Singapore Airlines in talks with potential buyers of Virgin Atlantic stake

Singapore Airlines Ltd (SGX:C6L) announced today it was negotiating with interested parties a potential sale of its 49% stake in UK airline Virgin Atlantic Limited.

The Singaporean company did not unveil the names of these entities, but informed sources told Reuters that US-based Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE:DAL) was among them. Two of the insiders noted that the latter seeks to get access to Virgin’s landing rights at the Heathrow airport in London.

The US airline has been mulling over collaborating with Air France-KLM (EPA:AF) on the purchase as the European Union demands that local carriers remain under European control. One of the options is that the French company takes a small interest in Virgin from its founder Richard Branson, who owns the other 51%.

Reuters said that representatives for Virgin and Delta had declined to comment, while Air France had not not immediately available to do so.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines warned that the ongoing discussions are not certain to lead to a deal.

Pfizer completes $11.85bn sale of infant nutrition business to Nestle

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) said it had completed the divestment of its infant nutrition business, Pfizer Nutrition, to Swiss food group Nestle SA (VTX:NESN) for USD11.85bn (EUR9.1bn) in cash.

The deal, which was agreed in April, has secured antitrust clearance in most of the markets, the vendor said. The regulatory approval process is still underway in Kenya, South Africa and five Latin American countries. In these markets Pfizer will continue to operate the business on an interim basis, it said, adding that with the completion of the sale, it would launch a new USD10bn share repurchase programme.

In a separate statement, Nestle stated that the deal, which would add some 4,500 Pfizer Nutrition employees, would bolster its infant nutrition business in key segments and geographies. It has previously said that it would cover a portion of the purchase price with a 364-day bridge loan worth USD8.5bn from a syndicate of banks.

Concerning the countries where the regulatory process has not finished yet, the buyer will continue exploring strategic options, it noted.

Pfizer took counsel from Morgan Stanley & Co LLC, Centerview Advisors LLC, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Clifford Chance LLP and DLA Piper LLP on the deal.

Crown Castle obtains rights to 7,100 T-Mobile towers

Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI) said it has completed its transaction to acquire exclusive rights to approximately 7,100 T-Mobile USA towers. Crown Castle expects to update its full year 2013 Outlook on its first quarter 2013 earnings call.

Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI) said it has completed its transaction to acquire exclusive rights to approximately 7,100 T-Mobile USA towers. Crown Castle expects to update its full year 2013 Outlook on its first quarter 2013 earnings call.

Crown Castle owns, operates and leases towers and other infrastructure for wireless communications. Crown Castle offers significant wireless communications coverage to 92 of the top 100 US markets and to substantially all of the Australian population. Crown Castle owns, operates and manages approximately 30,000 and 1,700 wireless communication sites in the US and Australia, respectively. For more information on Crown Castle, visit www.crowncastle.com.