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Ten percent of its work force, or 17,000 jobs, will be cut by Sony Corp. in a sweeping restructuring plan, the company announced. The layoffs will be spread over four years as the electronics giant reduces its global network of manufacturing plants from 70 to 55 and invests heavily in research and development to "provide new forms of enjoyment to people in the network-centric society" of the 21st century. Sony's operations in the US will be affected.

In an $8 billion deal, RJR Nabisco announced the sale of its international cigarette business to Tokyo-based Japan Tobacco Inc. It also said it would split its US tobacco and food operations into "separate ownership structures." The moves mean the breakup of the company that was at the center of a $29.6 billion leveraged buyout in 1989, the largest in US history at the time.

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Goldman Sachs & Co. said its 221 partners OK'd a proposal to revive an initial public offering (IPO) it cancelled last September. The high-profile investment bank abandoned the effort because financial turmoil had hurt profits and depressed its potential value. Analysts, who valued the company at $25 billion to $30 billion at the time, now expect the planned IPO - probably in May - to value the firm in the range of $20 billion to $22 billion.

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