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  1. Business

Big companies go on buying spree, completing several acquisitions

Businesses across an array of industries returned from the Labor Day holiday determined to get some big deals done. Several companies said they had completed acquisitions Tuesday, while others announced they are pursuing deals. Here is a roundup:

Done deals

Danaher, an industrial and medical device company based in Washington, D.C., is buying molecular diagnostics company Cepheid of Sunnyvale, Calif., in a deal valued at about $4 billion. The boards of both companies approved the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter. It still needs approval from Cepheid shareholders.

• Houston-based EOG Resources, one of the largest U.S. oil producers, is purchasing Yates Petroleum, a privately held New Mexico company, and some of its subsidiaries in a $2.5 billion deal that will expand its footprint in major energy-producing basins in the West. "This really isn't about getting bigger. It's about getting better. Yates improves the quality and depth of our acreage in some of the most important resource plays in the United States," EOG chairman and chief executive Bill Thomas said during a conference call Tuesday morning.

• Canada's Enbridge is buying Houston-based Spectra Energy for about $28 billion, creating North America's largest energy infrastructure company. Both companies operate pipelines that deliver oil and natural gas. The combined company will be called Enbridge and keep its current headquarters in Calgary, Alberta.

• Germany-based Fresenius, one of Europe's largest health care providers, said it had agreed to acquire IDC Salud Holding, Spain's largest private hospital operator. The deal would expand the operations of Fresenius' Helios unit, which is already Germany's largest hospital operator, by adding IDC Salud Holding, known as Quirónsalud, for $6.5 billion.

Volkswagen Truck & Bus, an arm of the German automaker Volkswagen, is buying a 16.6 percent stake in Navistar International, an American commercial truckmaker, giving it greater access to the North American commercial vehicle market. The deal is valued at $256 million.

In the works

• German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG sweetened its bid for Monsanto, saying that its latest offer, now worth almost $56 billion, reflects "constructive negotiations" in its quest to build a global chemical and seed company. Bayer said it is offering $127.50 per Monsanto share, up from $125 in July, a bid that the St. Louis seed company had called inadequate.

General Electric said it has offered to buy two European suppliers of additive manufacturing equipment — Arcam of Sweden and SLM Solutions Group of Germany — for a combined $1.4 billion as it looks to push further into 3-D printing.

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