(Adds Zimmer, Medtronic, TIM Participações, Comcast, Chiquita, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Fortress and Ilva)
Oct 3 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** European Union antitrust regulators opened an extensive investigation into U.S. medical device maker Zimmer’s bid for Biomet, concerned that the $13.4 billion deal may lead to more expensive orthopaedic products.
** U.S. medical equipment maker Medtronic Inc said it would still buy Covidien Plc but will use $16 billion in debt rather than cash held overseas, reacting to changes made by U.S. tax authorities to cut the benefits of such “inversion deals.”
** Brazil’s TIM Participações SA has hired Banco Bradesco SA’s investment banking unit to analyze a potential bid for rival Grupo Oi SA, a source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
** The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said it will pause its informal “shot-clock” on the review of the proposed $45 billion merger between Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc.
** European Union competition authorities approved the $526 million tie-up of U.S. company Chiquita Brands and Irish peer Fyffes to create the world’s largest banana producer.
** JPMorgan Chase & Co has teamed up with unregulated lenders to underwrite a highly leveraged buyout financing for the acquisition of business software maker Tibco Software Inc, which could contravene regulatory guidelines on risky lending, Thomson Reuters IFR reported, citing sources.
** A consortium comprising U.S. asset manager Fortress and Italian property group Prelios is currently in pole position to buy the bad-loan manager UniCredit has put up for sale, three sources close to the matter said.
** Italy’s troubled Ilva steel plant could attract bids from two foreign groups within days, industry sources said, holding out a lifeline to the lossmaking plant whose future is in doubt following an environmental scandal in 2012.
** JPMorgan Chase & Co has completed the sale of its physical commodities unit to Mercuria, the fast-growing Swiss trading house said on Friday as it expands into metals and North American markets to enter the top league of commodities traders.
** Linn Energy LLC said it had struck deals to sell oil and gas assets in Texas and western Oklahoma for $2.3 billion to repay debt taken to buy assets from Devon Energy Corp .
** Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH) is set to sell three FBritish airports for 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) to a group including Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial, Singapore sovereign fund GIC and Australian bank Macquarie , Sky News reported.
** Banks have lined up a loan of over 1 billion pounds for Britain’s second largest roadside recovery group, RAC, which will refinance existing debt and enable shareholders to take a dividend, banking sources said.
** Aluminum products maker Constellium NV said it would buy U.S. peer Wise Metals for $1.4 billion, including debt, in a deal aimed at tapping the fast-growing demand from car makers for aluminum sheet.
** Iamgold Corp said it would sell its Niobec rare earths mine in Quebec to a group of companies led by investment company Magris Resources Inc for $500 million in cash, to focus on its core gold mining business.
** Billionaire investor Gary Klesch, about to complete the purchase of a second European refinery, is already looking to his next deal in a sector that others are scrambling to exit.
** Daimler and Renault-Nissan are extending a manufacturing alliance, the two carmakers said.
** Austrian real estate company CA Immobilien said it did not expect a change in strategy with the arrival of new shareholder O1 and that the investor had said it did not intend to raise its stake beyond the planned 26 percent.
** Telecom Italia CEO Marco Patuano has a mandate from the board of directors to negotiate the acquisition of infrastructure fund F2i’s stake in Italian fiber optic network provider Metroweb, a source close to the matter said.
Two shareholders in Metroweb said they were unaware of any plans to sell a stake in the company owned by F2i to Telecom Italia.
** Turkey’s Anadolu Group has offered to buy a 40.25 percent stake in supermarket chain Migros, marking a new growth area for the conglomerate.
** Lukoil has sold its 20 percent stake in a consortium developing a large oil project in Venezuela to its Russian peer Rosneft, Kommersant daily reported, citing sources close to the talks.
** Goldman Sachs Group Inc is considering raising a new infrastructure fund, according to three people familiar with the matter, even as U.S. regulations threaten to reduce its profits from such endeavors.
** Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Swiss-listed Cosmo Pharmaceuticals SpA said they had terminated their merger agreement, citing a “changed political environment”.
** EU antitrust regulators approved U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly’s $5.4 billion takeover of Swiss peer Novartis’s animal health business.
The regulators also approved on Friday a $19 billion offer by Facebook, the world’s most popular social network, for mobile messaging startup WhatsApp.
The EU regulators also closed an investigation into Deutsche Telekom, Orange SA and Telefonica, saying they had found no evidence that the telecoms providers shut out rivals in the internet content market.
** Turkish conglomerate Anadolu Group has offered to buy a 40.25 percent stake in supermarket chain Migros from BC Partners, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing a notification on the Borsa Istanbul stock exchange.
** Private equity firm Silver Lake Partners LP is looking to sell IPC Systems Inc, a provider of communication systems for Wall Street traders, to exit one of its longest-held investments, according to people familiar with the matter. Silver Lake acquired IPC from Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s private equity arm in 2006 for $800 million.
** Steelmaking group Ternium SA agreed on Thursday to pay 616.7 million reais ($247 million) to pension fund Previ for a stake in Usiminas, as a battle for control of the beleaguered Brazilian mill heats up.
** French low-cost telecom operator Iliad SA is gearing up to bid for a “significantly larger” stake in T-Mobile US Inc than it previously sought in July, a Bloomberg report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
** Arbor Pharmaceuticals LLC is exploring a sale that could fetch more than $1 billion for the privately held specialty drugmaker, according to people familiar with the matter.
** Occidental Petroleum Corp said on Thursday that its board of directors had approved the spin-off of its California oil and natural gas business to shareholders. Occidental said about 80 percent of the outstanding shares of California Resources Corp would be distributed to its shareholders on Nov. 30. (1 US dollar = 0.6245 British pound) (Compiled by Ankit Ajmera and Anya George Tharakan in Bangalore)