Business & Finance

British bank Abbey National PLC approved a takeover proposal Monday from Spain's biggest bank, Santander Central Hispano SA. The takeover is awaiting approval by Abbey shareholders, who stand to gain new Santander shares and 57 cents per share. Abbey has a market capitalization of $13.2 billion, after suffering increasing losses in 2003 in its failed turnaround program. The takeover will create the world's 10th-largest bank by market capitalization.

Mylan Laboratories Inc., the No. 1 US pharmaceutical company, announced Monday that it has agreed to buy King Parmaceuticals Inc., a leading branded company, in a $4 billion stock-for-stock transaction. The merger creates a diversified business that combines Mylan's strengths in manufacturing, science, and intellectual property managment with King's extensive experience in developing sales and marketing infrastructure. The deal is anticipated to close by the end of the current calendar year. Mylan is based in Canonsburg, Pa.; King in Bristol, Tenn.

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