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Kraft Foods will sell its Life Savers and Altoids brands to chewing gum giant Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. for almost $1.5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. The deal, it said, will allow Kraft to jettison products that don't fit its global marketing strategy while allowing Wrigley to branch out from its traditional business. Wrigley also will acquire two smaller brands, Trolli gummy candies and Sugus candies, the report said.

Engineering conglomerate SPX Corp. announced the sale of its fire-alarm and communications unit to General Electric for $1.4 billion in cash. The division, Edwards Systrems Technology, also makes intercom and emergency evacuation systems for schools and industrial plants and nurse-summoning devices for hospitals and clinics. SPX is based in Charlotte, N.C.

The world's third-largest construction company, Bouygues SA of Paris, will notify employees of its Saur water- and waste-treatment division Wednesday that the unit is being sold to private equity firm PAI Partners for $1.35 billion, reports said. Saur, one of the company's least profitable divisions, has been on the market since July. Bouygues will retain a 15 percent stake in it, the reports said.

The proposed $16.4 billion deal by Anthem Inc. to buy Wellpoint Health Networks has hit a snag. Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine rejected the merger late last week, saying residents of the state "deserved better" healthcare benefits than the merger promised. Anthem is based in Indianapolis and WellPoint, the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, has its headquarters in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Oxendine said his staff is working on proposals that would sweeten the deal for Georgians.

Boeing appears on the brink of turning interest by cargo haulers in its long-range 777 jetliner into solid orders, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The company was to meet behind closed doors Monday with cargo-carrier executives and was expected to tell them that its board has approved offering a version of the twin-engine, long-haul plane that would feature greater range with less fuel consumption than that of current freighters. Potential customers for the 777 cargo hauler include UPS, Lufthansa, Emirates Airline, and Taiwan's EVA, the newspaper said.


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