(Adds Glencore, Brait, United Launch, Sycamore, Tauron, Hellman & Friedman, Hutchison)
Oct 2 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** South African investment firm Brait SE sold its stake in Steinhoff International for about 16 billion rand ($1 billion) and will use most of the proceeds to pay off debt, it said.
** Britain’s competition authority has asked EU antitrust regulators to let it examine Hutchison Whampoa’s 10.25-billion-pound ($15.6 billion) bid for Telefonica’s British mobile unit O2 because the deal would impact the UK most.
** France’s Vivendi has taken steps to raise its stake in Telecom Italia to around 19 percent of the ordinary share capital, said four people familiar with the matter, in a bid to increase its influence at the group.
** Glencore is in talks with a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund and China’s state-backed grain trader COFCO, along with Canadian pension funds, to sell a stake in its agricultural assets, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, on Friday said it would not bid in a new U.S. Air Force competition to launch a GPS satellite, unless it got some relief from a ban on use of Russian rocket engines.
** Sycamore Partners came close to an agreement to acquire U.S. women’s apparel maker Chico’s FAS Inc late last month, but financing and valuation concerns have since weighed on the negotiations, according to people familiar with the matter.
** Japanese trading firm Mitsui & Co Ltd said it will buy a 23.4 percent stake in the world’s 9th-biggest salmon farming company from Chile’s Multiexport Foods SA for $101 million amid growing demand worldwide for fishery products.
** Funds affiliated with private equity firm Hellman & Friedman (H&F) have agreed to buy Bain Capital’s stake in Sweden’s Securitas Direct Verisure Group, giving H&F control of the home alarms company, the firms said.
** Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) is buying 35 percent stakes in two Indonesian vehicle financing firms for about 40 billion yen ($333 million), sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, betting that rising incomes in the Southeast Asian nation will boost vehicle ownership. The two firms are owned wholly by Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp .
** Axiata Group Bhd, Malaysia’s biggest mobile operator by market value, said it has entered into an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Digicel Group’s Myanmar venture for $221 million in cash.
** Brazil’s BRF SA, the world’s largest chicken exporter, said it was buying Argentine brands producing sausage, hamburgers and margarine from Molinos Rio de la Plata for $43.5 million.
** Mexican industrial conglomerate Alfa said it would buy a majority stake in telecoms company Axtel in order to better rival Carlos Slim’s America Movil, which dominates Mexico’s fixed-line phone market.
** Mondelez International Inc is exploring a sale of its European cheese and grocery business, which could be valued at around $3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, as it sharpens its focus on snack foods and refreshments.
** U.S. antitrust enforcers will not appeal a court ruling that said U.S. medical technology provider Steris Corp could proceed with a merger with British sterilization services provider Synergy Health Plc, a Federal Trade Commission spokesman said on Thursday.
** Chipmaker PMC-Sierra Inc is looking to sell itself and has hired financial adviser Qatalyst Partners to assist in the process, according to people familiar with the matter.
** Mubadala GE Capital, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala and General Electric’s finance business, said on Wednesday it had agreed to sell most of its assets including those held through subsidiaries.
** Polish utility Tauron’s new chief executive is ready to restart talks to take over an ailing local coal mine, he said on Friday, a day after stalled negotiations led to the ouster of the entire management team.
** Belgian pharmaceutical ingredient supplier Fagron has received approaches from parties that could lead to a takeover offer, it said on Friday, following weeks of sharp declines in its share price due to concerns over its U.S. business.
** Merrill Lynch must defend its role in the $690 million sale of the Zale Corp jewelry chain after a judge refused to dismiss a shareholder class action that alleged the deal short-changed investors.
** Hungary’s central bank will soon start the sale of state-owned MKB Bank in a tender based on invitation, looking to close the transaction by the end of the year, the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) said in a statement.
** Polish state railway firm PKP expects to list its real estate company Xcity Investment, or offer it to a strategic investor, within the next five years to fund development of its rail business, a PKP board member said.
** Chinese company CEFC has completed the purchase of a 10 percent stake in Czech airline Travel Service, the Czech company said. (Compiled by Kshitiz Goliya in Bengaluru)