French dairy giant Lactalis launched a $4.9 billion offer to take over Italy’s Parmalat, prompting intervention by Italy and France to defuse a row over control of the Italian company. The bid comes just hours ahead of a meeting between Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and French president Nicolas Sarkozy where the Italian government has expressed worries about French moves on Italian companies. Europe’s biggest dairy group bought 29 percent of Parmalat in March which sparked alarm in Rome.

China’s Minmetals Resources said it has dropped out of the battle for copper miner Equinox Minerals, saying Barrick Gold’s $7.7 billion bid was too rich to justify a counter-offer. “Competing with Barrick at these prices would, in our view, be value destructive for (our) shareholders,” Andrew Michelmore, Minmetals’ chief executive, said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal paints a picture of Nasdaq’s hardships thus far in a bid for NYSE Euronext. The exchange hasĀ  sweeten their offer with more money but was still turned down and now hope to win over NYSE shareholders. Ronald Barusch sees a four-step program to Nasdaq’s victory.

Yum Brands, the parent of fast-food chains KFC and Taco Bell, said it has made a preliminary offer to buy most of the shares in China’s Little Sheep restaurant chain. Yum currently owns 27.2 percent of Little Sheep and said it will wait for approval from regulators before making a formal offer for the remaining stock in the company.