What is believed to be the biggest corporate takeover in Asia will link two Hong Kong companies, Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd. and Cable & Wireless HKT. The deal, valued at $35.9 billion in cash and stock, is aimed at making the new partners a major global player in broadband services. Pacific Century CyberWorks is developing both high-speed, satellite-based Internet capability and a satellite TV channel, Network of the World; Cable & Wireless HKT offers a base of more than a half-million customers.
In other major business deals:
*French technology-management consultant Cap Gemini Group announced an $11.1 billion merger with the consulting division of US accounting giant Ernst & Young.
*Utility holding company NiSource Inc. said it would buy Columbia Energy Group in a $6 billion deal that would create the largest natural-gas company east of the Rocky Mountains.
*Clear Channel Communications Inc., which operates 867 radio and 19 television stations in the US, said it will acquire SFX Entertainment Inc., a leader in the live entertainment industry, in a deal valued at $4.4 billion.
*TeleCorp PCS Inc. and Tritel Inc., AT&T Wireless's largest and second-largest affiliates respectively, announced an all-stock merger valued at about $4.2 billion.
*Carnival Corp., whose merger with Fairfield Communities was called off last week, announced a $1 billion buyback of its own stock.
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