Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds UniCredit, Covivio Hotels, Swiss Re, Bloomin’ Brands, Total)

Nov 6 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Wednesday:

** Italy’s largest bank UniCredit said it had started the sale of its 8.4% stake in investment bank Mediobanca , in a move that could shake up the country’s financial landscape.

** Real estate group Covivio Hotels is set to buy a portfolio of European luxury hotels from private equity group Varde, two sources close to the matter said.

** Swiss Re is looking at buying a stake in China Pacific Insurance Co via a primary offering of the Chinese company’s securities, the Swiss re-insurer said.

** Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands Inc said it would explore strategic options, including a sale, two months after activist investor Jana Partners disclosed plans to push for changes at the company.

** Total is seeking to sell its 12.5% stake in a major deepwater oilfield off the coast of Nigeria, industry and banking sources said, in an effort to adjust the energy company’s Africa portfolio amid a broad expansion.

** German supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients PharmaZell has been put up for sale by its private equity owner, people close to the matter said.

** Brazil’s largest private lender Itau Unibanco Holding SA has reached an agreement with power company Equatorial Energia SA to invest 1 billion reais ($251.16 million) in a subsidiary, according to a securities filing.

** Aircastle Ltd said Japan’s Marubeni Corp and Mizuho Leasing Co Ltd had offered to buy the aircraft lessor in a deal valued at $2.4 billion, ending a nearly two-week long strategic review of its business.

** Taylor Morrison Home Corp agreed to buy smaller rival William Lyon Homes for more than $800 million in cash and stock, creating the fifth-biggest homebuilder in the United States.

** South Korean conglomerate LG Corp said Macquarie Asset Management has been selected as the preferred bidder for a 35% stake it is selling in an IT services firm.

** Australia’s South32 Ltd said it would sell its South Africa thermal coal business to Seriti Resources and two trusts for 100 million rand ($6.78 million) upfront and deferred payments of up to 1.5 billion rand per annum.

** North Asia-focused private-equity firm MBK Partners is targeting as much as $6 billion for its fifth buyout fund, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter, adding to a list of buyout firms chasing capital for investing in the region.

** Xerox Holdings Corp is considering making a cash-and-stock offer for personal computer maker HP Inc at a premium to its market value of about $27 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. (Compiled by Dania Nadeem and Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru)