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Nestl Group has sold its three US ground-coffee brands, Hills Bros., Chase & Sanborn, and MJB, to Sara Lee Corp., the companies announced. The deal also covers a roasting plant in Suffolk, Va., and the Hills Bros. and MJB brands in Canada. Terms were not disclosed. A Nestl statement said the sale allows the company to concentrate on its more lucrative instant-coffee business, which includes the Taster's Choice and Nescaf brands. Last year, Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestl earned $6.4 billion from coffee sales.

A joint venture involving the production and distribution of nuclear power and the construction and fueling of reactors was announced by the German engineering group Siemens AG and Framatome, a French government-owned enterprise. The companies said they expected annual sales of about $3 billion once the venture becomes operational late next year. Together, they have operations in Europe and North America. The deal is subject to approval by regulators.

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