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Copper-industry giant phelps dodge Corp. won its hard-fought and complex takeover battle for rival Asarco Inc., when the latter accepted a $1.1 billion cash-and-stock offer. The move completes a three-way, $2.9 billion merger that also includes Asarco's former intended partner, Cyprus Amax Minerals Co. Phoenix-based Phelps Dodge signed a $1.8 billion deal to take over Cyprus Amax Sept. 30. But at that time, it appeared Asarco might prefer to thwart Phelps Dodge and sell instead to Grupo Mexico, a Mexico City-based mining and railways conglomerate.

A week before its expected formal takeover offer for Britain's National Westminster Bank, the Bank of Scotland has found a way to boost the bid even higher if necessary, analysts said. A Bank of Scotland spokesman said streamlined operating practices and lower property costs -if it won control of National Westminster - would save almost $1.7 billion. Bank of Scotland, which is smaller than its target, has an informal offer of $30 billion on the table. Two competitors, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Abbey National, also are believed likely to make takeover offers for National Westminster.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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