DealZone Daily

Morgan Stanley has found buyers for its stake in Chinese investment bank China International Capital Corp, CICC Chairman Li Jiange says. The firms have reached a consensus regarding the stake sale and the deal was awaiting regulatory approval.

UK defence services firm VT Group walks away from bidding for smaller rival Mouchel, leaving it free to focus on its own takeover defence from Babcock.

In other news:

China Development Bank, a powerful, state-owned Chinese bank, says it will review its strategic tie-up with Barclays, including its equity stake in the British bank after more than two years in a low-profile relationship.

British publishing group Pearson Plc has shortlisted three private equity teams and one trade firm as bidders for financial market data provider Interactive Data Corp, the Financial Times reports.

China’s Bright Food Group will sweeten its offer to buy Australian CSR’s sugar business and hopes to complete the deal by the end of the year, the China Daily reports.

DealZone Daily

U.S. industrial gas supplier Air Products and Chemicals Inc launches a hostile bid to buy rival Airgas Inc for about $60 per
share in cash, in a deal valued at about $7 billion including assumed debt.

Deutsche Telekom is considering an initial public offering or spinoff of its U.S. wireless service T-Mobile USA, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. T-Mobile USA could have an equity value of around $20 billion, the Journal says.

There’s plenty of other M&A and corporate finance news reported by Reuters and other media on Friday. Highlights include:

DealZone Daily

Australian wealth manager AMP Ltd will not seek to extend its exclusive agreement with France’s AXA SA on a joint $11.4 billion bid for AXA’s Australian unit, sources tell Reuters, opening the door for rival bidder National Australia Bank Ltd to start talks with AXA SA.

Shares in Thailand’s Thanachart Capital jump ahead of the announcement of the winning bid for a stake in Siam City Bank (SCIB), for which its Thanachart Bank is the frontrunner. Kaohoon newspaper reports that Thanachart Bank, also 49 percent owned by Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, has put in the highest bid of around $958 million for the 47 percent stake, beating HSBC.

In other M&A and corporate finance news reported by Reuters and other media on Wednesday:

Noted: Will European insurers hit M&A trail?

Analysts at UBS are predicting the European insurance industry could be at the start of a new wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as companies look to counter falling demand for insurance by taking over rivals to boost top-line growth and extract cost synergies.  Bank rescues have created a number of potential targets as well.

The team, led by Marc Thiele, says:

“We believe European large-cap insurers will look for M&A in Eastern Europe and Asia…In our opinion, this would be more attractive than acquiring cash-generative businesses in mature countries; while this tends to offer greater cost-savings potential, it also offers less premium growth.

“On top of the normal M&A considerations, there are a number of additional game-changing transactions possible following the decisions involving ING and RBS to exit the insurance business in agreement with the European Commission.

Happy Anniversary Terra! Love, CF

Fertilizer maker CF Industries gave rival Terra Industries an early anniversary present last night.

The company pulled its hostile bid for Terra on Thursday — on the eve of the one-year anniversary of its original bid, which was launched on January 15, 2009.

The withdrawal marks an end to one side of the three-way hostile takeover battle that some have called the “Fertilizer Wars.” Now, Agrium‘s hostile bid for CF Industries, and CF’s defense against that bid, takes center stage.

DealZone Daily

Citigroup Inc and the U.S. government disagree over how much the bank should raise to repay taxpayers and talks may not finish for weeks or even months, people briefed on the matter say.

General Motors Co is talking to BAIC, China’s fifth largest car maker, about a partial sale of assets associated with its Saab brand, including tooling and technology, two people with direct knowledge of the discussions say.

State-controlled Dubai World is discussing with its bank creditors a new date for $3.5 billion in debt maturing on Dec. 14, a Dubai newspaper reports, citing British bankers.

DealZone Daily

Monday’s big deal stories:

Dubai moves to ring-fence prized assets from the $26 billion debt restructuring of Dubai World, denting already fragile investor sentiment ahead of talks between the struggling conglomerate and key creditors.

British confectioner Cadbury (CBRY.L) gives itself a week to post a formal response to Kraft’s (KFT.N) $16 billion takeover offer.

British waste management firm Shanks Group Plc reveals a 536 million pound ($889 million) buyout approach, sending its shares soaring, but says its board and key shareholders were looking for at least 10 percent more.

DealZone Daily

Motorola is in the early stages of looking into a potential sale of its $4.5 billion television set-top box and network equipment business, two sources tell Reuters. Suitors will include private equity firms and other communications equipment makers, one of the sources says.

In other M&A and capital markets news reported by Reuters and other media on Thursday:

British Airways and Iberia could announce a merger as early as Friday, Sky News reports, citing unidentified sources. Click here for the Reuters story.

DealZone Daily

Dutch bancassurer ING says it will split itself in two as part of a restructuring deal with the European Commission, transforming itself over the next four years into a smaller Europe-focused bank.

It is also launching a 7.5 billion euro rights issue to pay back 50 percent of its aid from the Dutch state early.

Also in the Netherlands, brewer Heineken has held discussions to buy the brewing operations of Mexican conglomerate Femsa, the Financial Times reports.

DealZone Daily

Insurance companies are the focus of many deals pages on Thursday, with Prudential eyeing a listing in Asia, AXA moving to sell a stake in China’s Taikang and Aviva detailing its restructuring now the Delta Lloyd IPO is moving.

Other deal news today includes:

* South Korea’s Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) has agreed to buy Canada’s Harvest Energy Trust for C$1.8 billion, the Canadian company said.

* Brazilian telecoms company GVT hired the local investment banking units of Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs to help it respond to takeover attempts by two global rivals.