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A megamerger between hospitality-industry giants Granada Group and Compass Group was announced in London. The deal, valued at $26.3 billion and subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, also was projected to lead to the splitoff of Granada's communications division to challenge for leadership as Britain's largest commercial broadcaster. Granada operates the Forte, Meridien, Heritage, and Travelodge hotel chains. Compass Group, a leading foodservice organization, is the franchiser of such restaurant chains as Burger King, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and TGI Friday's.

Consumer products giant 3M Co. announced it is phasing out some of its Scotchgard stain-repellent products after tests detected low levels of a production chemical in people and the environment. But existing scientific knowledge about perfluorooctanyl indicated no adverse effects on health or habitat, the company said. The phaseout includes Scotchgard fabric protector commercially applied to carpets and the spray available in grocery and hardware stores. The affected products represent about 2 percent of 3M's approximately $16 billion in annual sales.

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