Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Ambac Finanacial, Schroders, Baker Hughes ;updates Alaska Group, Westlake, Brocade Communications, Anheuser-Busch InBev)

April 4 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Monday:

** Network gear maker Brocade Communications Systems Inc said it would buy Ruckus Wireless Inc in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $1.5 billion to add Ruckus’s Wi-Fi products to its enterprise networking business.

** Alaska Air Group Inc said it would buy Virgin America Inc for $2.6 billion to compete more effectively with larger airlines and become the top carrier on the U.S. West Coast.

** Westlake Chemical Corp said it would seek to replace Axiall Corp’s board, after its raised offer was rejected by the U.S. chemical and building products maker.

** Ambac Financial Group Inc, the U.S. bond insurer facing a challenge to its board by hedge fund Canyon Capital Advisors LLC, is vying to buy smaller peer CIFG Assurance North America Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.

** British asset manager Schroders said it had bought a 25 percent stake in Dutch direct-lending firm NEOS Business Finance for an undisclosed sum.

** South Africa’s competition watchdog said it will request an extension to Tuesday’s deadline to complete an investigation of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s planned $100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller.

** CJ CGV Co Ltd, South Korea’s largest movie theater chain operator, said that, along with its partners, it is acquiring 100 percent of Turkey’s MARS Entertainment Group A.S. for 605 million euros ($687.8 million).

** Foxconn and Sharp Corp on Saturday formally signed a long-awaited deal that would see the Taiwan firm take control of the Japanese display maker, as executives sought to dispel lingering doubts over whether Sharp can turn around its ebbing fortunes.

** Time Inc is considering partnering with a private equity firm on a bid for Yahoo Inc’s core Internet assets, according to people familiar with the matter, as the U.S. publishing company seeks to boost its digital presence.

** Talks between Orange and Bouygues on a deal to create a dominant French telecoms operator collapsed on Friday, ending an attempt to ease a price war that has ravaged operators’ margins.

** Blackstone Group is buying a majority stake in Indian IT outsourcing services provider Mphasis Ltd from Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co in an up to $1.1 billion deal, in the U.S. asset manager’s single-biggest investment in India.

** A preliminary report by Brazil’s antitrust regulator recommended imposing restrictions on Bradesco SA’s purchase of the Brazilian unit of HSBC Holdings PLC, according to the official gazette on Monday.

** U.S.-based advertising tracking company Nielsen Holdings Plc said it signed a multi-year agreement with Dish Network Corp to use data from Dish households to improve its understanding of viewing habits.

** Serbia has invited bids for a 25 percent stake in its Galenika pharmaceutical company, the government’s latest attempt to attract new investment into the state-run group which has debt of $220 million.

** India’s Adani Group is looking at buying the local assets of SunEdison Inc, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters, after the heavily indebted U.S. solar power developer sought partners for its projects.

** Mercator, a technology services company backed by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, has bought a Seattle-based revenue management systems firm, its second acquisition in less than a year, it said on Monday.

** Julius Baer has completed a deal to buy an additional 60.1 percent stake in Italian wealth manager Kairos to give it overall ownership of 80 percent, the Swiss private bank said on Monday.

** Italian fashion house Valentino, owned by Qatar’s Mayhoola for Investments, has offered 500 million euros ($569 million) to buy Pierre Balmain, French newspaper Les Echos reported Sunday, citing sources.

** Investment firm Blackstone Group LP on Sunday said it is not considering an acquisition of Brazilian shopping mall operator BR Malls Participacoes SA, denying a report published early in the day by newspaper O Globo.

** Japan’s biggest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), is on the lookout for acquisition opportunities in the United States and Indonesia as it pursues its goal of becoming a global financial powerhouse, the head of its core unit said.

** Belgium’s Fluxys has dropped plans to acquire a stake in Greece’s natural gas grid operator from Azerbaijan’s state-owned energy company, the head of the Azeri company confirmed on Saturday.

** U.S. energy firm Kosmos Energy has acquired majority rights to one of the oil blocks in Sao Tome and Principe’s exclusive economic zone, the company and the African island nation said on Saturday.

$1 = 0.7002 pounds Compiled by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru