Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions
(Adds Procter & Gamble, Bankia; Updates Risanamento)
April 9 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** Procter & Gamble Co is selling the bulk of its pet food business to Mars Inc for $2.9 billion to focus more on its personal care and cleaning brands, the companies said.
** South African retailer Woolworths Holdings Ltd is set to buy struggling Australian department store operater David for $2 billion after trumping an offer from Myer Holdings Ltd.
** Goldman Sachs Group and U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus are among the companies that have advanced to the next round of the sale process to buy a stake in China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** Executives from Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc are expected to defend their plan to merge as they go before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the first hearing since the $45.2-billion deal was announced in February.
** Italian real estate group Risanamento said it signed a preliminary deal to sell all its nine French properties for 1.225 billion euros ($1.69 billion).
** Spain's biggest state-owned lender Bankia said it had given UBS and Citigroup a mandate to sell its entire 4.94 percent holding in Spanish utility Iberdrola, one of its last remaining corporate stakes. Spain's bailed-out banks such as Bankia have been among the most active sellers of industrial holdings as they slim down to comply with restructuring plans following a 2012 international rescue.
** Malaysia's Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd and BASF Nederland BV have agreed to invest 1.5 billion ringgit ($463 million) in an aroma ingredients complex in the central state of Pahang, according to a filing.
** Swiss chemicals company Clariant and U.S. chemical manufacturer Ashland Inc said they had agreed to sell their joint venture ASK Chemicals to funds affiliated with private equity investment firm Rhone.
** Finnish utility Fortum said it would sell its Norwegian electricity distribution business as well as its share in Fredrikstad Energi and Fredrikstad Energi Nett to Norway's Hafslund.
** The largest shareholder in Belgian medical supplies company Arseus has sold its entire stake in a private placement, a larger sale than initially planned.
** Oil and gas explorer Tower Resources is raising 19.3 million pounds ($32 million) to expand its African drilling program and help finance the acquisition of Africa-focused Rift Petroleum, the company said.
** Spanish olive oil bottler Deoleo, the target of a takeover battle that has taken on political dimensions, said British private equity firm CVC Capital Partners had made the best bid for the company.
($1 = 0.5970 British Pounds) ($1 = 3.2410 Malaysian Ringgit) ($1 = 0.72 Euros) (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee and Natalie Grover in Bangalore)