(Adds ThyssenKrupp, Stage Entertainment, Volkswagen, Charter Communications, Societe Generale)
March 12 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Thursday:
** Australian pension fund giant IFM Investors said it would buy the bankrupt operator of a large Midwest toll road for $5.7 billion including debt, its biggest acquisition and Australia’s fourth largest purchase of a U.S. firm.
** German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp has attracted interest from buyout groups and peer Aperam for its high-performance alloy unit VDM as it tries to shed unwanted assets from a complex deal, sources said.
** Dutch theater group Stage Entertainment expects final bids for the majority of its theater business at the end of March, with buyout funds CVC Capital Partners and Providence Equity Partners seen as the only remaining contenders, three sources familiar with the matter said.
** Volkswagen is in talks to sell a 50 percent stake in financing arm LeasePlan to a consortium including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, a source familiar with the plan said, as the carmaker cuts costs and refocuses its business.
** Charter Communications Inc is in talks to buy privately-held cable company Bright House Networks LLC, according to a source familiar with the matter.
** France’s second-largest bank Societe Generale is the frontrunner in the race to buy the largest single stake in Polish medium-sized lender Alior-Bank, two sources familiar with the transaction said.
** British challenger bank TSB Banking Group Plc has received a takeover approach from Banco Sabadell, valuing the business at about $2.6 billion, which it said would accelerate its growth prospects and help it compete with bigger rivals.
** South Korea’s KT Corp said on Thursday that Lotte Group has signed a 1.02 trillion won ($903 million) deal to buy KT Rental Corp, a unit of KT and the country’s largest car rental company.
** British broadcaster ITV Plc has agreed a deal to buy Talpa Media, the firm behind the reality TV program The Voice, for an initial fee of 355 million pounds ($531 million).
** Levy Acquisition Corp, the blank-check acquisition vehicle of Chicago restaurateur Larry Levy, said it would buy U.S. fast-food chain Del Taco Inc for about $500 million, including debt.
** Zimbabwe is planning to merge all diamond mining companies, including the local unit of Rio Tinto Plc, into one big firm in which the state will own half of the shares, the minister of mines said.
** British retailer Philip Green said his struggling department store chain BHS had been acquired by buyout firm Retail Acquisitions.
** Germany’s Hypovereinsbank said it had received the green light from its parent company, Italy’s UniCredit SpA, to make acquisitions in Germany and that it aimed to look at Postbank, owned by rival lender Deutsche Bank .
** United Technologies Corp will explore spinning off its Sikorsky helicopter unit, in the first major move by the company’s new chief executive to overhaul the U.S. conglomerate’s portfolio of businesses.
** Dutch marine engineering and dredging firm Boskalis said it is not preparing to bid for smaller rival Fugro NV in which it holds a 20 percent stake, although it would be a “good fit.”
** Stefano Pessina, the billionaire investor who engineered the deal that created pharmacy giant Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, said he could imagine doing more deals in the United States as the healthcare system is shaken up by Obamacare.
** Building materials supplier SIG Plc said it would spend about 200 million pounds ($299.9 million) on acquisitions in the next three years. ($1 = 1,123.89 won) ($1 = 0.67 pounds) ($1 = 0.94 euros) (Compiled by Manya Venkatesh and Neha Dimri in Bengaluru)