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Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions

(Adds Ophir Energy, Alitalia, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cemex, Tilray, Magellan Health, Verus Petroleum, Owens & Minor; Updates Bank Audi, Sainsbury)

Feb 20 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2100 GMT on Wednesday:

** Owens & Minor Inc is exploring a sale of the company, people familiar with the matter said, as the U.S. medical supplies distributor seeks to recover from a string of disappointing earnings.

** Private equity firm HitecVision is seeking to sell its British North Sea oil and gas production unit Verus Petroleum, which last year completed a string of large acquisitions ramping up its output, industry and banking sources said.

** U.S. healthcare plan and pharmacy benefits manager Magellan Health Inc will explore selling itself after coming under pressure to do so from activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP, people familiar with the matter said.

** Shares of Canadian cannabis firm Tilray Inc rose as much as 7 percent after announcing a deal to buy hemp food maker Manitoba Harvest for up to C$419 million ($318 million) as it seeks to gain a foothold in the lucrative business.

** Mexico's Cemex, one of the world's largest cement producers, said it is selling some of its European facilities and businesses to German building company Schwenk for about $385 million.

** Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said that Alitalia, which is under special administration, will not be nationalised, adding that the government wants a market solution to keep the airline operating.

** Bank Audi SAE has begun due diligence on buying National Bank of Greece's branches in Egypt, a banker involved in the process said.

** Ophir Energy shareholder Petrus Advisers called for alternatives to Medco's buyout offer to be presented immediately, and asked the company to put Petrus-backed directors in charge of overseeing the proposed changes.

** Britain's competition regulator has dealt a potentially fatal blow to Sainsbury's planned $9.5 billion takeover of Walmart's Asda, saying the supermarket groups are unlikely to be able to address its "extensive" concerns about the deal.

** DP World has bought back British ferry and shipping freight operator P&O Ferries for 322 million pounds ($421 million), more than a decade after it sold it.

** Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEX), the stock exchange operator in the Asian financial hub, has agreed to buy a majority stake in a Chinese financial technology firm's unit to bolster the markets' technological capabilities.

** Israel's state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and businessman Avihai Stolero signed a deal to buy unmanned aerial vehicle maker Aeronautics for 850 million shekels ($235 million) in cash, according to a regulatory filing.

** The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has given Germany's Fresenius Medical Care AG and U.S. home dialysis equipment maker NxStage Medical Inc antitrust approval for their merger, the agency said. (Compiled by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu and Debroop Roy in Bengaluru)