DealZone

DealZone Daily

Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, Britain’s two largest retail lenders, have ageed to sell hundreds of branches and key businesses to appease EU concerns over state aid and competition.

For more on these stories, and all the rest of the latest deal-related news from Reuters, click here.

And here’s some picks from the papers:

* French investment company Wendel (MWDP.PA) has started looking for “modest” acquisitions, its new chief executive Frederic Lemoine tells the Financial Times.

* Russian-born tycoon Len Blavatnik has bought British cinema distribution business Icon Group, which owns rights to around 500 films including the Oscar-winning Dances with Wolves, Russian business daily Vedomosti says.

* Over at the New York Times’s DealBook blog, the site’s “Deal Professor” searches for themes in the M&A market, scrutinising the nine big deals announced in October.

Deals du Jour

Bank of America fails to meet a deadline to hand lawmakers further details about its acquisition of Merrill Lynch and faces the possibility of new charges from U.S. securities regulators. Meanwhile, Oracle Corp (ORCL.O) Chief Executive Larry Ellison says Sun Microsystems Inc (JAVA.O) is losing about $100 million a month as European regulators delay approving his company’s $7 billion purchase of the struggling hardware maker. And in Asia, China Investment Corp, the $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, buys a 14.5 percent, $850 million stake in trading firm Noble Group (NOBG.SI), giving China greater exposure to global commodities and trading expertise.

For these stories and more deals-related news from Reuters, click here.

Here’s what we found in Tuesday’s papers:

* The head of confectioner Cadbury PLC (CBRY.L), which is facing a possible takeover by U.S. food giant Kraft Foods Inc (KFT.N), said there were some “complementary elements” in the two companies’ portfolios, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

* Plantation and palm oil processor Wilmar International (WLIL.SI) is expected to spin off its China food operation, raising up to HK$27.3 billion ($3.5 billion) in a flotation of shares in Hong Kong in October, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported. Reuters story here.

Deals du Jour

A Qualicaps employee handles pills during a demonstration of the company's Visual Inspection Machine, which examines tablets for cracks and defects, at the 21st Interphex Japan pharmaceutical exhibition in Tokyo July 2, 2008. REUTERS/Michael Caronna (JAPAN)Japanese firm Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co Ltd (4506.T) agrees a $2.7 billion to buy Sepracor Inc (SEPR.O). Dainippon will acquire a 1,000-strong sales force and drugs to treat insomnia and epilepsy from U.S.-based Sepracor.

Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO.N) has agreed a 330 million euro purchase of German firm Brahms, a manufacturer of disease diagnosis tests. Thermo Fisher, which makes scientific instruments, said the deal would open up promising opportunities for commercialising new patents.

For more on this and the latest Reuters deals news, click here.

And here’s a round-up of deal-related stories from Thursday’s press:

Deals du jour

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross says he plans to invest further in banks, but new capital requirements for private equity investment in the sector are still too tight. Meanwhile, a senior German government official says Opel has the liquidity to operate until next year, as a rift appears to develop in the ruling party over whether the General Motors Co unit should be sold to Canada’s Magna International (MGa.TO).

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

Here’s what else we found in the papers (some external links may require subscriptions):

Deals du jour

U.S. banking regulators partially retreat from a much-criticized proposal to impose new rules on private equity investment in troubled banks, aiming to encourage responsible investment in distressed banks. And General Electric Co (GE.N) puts its security business up for sale in an auction that could fetch about $2 billion.

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

Elsewhere, there’s lots of buzz this morning about comments from Adair Turner, of Britain’s Financial Services Authority, on how much of what the City does is “socially useless” and how so-called Tobin taxes on transactions may be considered — prompting big pieces in the Guardian and the FT.

Deals du jour

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):

Deals du Jour

Dutch bank ING has hired JPMorgan to advise on the sale of ING’s private banking business in Europe and Asia, which could fetch over $1 billion, sources tell Reuters.

The sale of the units may may take a few months and could draw interest from global and Asian players, one source with knowledge of the deal said.

In other deals reported by Reuters and other media:

Amazon.com will pay about $928 million for booming online shoe retailer Zappos.com, expanding aggressively into the apparel arena with a well-known name after trying unsuccessfully to go it alone.

Deals du jour

CIT Group Inc, which lends to nearly one million small and mid-sized businesses, signed off on a $3 billion deal late Sunday in rescue financing from a group of bondholders to avoid bankruptcy.  And private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co on Monday moved a step closer to gaining a stock-market listing.

For these stories and all the rest of the latest deals news from Reuters, click here.

And in the newspapers (some external links might require subscriptions):

* Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) might have to sell part of their businesses under proposals to be announced by the opposition Conservatives on Monday, the Times newspaper reported.

Deals du jour

A brace of autos deals feature in this edition of Deals du jour. Bankrupt auto parts supplier Delphi Corp (DPHIQ.PK) has had talks with bankruptcy lenders readying a bid for its assets that could challenge a proposed sale to private equity firm Platinum Equity, people familiar with the discussions say. Meanwhile, as Christiaan Hetzner writes, General Motors will have a hard time overcoming Germany’s resistance to a financial investor if it wants to sell Opel to RHJ (RHJI.BR) in the hope that it could later buy its European carmaker back.

For these stories and all the rest of the latest deals news from Reuters, click here.

And in the newspapers (some external links might require subscriptions):

* Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), the world’s largest memory chipmaker, is expected to invest at least 1 trillion won ($790 million) in a semiconductor production facility in the second half, a newspaper reported. Reuters story here.

Deals du jour

Barclays mulls a sale of its private-equity arm, AIG says it will pursue a New York public offering for its life-insurance unit, and CIT’s assets appear attractive, but only to bargain-hunters. For these stories and all the rest of the latest deals news from Reuters, click here.

And in the newspapers (some external links might require subscriptions):

* Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) is operating under a secret U.S. regulatory sanction that requires it to overhaul its board and address perceived problems with risk and liquidity management, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

* Citigroup Inc (C.N) is close to a secret agreement with one of its main regulators that will increase scrutiny for the bank, the Financial Times reported.