October 29, 2018 / 1:36 PM / 15 days ago

Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Hero Group, Mars Petcare, Massimo Zanetti, PAG, Telecom Italia, Rio Tinto; Updates Alitalia)

Oct 29 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Monday:

** Telecom Italia could pick U.S. fund I Squared Capital as preferred bidder in the sale of its stake in broadcasting unit Persidera at a board meeting on Tuesday, three sources familiar with the matter said.

** Global miner Rio Tinto's outline deal to sell its stake in the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea has lapsed after years of negotiations failed to produce an agreement with Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco).

** Swiss consumer goods company The Hero Group has sold its U.S. decoration business Signature Brands to investors Traub Capital, Hero said without giving financial terms.

** The European Commission said it had approved the acquisition by U.S. pet food maker Mars Petcare of European veterinary business AniCura, subject to conditions.

** Massimo Zanetti has agreed to buy Australia's "The Bean Alliance" in the latest deal by an Italian coffee group to expand abroad as competition at home intensifies.

** Hong Kong-based private equity group PAG has sweetened its offer to buy Spring Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) , a unit of PAG said.

** IBM Corp's $34 billion deal to buy Red Hat Inc RHT.N drove shares in the small but fast-growing software maker 50 percent higher on Monday, reflecting the huge premium IBM is paying to ward off any potential challenger bids.

** Australian adult education provider Navitas Ltd rebuffed a A$1.97 billion ($1.4 billion) approach from its founder and a private equity firm, leaving some investors concerned the tactic may not generate a better deal.

** Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd has proposed to European regulators it could sell a Shire treatment in development due to concerns of overlap in inflammatory bowel disease treatments and its own drug Entyvio as it seeks clearance for the two companies' merger.

** Private equity firm EQT made a recommended 5.97 billion Swedish crown ($654 million) cash bid to buy Swedish specialty pharma group Karo Pharma.

** Hitachi has wrapped up a bitter feud with U.S. activist investor Elliott over Ansaldo STS, agreeing to buy the fund's stake in the Italian rail signalling group as part of a move to take full control.

** Italian regional lender BPER is one of the possible partners for a tie-up with Unipol Banca, the CEO of Unipol group Carlo Cimbri told daily la Repubblica on Monday.

** Italian infrastructure group Atlantia and Spanish builder ACS have completed the joint acquisition of Spain's Abertis in a 16.5-billion-euro ($19 billion) deal that creates the world's biggest toll-road group.

** Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 Media said it had bought U.S. online dating site eharmony, in the first significant deal since it carved out a new e-commerce joint venture with General Atlantic.

** A joint venture signed between defence company Leonardo and shipbuilder Fincantieri will favour Italy's talks with France over a military shipbuilding deal, Leonardo CEO told Corriere della Sera.

** Greece's privatisation agency said on Monday it signed a deal to sell railway maintenance company ROSCO (EESSTY) to TrainOSE, a subsidiary of Italian railway operator Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane, for 22 million euros ($25.05 million).

** Cia Energética de Minas Gerais SA, Brazil's No. 3 power utility, has received a "tentative offer" for its stake in the Santo Antônio hydropower dam, the company said in a securities filing, but no deal has been agreed on yet.

** Qatar's Doha Bank has cut its exposure to the United Arab Emirates though an asset swap with UAE banks amid strained relations between the two countries, four sources said.

** The board of Italy's state-owned railway operator will meet on Monday afternoon to discuss an offer for the whole of national carrier Alitalia, a source close to the matter said. (Compiled by Shanti S Nair and Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru)

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