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The largest merger to date in the software industry was announced by Dallas-based i2 Technologies Inc. and business-to-business services rival Aspect Development Inc. of Mountain View, Calif. The all-stock deal, valued at $9.3 billion, will give the combined company a workforce of 4,000 employees and a more than $200 million development budget. If shareholders approve, Aspect Development will become an i2 subsidiary.

In a deal that would create the world's third-largest bank, three Japanese firms announced they would establish a joint holding company next year. Sanwa Bank Ltd., Tokai Bank Ltd., and Asahi Bank Ltd., which together have assets of about $1 trillion, said they'd integrate system operations a year after that to cut costs by about $282 million. The plan, which would create the country's second-largest bank, is the latest in a string of mergers as the Japanese banking industry struggles to regain a competitive edge.

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BP Amoco agreed to buy the maker of the Castrol brand of lubricants for $4.7 billion in cash. Burmah Castrol Plc. is based in Swindon, England. The London-based oil giant also signed a $1.1 billion deal with Trinidad's government that would triple the output of liquefied gas by a multinational consortium from 3 million to 9 million tons a year by 2003, the country's Ministry of Energy said. The agreement allows Atlantic LNG to add two plants to one that began production last June.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society