(Adds Casino, Thyssenkrupp, Virtu Financial, Cellnex, Intu Properties, Endemol, Metro, Gefco)
Oct 4 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** Comcast said it had secured over 75 percent of Sky's shares, bringing it closer to finalising the $40 billion takeover of the British pay TV group.
** Honda Motor Co Ltd will invest $2.75 billion and take a 5.7 percent stake in General Motors Co's Cruise self-driving vehicle unit, to jointly develop autonomous vehicles for deployment in ride services fleets around the world.
** Smiths Group said it would buy United Flexible Inc, a U.S.-based maker of parts for aircraft engines, from private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners for an enterprise value of $345 million.
** Barnes & Noble Inc said it would explore strategic options after several parties, including founder-chairman Leonard Riggio, showed interest in buying the bookseller.
** Saudi British Bank (SABB) and smaller rival Alawwal Bank are merging to create Saudi Arabia's third-biggest lender with a market capitalisation of about $17.2 billion.
** Italian state-owned bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena is close to selling its Belgian unit to private equity firm Warburg Pincus in a 50 million euro ($57 million) deal, a source familiar with the matter said.
** Blackstone Group said it would acquire global life sciences investment firm Clarus for an undisclosed amount, as the investment manager pushes deeper into the healthcare sector.
** A consortium including British billionaire John Whittaker and Canada's Brookfield Asset Management is considering a bid for Intu Properties, the 2 billion-pound ($2.6 billion) shopping centre owner.
** Thyssenkrupp will keep a stake of around 30 percent in the capital goods business it plans to spin off, a labour representative at the German conglomerate said, paving the way for an eventual takeover bid once it decides to sell out.
** India's Supreme Court allowed ArcelorMittal SA and NuMetal to bid for debt-ridden Essar Steel after clearing their outstanding dues within two weeks, according to a court ruling.
** French TV group Banijay is studying a potential bid for Endemol Shine, the Dutch production and distribution company which Apollo Global and Twenty-First Century Fox have put on the block, a source close to the company said.
** Private equity firm KKR & Co Inc and Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd are acquiring a minority stake in the financial technology arm of Philippines' PLDT Inc TEL.PS, the companies said.
** Family-owned German investment group Haniel said that it had transferred a 7.3 percent stake in retailer Metro AG to a Czech-Slovak investor group, after receiving antitrust clearance.
** French retailer Casino denied for the second time this week Brazilian press reports that it had hired a financial advisor to sell its Brazilian supermarket unit GPA , and the advisory firm named in the reports also denied them.
** High-speed trading firm Virtu Financial Inc is looking to buy independent brokerage Investment Technology Group Inc, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** Edizione, the holding company of Italy's Benetton family, said it had sold 20 percent of an investment vehicle through which it holds 29.9 percent of Spanish tower group Cellnex to a unit of Abu Dhabi fund ADIA.
** Russian Railways (RZhD) plans to cut its stake in logistics firm Gefco to 40 percent in 2020 but aims to retain control and continue consolidating its financial results, according to Russian Railways' documents obtained by Reuters. (Compiled by Laharee Chatterjee, Shanti S Nair and Soundarya J in Bengaluru)