(Adds Aon, Anthem, Union Pacific, FirstEnergy, LVMH, China Film, Abraaj Group and Abanka )
Jan 19 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** French aero engine maker Safran launched a $9 billion agreed bid for seats manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace to create the world’s third-largest aerospace supplier as the industry bulks up to tackle record high output plans.
** Insurance broker Aon Plc is in advanced talks to sell its employee benefits outsourcing unit to buyout firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC for nearly $4.5 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
** A federal judge is expected to block a proposed deal between health insurer Anthem Inc and Cigna Corp as soon as Thursday, the New York Post reported, citing sources.
** Anthem Inc said it extended the deadline for its acquisition of Cigna Corp by three months as it awaits a federal court ruling on the U.S. government’s lawsuit to block the deal.
** The top executive at Union Pacific Corp said on Thursday that the No. 1 U.S. railroad remains opposed to mergers between major railroads in the United States.
** U.S. buyout firm Bain Capital has joined Key Safety Systems (KSS) in the U.S. auto parts supplier’s bid to rescue Takata Corp, a source said, as the Japanese firm struggles for survival after a massive recall linked to its faulty air bags.
** Mediaset is open to an accord with Vivendi that supports growth for the Italian broadcaster, its chief executive was quoted as saying, but there is no interest in a possible deal involving Telecom Italia.
** FirstEnergy Corp said on Thursday it would sell four gas-generating plants in Pennsylvania and portion of a Virginia hydroelectric power station to a unit of LS Power Equity Partners III LP for about $925 million.
** Lotte Chemical Corp is looking into acquiring troubled Singapore petrochemical company Jurong Aromatics Corp, as the South Korean company continues to push for growth.
** Croatia has stepped up plans to take full control of oil group INA by setting up a special group to prepare a proposal for a buyout of Hungarian energy company MOL’s 49 percent stake.
** Dutch brewer Heineken NV is in advanced talks to buy the Brazilian unit of Japanese rival Kirin Holdings Co Ltd, financial newspaper Valor Economico said.
** French luxury goods group LVMH is set to take a stake of up to 10 percent in unlisted Italian glasses-maker Marcolin as it seeks to increase control over eyewear manufacturing for its brands, a source close to the matter said on Thursday.
** British engineering firm Smiths Group secured EU regulatory approval on Thursday for its planned acquisition of Morpho Detection from France’s Safran.
** Swedish engineering firm Sandvik said it had failed to close a deal to sell the loss-making Mining Systems unit to CoBe Capital. It said the process to exit the business would now continue with different interested buyers.
** China Film intends to take a 15 percent stake in French digital cinema company Ymagis, the Chinese group said in a statement issued to the Shanghai stock exchange.
** PGE, PGNiG, Enea and Energa - have signed an agreement to buy new shares issued by troubled construction firm Polimex-Mostostal, they said in separate statements on Wednesday evening.
** British insurer Aviva is merging its UK life and general insurance businesses as it focuses on offering a range of products online, it said on Thursday, in an organisational shake-up that includes the departure of its Europe head.
** Middle Eastern private equity investor Abraaj Group has bought a majority stake in Chile’s private home furnishings retailer Casaideas in its first foray into the country, Abraaj said on Thursday.
** Mining gear and compressor maker Atlas Copco will sell its road construction equipment business to French industrial and construction company Fayat Group, it said on Thursday, booking a loss of about 2 billion Swedish crowns ($225 million).
** Bega Cheese will be the new owner of the popular Australian Vegemite brand following its deal to buy most of Mondelez International’s grocery brands in Australia and New Zealand for A$460 million ($345 million).
** Slovenia intends to sell its third largest bank Abanka this year rather than by the middle of 2019 as previously planned, privatisation coordinator Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SDH) said on Thursday.
** Malaysian offshore drilling services company UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd (UMW-OG) said it would buy Icon Offshore Berhad in a deal that values the offshore support vessel provider at 588.6 million ringgit ($132 million).
** Dutch energy group Eneco has agreed to buy half of Lichtblick, Germany’s largest independent supplier of renewable energy, to jointly expand in Germany, the Netherlands and other European markets, both companies said in a joint statement.
** International Data Group, the owner of PCWorld magazine and market researcher IDC, said it was being acquired by China Oceanwide Holdings Group and IDG Capital, the investment management firm run by IDG China executive Hugo Shong.
** A unit of private investment firm Starwood Capital Group said it would buy Canada’s Milestone Apartments Real Estate Investment Trust in a deal valued at about $2.85 billion. (Compiled by Anya George Tharakan and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru)