3 million.
** Blackrock and other asset management institutions are seeking an injunction this week to block the sale of Portugal's Novo Banco to U.S. private equity firm Lone Star.
** German utility Steag is interested in further waste incineration acquisitions, its chief executive said after the firm bought two plants from Sweden's Vattenfall last year. (Compiled by Aishwarya Venugopal and Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru)
CORRECTED-U.S. FDA outlines plan to speed rare disease drug designation
WASHINGTON, June 29 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to reorganize its drug review staff and create a SWAT team to eliminate a backlog of requests for rare disease drug designation, it said on Thursday.
MOVES-Citi adds to electronic equities team
LONDON, June 29 (IFR) - Citigroup has made several appointments to its equities electronic execution team, hiring Joseph Sidibe as a senior salesperson from Bank of America Merrill Lynch as well as Phoebe Nockolds from Liquidnet and Rupert Dransfield from HSBC.