Charles Schwab Corp., the world's largest discount and Internet broker, said it would buy U.S. Trust Corp. for $2.7 billion. The merger, expected to close in July, would combine Schwab's base of mostly retail investors with U.S. Trust's clients, many of whom are wealthy, producing a full-service brokerage. It would have $800 billion in assets and $4.5 billion in annual revenue. Schwab, based in San Francisco, has 6.4 million customers. U.S. Trust is based in New York.
The world's largest maker of semiconductor equipment, Applied Materials Inc., announced agreement to buy Hayward, Calif.-based Etec Systems Inc. for about $1.8 billion. Etec makes masks, the most expensive piece of capital equipment in the chipmaking business, at about $10 million to $15 million each. Applied Materials is based in Santa Clara, Calif.
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