Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Updates Swift Transportation, Anglo American, AT&T, Rent-A-Center, Eskom and Bain Capital; adds Maersk, Whole Foods, Stefanel, Banco and Xcerra)

April 10 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1940 GMT on Monday:

** Activist investor Jana Partners LLC disclosed an 8.3 percent stake in Whole Foods Market Inc as it looks to shake up the company’s board, while pushing it to explore strategic options, including a potential sale.

** Two private equity funds that have agreed to take over loss-making Italian clothing company Stefanel plan to relaunch the brand and sell it within five years, a source at one of the funds said.

** Spain’s struggling Banco Popular is looking at a another capital hike to clean up a balance sheet weighed down by billions of euros in toxic assets and would consider a merger deal, its new chairman said.

** A unit of a large China-based semiconductor investment fund has agreed to acquire U.S. semiconductor testing company Xcerra Corp for $580 million in cash, the companies said.

** World No. 1 shipping company Maersk Line gained EU antitrust approval for its acquisition of Hamburg Sud after agreeing to pull the German company out from five consortia on trade routes to address competition concerns.

** AT&T Inc said it would buy Straight Path Communications Inc, a holder of licenses to wireless spectrum, for $1.25 billion in an all-stock deal as it aims to accumulate the airwaves it needs for a next generation network.

** German food company Frosta said it was talking to KitKat maker Nestle about buying its Italian frozen food business.

** Malaysia’s Petronas has pitched an estimated $1 billion stake in a prized upstream local gas project to potential bidders including Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil Corp , Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production and Japanese firms, sources familiar with the matter said.

** Ski resorts operator Aspen Skiing Co LLC and private equity firm KSL Capital Partners LLC will buy Intrawest Resorts Holdings Inc for about $1.5 billion, including debt, Intrawest said.

** The pressure on Rent-A-Center Inc to auction itself increased after Marcato Capital joined fellow activist investor Engaged Capital to force the rent-to-own furniture retailer to pursue a sale rather than a “risky” turnaround plan.

** Trucking and logistics operators Swift Transportation Co and Knight Transportation Inc are merging in a stock-swap deal, creating a company with a market value of more than $5 billion.

** Buyout groups Bain Capital and Cinven won an auction for German drugmaker Stada on after a surprisingly large increase on a previous bid valued the company at about 5.3 billion euros ($5.6 billion).

** Turkey’s Vestel is in talks to buy the television unit of Japan’s Toshiba Corp, a Vestel official said, a deal that could be worth a few hundred million dollars and could expand the Turkish firm’s global presence.

** Anglo American will sell its Eskom-linked thermal coal operations in South Africa for $166 million, it said, marking an important step in the mining giant’s strategic overhaul to sharpen its focus on three commodities.

** China’s HNA Holding Group Co. said it would make an offer to acquire Singapore-listed logistics firm CWT Ltd for $1 billion.

** A consortium of investors led by Indian private equity fund True North has agreed to acquire Religare Enterprises Ltd’s health insurance business in the country, the groups said in a joint statement on Sunday. (Compiled by Komal Khettry and Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru)