(Adds Tim Warner Cable, Mitsui, Office Depot, Outokumpu, Ennis-Flint)
Nov 1 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** Hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Inc, owned by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, is aiming to launch its initial public offering in the week of Dec. 2, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
** Charter Communications Inc is weighing a bid for Time Warner Cable Inc before the end of the year, hoping to persuade the larger cable operator to sell after rejecting an earlier overture, people familiar with the matter said.
** U.S. mobile operator AT&T is exploring strategies for a potential takeover of British telecoms firm Vodafone Group , according to a media report.
** French food group Danone will co-finance the construction of new dairy farms in Russia, partnering local firm Damate, with the aim of securing long-term milk supplies in the fast-growing market, the companies said. It did not provide the size of the planned investments.
** China’s largest instant noodle maker, Tingyi Holding Corp, plans to form a joint venture with Wakodo, a unit of Japan’s beer maker Asahi, to sell infant milk formula and baby products on the Chinese market.
** Russian state-controlled telecoms group Rostelecom may cede control of its mobile assets to bank VTB and banker Yuri Kovalchuk in a deal that will merge its wireless business with Tele2 Russia, Vedomosti reported.
** Brazilian mid-sized lender Banco Industrial e Comercial SA said on Thursday that it would sell 72 percent of its capital to China Construction Bank for 1.62 billion reais ($725 million), which could lead to a delisting of the Brazilian bank.
** Benchmark, the firm behind companies ranging from eBay to Twitter, is raising a new venture fund, according to a person familiar with the situation. The fund will be about the same size as Benchmark’s previous fund, a $425 million vehicle that closed in January 2011, the person said.
** Chemicals maker Mexichem on Thursday announced a joint venture with U.S. Occidental Chemical Corp, known as Oxychem, to build a $1.5 billion ethylene plant in the United States.
** Glencore Xstrata agreed to sell its majority stake in an undeveloped copper mine in Papua New Guinea for $125 million to Australia-based PanAust Ltd, after more ambitious plans for the project were scaled back.
** Ashmore Group Plc is engaged in discussions to offload its majority stake in a Saudi waste management firm, two sources aware of the plan said, with a sale likely seen raising about $250 million-$350 million for the fund manager.
** New Zealand’s Fonterra has acquired a 6 percent shareholding in Australia’s Bega Cheese Ltd for A$46 million ($44 million), the world’s largest dairy exporter said.
** China’s Central Huijin Investment Co, the government’s main holding firm for state-owned financial companies, is considering merging some of the major Chinese brokerages in which it has controlling stakes directly or indirectly, the official Securities Times said. Central Huijin plans to merge Hong Kong-listed China Galaxy Securities Co with China Investment Securities, the newspaper cited unidentified sources close to Central Huijin as saying.
** Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co Ltd acquired a 20.6 percent interest in the 561-megawatt Astoria I natural gas-fired power plant in New York City from the North American unit of French power company GDF Suez SA.
** A deal to combine No. 2 U.S. office supply retailer Office Depot Inc with smaller rival OfficeMax Inc has won approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the companies said in a joint statement on Friday.
** Finnish stainless steel maker Outokumpu reported bigger than expected losses on Friday and said it will have to sell its Terni plant in Italy after failing to persuade European regulators otherwise.
** Ennis-Flint, a supplier of road paint used to make double-yellow stripes along the middle of roads, has recently been on the block in a deal that could exceed $575 million in enterprise value, according to two sources familiar with the auction.
$1 = 1.06 Australian dollars Compiled by Natalie Grover and Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore