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Nationwide Financial Services Inc., a major life-insurance company based in Columbus, Ohio, said it will pay $1.56 billion for Provident Mutual Life Insurance in a deal that will expand Nationwide's variable life insurance business. Variable life is a type of whole life insurance that allows investment of the policy's cash value in stocks, bonds, or other asset types. Provident Mutual Life is based in Berwyn, Pa.

Cooper Industries Inc. rejected an unsolicited $5.5 billion takeover bid by larger rival Danaher Corp., calling the offer inadequate. The Houston-based Cooper, which makes electrical products, tools, and hardware, said its board decided the Danaher proposal was not in Cooper's best interests.

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