(Adds Vinci Energies, Kellogg, General Cable; Updates Czech Airlines, Royal Dutch Shell, Reliance Industries, Summit Materials, Glencore)
Oct 6 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Friday:
** Activist investors seeking to block specialty chemical maker Clariant’s $20 billion merger with Huntsman Corp HUN.N own “significantly more” than 15 percent of Clariant shares and want to increase their stake, they told a Swiss newspaper.
** French energy infrastructure and automation company Vinci Energies’ apparently insatiable appetite for takeovers remains undiminished as it strives for leadership of the highly fragmented outsourcing industry.
** U.S. casino operator Penn National Gaming Inc has been in merger discussions with rival Pinnacle Entertainment Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** French pharmaceutical group Sanofi is set to start the process to sell its generic drug business in Europe, and at least six funds have expressed interest to investment banks mandated by group, France’s Le Figaro newspaper reported.
** Brookfield Asset Management Inc has refrained from improving an original bid for Brazilian renewable power company Renova Energia SA, after due diligence proceedings showed liabilities that were unaccounted for, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said on Thursday.
** Japan’s MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc said it had agreed with Swiss Re AG to invest 800 million pounds ($1.05 billion) to take a stake of up to 15 percent in UK-based ReAssure Jersey One Ltd.
** Hedge fund Elliott Management Corp’s attempt to acquire U.S. networking software maker Gigamon Inc has ground to a halt over price disagreements, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
** U.S. cement maker Ash Grove Cement Co said it had received a takeover proposal valued at up to $3.8 billion, surpassing an earlier offer from Irish building materials firm CRH Plc.
** China said on Thursday it has approved HP Inc’s $1.1 billion purchase of Samsung Electronics’ printer business with certain restrictions, citing concerns about the U.S. firm’s dominance of the domestic laser printer market.
** Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) is looking to back a push by Japanese firms planning to invest in Malaysia’s Sharia-compliant halal market, an SMBC official said.
** Chinese-backed Czech airline operator Travel Service is set to take over national carrier Czech Airlines (CSA) with a deal to buy out Korean Air and possibly the government’s stake, it said.
** Commodities trader and miner Glencore has swooped in to replace China’s Sinopec as the buyer of Chevron’s South African and Botswana assets after reaching a deal with local investors.
** Thailand’s Amata Corporation Pcl said it expected to tap growing aviation demand in the region after signing a memorandum of understanding with Sweden’s Saab AB to collaborate on the development of aerospace and “smart city” precincts in the eastern province of Chonburi.
** PPC said that Nigeria’s Dangote Cement had withdrawn its interest in a tie-up with the South African firm, sending its shares more than 13 percent lower.
** Indian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd has agreed to sell a shale oil and gas block in the United States for $126 million, a third of the price it paid seven years ago, amid a downturn in global oil prices.
** Summit Materials, a U.S. construction firm set up by former CRH executives, has made a rival offer for Ash Grove Cement, which CRH has agreed to pay $3.5 billion for, a source said.
** Royal Dutch Shell and Varo Energy said they have ended talks on Varo’s potential purchase of Shell’s 37.5 percent stake in the 220,000 barrels per day PCK refinery in Schwedt, Germany.
** Kellogg Co said it would buy the owner of RXBAR protein bars for $600 million as new CEO Steve Cahillane expands the world’s largest cereal maker’s portfolio of healthy snacks.
** U.S. cable manufacturer General Cable Corp has received tentative bids from European rivals Prysmian, Nexans and NKT, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, as part of its efforts to find a new owner. (Compiled by Sonam Rai and Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru)