(Adds Comcast, Goldman Sachs, Airbus, BP, PKN Orlen, Holcim, RWE)
April 23 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s staff has recommended that the agency designate Comcast Corp’s proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc for a hearing, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, calling it a significant setback for the deal.
** Comcast Corp plans to drop its offer to buy Time Warner Cable Inc in the face of opposition from U.S. regulators, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
** Goldman Sachs Group Inc Asset Management plans to acquire the Pacific Global Advisors solutions business from Pacific Life Insurance Co, the company said.
** UniCredit and Banco Santander agreed to merge their asset management businesses in a deal valuing the new group at some 5.4 billion euros ($5.8 billion).
** The state owner of Italy’s Metroweb has rejected a proposal by Telecom Italia to take a stake in the broadband company and progressively reach 100 percent, according to an email seen by Reuters and two people close to the matter.
** Chilean miner Antofagasta Plc said it had agreed to sell its water utility business Aguas de Antofagasta (Adasa) for $965 million to Colombia’s Empresas Publicas de Medellin .
** French aerospace group Safran survived a rebellion by investors over a French law strengthening board powers in the event of a takeover bid, as key financial resolutions scraped through the vote at a shareholder meeting.
** A Hungarian-led consortium is still interested in bidding for Enel’s majority stake in the main Slovak electricity producer, the head of one of the companies in the group said.
** Airbus Group NV has started approaching potential buyers for electronics and other assets it wants to sell to focus its defense division on warplanes, missiles, launchers and satellites, three sources familiar with the matter said.
** BP Plc has agreed to sell its stake in one of Europe’s biggest gas pipelines to Antin Infrastructure Partners for 324 million pounds ($486 million), giving the fund near full ownership of the asset after it bought out BG Group Plc last year.
** German insurer Allianz rejected the suggestion that it split off or sell its Pimco asset management unit, even as customer outflows are expected to drag on, Allianz’s chief executive told a magazine.
** Poland’s PZU, eastern Europe’s top insurer, is vying to acquire a major stake in local lender Alior Bank with a view to building a banking arm with over 115 billion zlotys ($30.78 billion) in assets, newspaper Puls Biznesu said on Thursday.
** Morgan Stanley’s sale of its Australian real estate unit, Investa Property Group, is expected to fetch more than A$3 billion ($2.32 billion) and has attracted more than 20 bids, a source with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters.
** Poland’s largest oil refiner PKN Orlen is eyeing potential takeovers of petrol stations in Germany and the Czech Republic to increase its share of the retail market, the company said.
** Network gear maker Arris Group Inc said it would buy British set-top box maker Pace Plc in a $2.1 billion cash-and-stock deal to expand its operations outside North America.
** Swiss shareholder advisory group Ethos recommended on Thursday rejecting the merger of cement maker Holcim Ltd with France’s Lafarge SA because it believes the Swiss group is better off on its own.
** The Schuler-Voith family sold its 50.49 percent stake in German household products group Leifheit for more than 120 million euros ($128.63 million), according to a person close to the deal.
** RWE AG Chief Executive Peter Terium said he was open to considering splitting up the company should the energy market deteriorate further, but added there was no need at the moment to contemplate such a move.
** The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks are set to be sold to a group led by businessman Tony Ressler, the team announced on Wednesday, in a deal precipitated by the release last year of a racially charged email by the team’s current owner.
** Kinnevik is looking to invest in new online marketplaces in education and healthcare, the Swedish investment firm said on Thursday, after reporting a rise in first-quarter net asset value.
** NCR Corp, the maker of automated teller machines, is looking at strategic options, although the sale of the entire company is unlikely, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
** Gran Tierra Energy Inc, the latest Canadian oil and gas company to face a proxy battle with an activist investor, on Wednesday defended its board’s efforts to turn the company around.
** Pharmacy service provider Omnicare Inc is exploring a sale, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. ($1 = 3.74 zlotys) ($1 = 0.93 euros) ($1 = 1.29 Australian dollars) ($1 = 0.67 pounds) (Compiled by Rohit T.K. and Kshitiz Goliya in Bengaluru)