General Mills Inc. and Nestle SA are among leading bidders for the 50 percent stake in yogurt maker Yoplait being sold by PAI Partners, four people familiar with the process said.
Nestle and General Mills submitted offers valuing Yoplait at about 1.6 billion euros ($2.2 billion), one of the people said. A final bidder may be selected in the next few weeks, said the people, who declined to be identified because the process is private. Axa Private Equity is the only remaining buyout firm in the race, three of the people said.
WHAT TO WATCH: *Purchasing Managers Index published at 9:30 a.m. *Roche holds its annual shareholder meeting at 10:30 a.m.
ECONOMY/POLITICS: *Swiss 4Q GDP rose 0.9 percent from previous quarter; Est. 0.5%
EQUITIES: *UBS appoints co-heads of securities unit; Psyllidis departs *Zurich reduces stake in New China Life Insurance to 15% *Roche should provide more data on MabThera, U.K.’s NICE says *Transocean may recover Deepwater Horizon rig from sea floor *Kuehne + Nagel profit gains to SF601 Mln; Est. SF611 Mln *Kuehne + Nagel to acquire RH Freight in U.K., expand network *Lanxess buys Syngenta materials protection business *GAM Holding’s assets slip to SF117.8 billion at end of year *Sika full-year net advances to SF310.9 million *Georg Fischer sees higher sales, Ebit in 2011 *Georg Fischer FY net SF108 million vs loss of SF238 million *Kuoni buys Swedish-based luxury tour operator Lime Travel *Lifewatch posts fourth-quarter net income of $3.3 million
MARKETS: *The SMI gained 1.1 percent to close at 6610.44 *The SPI advanced 1.1 percent to close at 5952.30 *The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.8 percent to 286.47 *Euro -- Franc at 1.2868 at 7:17 a.m. Zurich time