Deals du jour

August 25, 2009

The Obama administration pledges to stay out of General Motors’ choice of a buyer for its European Opel unit, while union leaders in Germany put more pressure on the U.S. automaker to make a decision. Meanwhile, Lowe’s Companies Inc (LOW.N), the No. 2 U.S. home improvement chain, is making its first foray outside North America through a joint venture with Woolworths Ltd (WOW.AX), Australia’s largest retailer.

For more on these stories, and all the other latest deals news from Reuters, click here.

And here’s what’s in the papers (some external links may require subscriptions):

* The sale of Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS.L) retail and commercial assets in China has hit a stumbling block that could derail the talks with the preferred bidder, Standard Chartered (STAN.L), the Financial Times reported.

* Britain’s largest free-to-air broadcaster ITV (ITV.L) is weeks away from signing a deal with Hulu, the U.S. video-on-demand venture, to syndicate its content in exchange for equity in the company, the Daily Telegraph said.

* China’s state-owned Shandong Iron and Steel Group, the world’s eighth-largest steel maker, will take a 67 percent stake in Rizhao Iron and Steel, one of the sector’s largest non-state firms, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Tuesday.

* Chinese supermarket chain Times Ltd’s (1832.HK) majority shareholder has invited bidders to make offers for the retailer, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

* Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) plans to raise its daily production level in Japan in November compared with a year earlier for the first time in 16 months, thanks to a recoveryin demand, the Asahi newspaper reported on Tuesday. Reuters story here.

* Austrian bank BAWAG P.S.K., owned by U.S. financier Cerberus Capital, will get a planned 550 million euros ($786.8 million) of state aid in October or November but will have to accept strict conditions, state broadcaster ORF reported. Reuters story here.

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