(Adds Mediaset, NIC; Updates Saudi Aramco)
April 17 (Reuters) – The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1300 GMT on Wednesday:
** Reliance Industries Ltd is in talks to buy British toy store chain Hamleys, business news website Moneycontrol reported citing multiple sources, as the Indian conglomerate seeks to expand its footprint in the consumer space.
** State oil giant Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer, is in talks to buy a minority stake in the refining and petrochemicals businesses of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd RELI.NS, sources familiar with the matter said.
** Saudi Aramco plans to buy Royal Dutch Shell’s 50 percent stake in Saudi refining complex SASREF, a joint venture between the firms, two sources said.
** Czech utility CEZ is entering exclusive talks to potentially sell its assets in Bulgaria to local firm Eurohold, a CEZ spokeswoman said.
** Japan’s Toshiba Corp said it has decided to scrap a plan to sell its U.S. LNG business to China’s ENN Ecological Holdings and to resume a process to dispose of the business with an aim to complete the transfer by March 2020.
** Private equity firm TPG Capital Management LP said it is leading a group of investors to buy 30 percent of jewellery brand APM Monaco.
** Japan’s Nippon Paint Holdings Co Ltd has proposed buying Australia’s biggest paint maker DuluxGroup Ltd for A$3.8 billion ($2.7 billion), expanding its global footprint though entering Australia just as a housing boom there falters.
** Pernod Ricard, which is being targeted by activist investor Elliott, plans to buy super premium Italian gin brand Malfy from Biggar & Leith, as it further strengthens its fast-growing portfolio of so-called ‘craft’ spirits.
** Apollo Global Management LLC said on Tuesday it will acquire Smart & Final Stores Inc for about $1.1 billion, including debt, the second time the private equity firm will own the U.S. food retailer.
** NIC Group’s shareholders have approved its merger with the Commercial Bank of Africa, the company said on Wednesday, paving the way for the two companies to create the third-biggest bank by assets in east Africa.
** Mediaset is in contact with various players over a cross-border tie-up but has no intention of including its shareholder Vivendi in any potential deal, the head of the holding controlling the Italian private broadcaster said.
** France’s Credit Agricole and Spain’s Santander plan to combine their custody and asset servicing operations, in a deal that could point the way for European banks to achieve scale without the complexity of a full merger.
** Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska said he was ready to give up control of GAZ after sanctions against the van maker began to bite and as Western partners, such as Germany’s Daimler, stopped doing business with the company. (Compiled by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru)