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Uniting a pair of Internet-based grocers with delivery capabilities, Webvan Group Inc. announced it would buy rival HomeGrocer.com Inc. in a stock deal valued at $1.2 billion. The combination is expected to extend their market reach to 13 metropolitan areas in the US by the end of this year, Foster, Calif.-based Webvan said. HomeGrocer is based in Kirkland, Wash.

All three major US automakers beat the deadline for submitting nonbinding bids to take over financially troubled South Korean rival Daewoo Motor Co. Neither the size nor details of the bids were made public, but reports said "preferred" offers would be announced Friday and the winner was expected to be revealed on or about Sept. 1. Ford Motor Co. submitted the only solo bid. General Motors and Fiat of Italy made a joint offer as did DaimlerChrysler and South Korea's No. 1 automaker, Hyundai.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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