Analysts suggest the offer bears the hallmarks of the French government and question the benefits of a fusion.
The move marks a setback in the wider Samsung Group restructuring ahead of the possible transfer of power from long-time head Lee Kun-hee to his family.
A steep decline in nickel prices since the May start of the auction process eroded the operation's perceived value.
The disposals together could raise $4.3 billion for the debt-laden Italian utility.
The Australian outsourced services provider confirms it's collating limited due diligence information for its Spanish suitor as it lays out criteria for the talks.
The acquisition would boost the French advertising group's earnings from digital operations to more than half of the total.
The French yoghurt and dairy products group invests some dry powder in China's baby formula market, with the acquisition of a 25% stake in Yashili for $549 million.
Royal Dutch Shell remains the majority shareholder.
The Sydney company could be worth as much as $3.54 billion.
The French telecom confirms it may shed its EE joint venture in the U.K. and separate out African and Middle Eastern operations.