Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions
(Adds TreeHouse, iHealth, Dow Chemical, Banca Monte, Banco Santander, Vimpelcom, Mayroy, Salini Impregilo)
March 19 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** Food manufacturer TreeHouse Foods Inc is weighing a bid for Michael Foods Group Inc, joining a list of suitors that includes much larger rival Tyson Foods Inc, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. A deal, which could be between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, would be a big bite for TreeHouse, which has a market value of around $2.7 billion.
** The private equity arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Oak Investment Partners are in talks to sell iHealth Technologies Inc in a deal that could value the medical claims company at more than $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.
** Dow Chemical Co said it aimed to raise up to $6 billion from asset sales, $1.5 billion to $2.0 billion more than its earlier target, to focus on electronics, agriculture and packaging. Dow Chemical said it planned to sell some non-core operations. The company did not specify which assets, but said they would likely be from its functional materials and performance materials businesses.
** U.S. investment bank JPMorgan has agreed to sell its physical commodities business to Mercuria, sources close to the deal said on Wednesday, catapulting the Swiss trade house into the top tier of commodities traders.
** Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is becoming a potential takeover target after its biggest shareholder halved its controlling stake in Italy's third-largest bank.
** Banco Santander Brasil SA expects to conclude the buyout of card payment processor GetNet Tecnologia SA in the second quarter, a senior executive said, a move that should boost the footprint of Brazil's largest foreign lender in a fast-growing sector.
** Mayroy, the biggest shareholder in French pharmaceutical company Ipsen, announced on Wednesday the sale of a 7 percent stake in Ipsen via private placement, bringing its stake down to 57.6 percent.
** Russian telecoms operator Vimpelcom is considering a refinancing plan for its Italian subsidiary Wind, which could lead to a merger for the unit that has debt of $14.5 billion.
** Italian builder Salini Impregilo has agreed to sell its waste-to-energy unit to Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering for around 140 million euros ($195 million).
** Florida and other U.S. states will join the Justice Department in seeking to determine if Comcast Corp's plan to merge with Time Warner Cable is legal under U.S. antitrust law, Florida said in a statement to Reuters.
** French diagnostics specialist BioMerieux will look at the microbiology unit Siemens is considering selling, BioMerieux's chief executive told Reuters.
** Horizon Pharma Inc said it would buy Dublin-based Vidara Therapeutics International Ltd in a reverse merger valued at about $660 million, putting the U.S. company in position to benefit from Ireland's low corporate tax rates.
** Two Abu Dhabi lenders have emerged as frontrunners to buy most of Barclays' retail banking operations in the United Arab Emirates, with a final decision expected next month after a competitive bidding process, banking sources said on Wednesday.
** HeidelbergCement expects to sell its U.S. and British building materials business in the middle of the year, Chief Executive Bernd Scheifele told reporters on Wednesday, adding that a stock market floatation was still an option.
** The chief executive of Brenntag AG, Steven Holland, told a press conference on Wednesday that the German chemicals distributor would soon announce a takeover deal.
** India's Sagar Cements Ltd on Wednesday denied a newspaper report that it was in talks to sell its 47 percent stake in a joint venture with Vicat SA to the French cement maker.
** Israel Corporation Ltd, one of Israel's largest conglomerates, said on Tuesday that it was examining the sale of up to 7 percent of its stake in Israel Chemicals Ltd.
** Russian retailer X5 Retail Group has agreed to sell its stores in Ukraine to local rival Varus for an estimated $5 million to $10 million, Ukrainian newspaper Capital reported.
** Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp's president said the company was not selling its controlling stake in liquor-maker Ginebra San Miguel Inc.
** Australia's Stockland Corp Ltd said on Wednesday that it bought a 19.9 percent stake in smaller rival Australand Property Group, laying the foundation for the creation of a possible A$11 billion ($10.05 billion) property giant.
** Singapore's CapitaLand Ltd said on Wednesday that it had sold its remaining 39.1 percent stake in Australia's Australand Property Group for around $849 million.
** Citadel Capital SAE is in talks to sell its 66.1 percent ownership in the Sudanese Egyptian Bank as part of a program to shed non-core assets.
** Austrian oil and gas group OMV AG said on Wednesday that it had struck an agreement with U.S. peer Hess Corp to buy four oil and gas licenses in the West of Shetland offshore area for $50 million.
** Blackstone Group LP is working on a higher takeover bid for industrial conglomerate Gates Global Inc after its previous offer of roughly $5.5 billion was turned down by Gates' owners last week, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
** Japan's Fast Retailing Co Ltd, the parent of apparel chain Uniqlo, is no longer in talks to buy U.S. clothing retailer J.Crew Group Inc from its private equity owners, three people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
** French investment group Eurazeo agreed to invest 285 million euros ($397 million) in Spanish fashion label Desigual to take a 10 percent stake in the company through a capital increase and help it fund its expansion.
** China's MMG Ltd confirmed on Wednesday that it was in talks with Glencore Xstrata to buy the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru, an acquisition expected to cost more than $5 billion, but said there was no guarantee a deal would be agreed. ($1 = 1.09 Australian dollars) ($1 = 0.72 euros) (Compiled by Avik Das and Rohit T.K. in Bangalore)