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Prudential buying Bache brokerage

The nation's biggest insurance company and one of the biggest Wall Street investment houses have agreed to merge, sources close to the transaction said Thursday. Prudential Insurance Company of America and Bache Group Inc., the parent company of the brokerage house Bache Halsey Stuart Shields Inc., were to announce formally Thursday that Prudential was buying Bache, the sources said.

The sources provided no details of the deal, but Prudential is said to be planning to pa y about $375 million cash for Bache.

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