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Almost one-quarter of BP's gas stations will be sold to competitors or for redevelopment, London's Sunday Times reported. The newspaper said it was likely that the move would affect mainly stations in the US east of the Rocky Mountains and bearing the Amoco brand name. (BP and Amoco merged in 1998.) The British oil giant currently has about 28,000 stations worldwide, 18,000 of them in the US. The sell-off is projected to raise about $1.5 billion over three years, the Times said.

In the wake of its $2.1 billion purchase last year of US marketing group Snyder Communications, the French advertising/public relations giant Havas is negotiating to buy Chicago-based True North Communications, according to a report in the Financial Times. True North, weakened last month by the loss of Chrysler, its No. 1 account, has a market value of $2 billion and had been in merger negotiations for more than a year with Cordiant Communications of London. Havas Advertising is based in Levallois-Perret Cedex, France.

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