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Bayer AG, the chemical/pharmaceutical giant, vaulted into the top three in the over-the-counter medications market by agreeing to buy Roche Consumer Health, the nonprescription drug subsidiary of Switzerland's Roche Holding. The sale price was reported to be $2.97 billion. The deal does not include Roche's over-the-counter business in Japan, reported. The over-the-counter industry leaders are Pfizer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, both of the US.

In a deal valued at $1.05 billion, the No. 2 bank in Portugal said it will sell its insurance subsidiaries to larger rival Caixa Geral de Depositos SA and to Fortis, the Belgian financial-services giant. Banco Comercial Português SA had tried to unload the insurance units for two years to concentrate on retail banking, reported.

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