(Adds Lafarge, Vodafone, Comcast, Potash Corp, Eni SpA, Anglo American Platinum and Societe des Produits Marnier Lapostolle)
Dec 3 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Wednesday:
** Lafarge SA and Holcim Ltd are set to win approval from the European Union’s competition regulators for their merger deal to create the world’s biggest cement maker, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
** Vodafone Group Plc has met with analysts and investors this week to calm fears it could make a multi-billion dollar takeover bid for Europe’s biggest cable company Liberty Global, according to people present.
** EU antitrust regulators are likely to expand their scrutiny of French telecoms provider Orange’s 3.4-billion-euro ($4.2 billion) bid for Jazztel after the companies failed to allay their concerns, two sources familiar with the matter said.
** Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp said it had formed a joint venture with Saudi Arabian Mining Co to run the Jabal Sayid copper asset in the kingdom, which will jump-start output at the long-delayed mine.
** The U.S. Federal Communications Commission restarted its informal 180-day countdown to review the proposed mergers between Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc , and AT&T Inc and DirecTV.
** Canada’s Potash Corp of Saskatchewan , the world’s largest fertilizer producer, is sizing up its chances of gaining control of four companies in which it holds minority stakes, CEO Jochen Tilk said.
** Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling will meet would-be buyers of nationalised lender Hypo Alpe Adria’s prime asset to discuss reviving a deal that fell through last week.
Schelling, finance minister for only three months, said he would meet U.S. private equity group Advent International and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to discus the deal.
** Chesnara Plc said it would buy Netherlands-based Waard Group for 67.8 million euros ($83.9 million), the first acquisition by the insurance-focused takeover specialist in more than a year.
** Plans by Italian oil major Eni SpA for major asset sales to help fund exploration and its dividend payments have hit problems due to diving oil and gas prices, sources say.
** Johnson & Johnson, the U.S.-based healthcare company, has hired Goldman Sachs to explore a sale of its artificial sweetener brand Splenda, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** Indonesia expects to sign agreements with China’s CNOOC Ltd, Saudi Aramco and two other oil companies next week covering direct oil sales and refinery investments in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, a senior Pertamina official said.
** South African precious metals mining firms Sibanye Gold Ltd and Northam Platinum Ltd are among a group of about 10 companies interested in Anglo American Platinum’s Union mine in South Africa, Sibanye and mining industry sources said.
** German property lender Aareal is seeing its chances of buying peer Westimmo rise after other bidders have lost interest, said several sources familiar with the transaction.
** TPG is exiting its whole investment in car dealership China Grand Automotive Services through a sale to Haitong International Securities Group Ltd and a third party investor, according to regulatory filings and sources close to the transaction.
** Nordic telecom operators Telenor and TeliaSonera will merge their Danish operations to cut costs and improve profitability in a market where both face tough competition and weak economic growth.
** Turkey’s state-run lender Halkbank said late on Tuesday that its offer to buy a 76.76 percent stake in Serbian lender Cacanska Banka had failed.
** Societe des Produits Marnier Lapostolle, the company behind spirits brand Grand Marnier, denied press reports it planned to sell the control of the company. It said it was “currently reviewing the worldwide distribution strategy of its spirits.”
** European dairy produce cooperative Arla Foods Amba said it had dropped its bid for Egyptian Arab Dairy Product Co. ($1 = 0.64 pounds) ($1 = 0.81 euro) (Compiled by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Manya Venkatesh in Bengaluru)