Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

Thu Jan 9, 2014 4:00pm EST

(Adds Hellman & Friedman, JPMorgan, Fosun International and others)

Jan 9 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Thursday:

** Three consortia, including Middle Eastern funds, are bidding for Royal Dutch Shell's Australian service stations in a A$3 billion ($2.67 billion) auction, the Australian Financial Review reported on Thursday.

** Hellman & Friedman LLC is exploring a sale of Catalina Marketing Corp, which claims to have the world's largest shopper history database and could fetch as much as $2.5 billion, according to three people familiar with the matter.

** Healogics Inc, a private equity-owned provider of wound care services, is exploring a sale that could value the company at close to $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

** JPMorgan Chase & Co plans to sell or exit over time its business of issuing prepaid cards for corporate payrolls and government tax refunds and benefits, the company said.

** Portugal's government picked Chinese group Fosun International to buy the insurance arm of state bank Caixa Geral de Depositos for 1 billion euros, which allows Lisbon to further exceed its privatisation revenue goal under an EU/IMF bailout.

** Italian government officials will meet on Thursday to discuss the sale of a non-controlling stake in post office group Poste Italiane as part of efforts to reduce the country's massive debt, two government sources said.

** UBS may be thinking again about spinning off its investment bank - and could even rescuscitate its old SG Warburg brand - to fend off demands that it put aside yet more capital to protect private banking clients from its investment activities, according to Mediobanca analysts.

** Montagu Private Equity has entered advanced talks with Rexam to buy the British beverage can maker's healthcare packaging unit, two people familiar with the transaction told Reuters.

** Switzerland's Da Vinci Invest has bought Italian luxury leather brand Bruno Magli from London-based hedge fund Fortelus, the companies said.

** Chilean retailer Cencosud said it will invest around $425 million this year and will focus on boosting efficiency, consolidate its Brazilian and Colombian operations and lowering its debt.

** A senior official from Thailand's top energy firm, PTT Pcl, denied a media report on Thursday that the company was bidding for Royal Dutch Shell's Australian service stations.

** British engineering company Rolls-Royce made a takeover approach to Finnish ship and power plant engine maker Wartsila but the talks ended without a deal, the two companies said on Thursday.

** Novartis AG is discussing swapping its animal health and human vaccines businesses for Merck & Co Inc's over-the-counter products unit in a deal that could boost earnings at both companies.

** Satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp has withdrawn its $2.2 billion bid to buy bankrupt wireless broadband company LightSquared Inc, throwing the future of LightSquared's valuable spectrum rights into further doubt.

** Singapore Airlines has chosen Airbus's A320 to launch its new Indian joint venture with Tata Sons.

** U.S. drugs wholesaler McKesson raised its offer for German peer Celesio to about 6.2 billion euros ($8.4 billion) including debt, mollifying an activist hedge fund that had been blocking the deal.

** Norway's Vardia Insurance, previously known as Scandinavian Insurance Group, has bought Saga Forsikring and aims to list the combined firm on the Oslo Bourse in April, Vardia said in a statement on Thursday.

** Germany's Metro has rejected an offer for its Vietnam cash and carry business, reported to be from CP Group, the conglomerate run by Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont.

** Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, Canada's largest oil producer, said on Thursday it had dropped plans to sell some of its shale gas-rich Montney properties after failing to attract a suitable offer.

** Belgian chemical group Solvay said on Thursday its sale of a stake in Argentine subsidiary Solvay Indupa to Braskem was on track, even after Argentina's regulator rejected the bid as inadequate.

** South African drugmaker Adcock Ingram said on Thursday it would further postpone a shareholder vote on a $1.2 billion takeover offer from Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals because it was still waiting for regulatory approval.

** The Dnevnik newspaper on Thursday reported that Croatian food concern Agrokor wanted to change the terms of its offer to buy Slovenia's top food retailer, Mercator, .

** EU antitrust regulators said on Thursday they had cleared the $35 billion merger of U.S. advertising agency Omnicom and French peer Publicis without conditions. (Compiled by Sampad Patnaik and Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore)

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