April 9, 2018 / 10:03 AM / 2 months ago

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Updates Marfrig Global Foods, Viacom, SandRidge, Elliott; Adds Saudi Aramco, Uber, S Immo)

April 9 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 20:00 GMT on Monday:

** Swiss drugmaker Novartis is moving further into gene therapy by buying AveXis for $8.7 billion, adding a rare-disease treatment that could reap billions in sales.

** Viacom Inc has asked CBS Corp to sweeten its merger bid by about $2.8 billion or almost a quarter more than CBS's offer, people familiar with the matter said, indicating the wide gap in the U.S. media firms' price expectations.

** Saudi Aramco will sign eight deals with French companies worth $10 billion, the chief executive of the state-run oil giant told Saudi-run Al Arabiya TV during an official trip to Paris by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

** Leucadia National Corp, the parent of Jefferies Group LLC, said it would sell stakes in two non-financial companies for about $1.33 billion and reorganise its operations to focus on investment banking and advisory services.

** Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc said it has agreed to buy electric bicycle service JUMP Bikes, allowing Uber to offer U.S. passengers an alternative to cars and further consolidating the crowded bike-sharing industry.

** Austrian property investor Rene Benko has raised his stake in real estate group S Immo to 29.1 percent of voting rights, just shy of the 30 percent threshold that requires a mandatory takeover offer, S Immo said.

** Brazil's Marfrig Global Foods SA has acquired a controlling stake in U.S. beef processor National Beef Packing Company LLC for $969 million, the company said in a statement.

** Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc's main shareholder HNA Tourism Group will sell about 63 million shares of Hilton common stock in a secondary offering, making good on signals it would exit its stake in the U.S. hotel operator.

** Portuguese energy and utility group EDP said there had been no contact with Engie after France's BFM Business reported on its website that French utility Engie was examining a possible bid.

** SandRidge Energy Inc said it would evaluate any offer to buy the company from top shareholder Carl Icahn after the hedge fund manager said he could pay cash to buy the company.

** U.S. investment firm General Atlantic is in talks to buy a minority stake in closely held Brazilian online lending startup Geru Tecnologia e Serviços SA, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

** Activist fund Elliott has raised its interest in Telecom Italia (TIM) as it gears up for a leadership showdown later this month with top investor Vivendi.

** China's ENN Ecological Holdings Co Ltd, the largest stakeholder in Australian gas producer Santos Ltd , said it will "cautiously study and consider" a takeover offer from U.S. firm Harbour Energy.

** French Connection Group Plc said it would sell its 75 percent stake in women's clothing brand Toast to Dutch firm Bestseller United A/S for 23.3 million pounds ($32.9 million) and also consider restarting dividend payments.

** Standard Chartered Plc said it had not taken any decision regarding its holding in Indonesia's Bank Permata , after a newspaper report said a team led by Farallon Capital Management is seeking a 44.56 percent stake in the bank.

** Aviation advisory firm Swiss Aviation Consulting (SAC) on Monday denied it has expressed interest in buying the debt burdened state-run carrier Air India

** Australian mining infrastructure group Mineral Resources Ltd said it has agreed to acquire iron ore miner Atlas Iron via a scheme of arrangement, valuing Atlas at A$280.2 million ($215.2 million).

** The French government is planning to sell a stake of around 50 percent in national lottery company Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) via a stock market listing as it kicks off a wave of privatisations, the Journal du Dimanche reported on Sunday.

** Israeli hotel operator Fattal said on Sunday it signed a preliminary deal with an unnamed third party to buy 13 hotels in the Netherlands for 160 million euros ($197 million).

** China's Tianqi Lithium Corp said there were errors in a Chilean government agency's effort to block its purchase of a stake in local mining company SQM, local newspapers La Tercera and El Mercurio reported on Saturday.

** The chairman of Vornado Realty Trust said on Friday it has a "handshake" agreement with Kushner Companies to sell its minority interest in a Manhattan office tower on Fifth Avenue. (Compiled by Mrinalini Krothapalli and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru)

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