Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Scotiabank, QuattroR, Sports Direct, Public Power, Eurobank, Nielsen)

Feb 8 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Friday:

** Canada’s Scotiabank has reached an agreement to sell its El Salvador banking and insurance business to Imperia Intercontinental in order to focus on other markets, the bank said.

** Investment fund QuattroR is expected to finalise next week a deal to buy between 70 and 80 percent of fashion house Trussardi, three sources close to the matter said.

** British retail tycoon Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has offered to buy cafe chain owner Patisserie Holdings out of administration to enlarge an empire stretching from department stores and sofa shops to lingerie.

** Greece’s Public Power Corp. (PPC) said it rejected two bids for three coal-fired plants it is divesting as part of an effort to open up the energy market and would relaunch the tender process.

** Eurobank, Greece’s third-largest lender by assets, said that its takeover of Grivalia Properties was given the green light by the European Union’s competition authority because it meets state aid rules.

** A private equity consortium led by Blackstone Group LP and Hellman & Friedman LLC and a group that includes Advent International and Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s buyout arm have advanced to the second round of bidding for Nielsen Holdings Plc, people familiar with the matter said.

** Newspaper chain MNG Enterprises announced a proxy fight against Gannett Co on Thursday by nominating six directors to its board, days after the USA Today owner rejected MNG’s $1.36 billion buyout offer.

** Italy’s BPER Banca has agreed to buy the banking unit of its top shareholder Unipol for 220 million euros ($249 million) in a deal that also freed the bank of 1.3 billion euros in bad loans, it said.

** Berlin and Brussels will decide on a potential merger between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank before the next European Union elections in May, WirtschaftsWoche magazine reported, citing an unnamed source.

** Visa Inc sweetened its offer for payment company Earthport Plc to about 247 million pounds ($319.84 million), pushing past rival Mastercard Inc’s earlier bid and setting up a showdown for the assets.

** Britian’s competition watchdog decided against referring the completed deal between CareTech Holdings Plc and Cambian Group for a Phase-2 investigation.

** Royal Dutch Shell bought stakes and options in gas licenses in the southern British North Sea estimated to contain a total of 190 million barrels of oil equivalent from Cluff Natural Resources, Cluff said.

** Oil services firm Aker Solutions is considering whether to make acquisitions to boost its business, Chief Executive Luis Araujo told Reuters.

** Germany’s second largest sugar refiner Nordzucker said it had agreed to purchase 70 percent of Australia’s Mackay Sugar Limited, giving it access to Australian and wider Southeast Asian markets.

** German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he was in talks with banks about their future and called reports of a merger of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank “speculation”.

** Canadian private equity firm Brookfield Asset Management is in preliminary talks with India’s Reliance Industries to buy a stake in its optical fibre and telecom tower assets, The Times of India newspaper reported.

** India’s Bharti Airtel said its unit, Airtel Networks Kenya Ltd, has agreed to merge with Telkom Kenya Ltd, the East African nation’s smallest telecom operator.

** Italy’s Credem has no acquisition in sight and would consider potential merger opportunities only if they met the bank’s goals, General Manager Nazzareno Gregori told an analyst call. (Compiled by Manogna Maddipatla in Bengaluru)