Business & Finance

Symantec Corp., which makes Norton antivirus software, is nearing a deal to acquire Veritas Corp., the leading seller of data-backup, storage, and archiving software, The New York Times reported. The potential $13 billion merger, which would be one of the largest involving software companies, could be completed by week's end, the Times said.

Bombardier Inc. turned to its chairman and his son to lead the company after firing chief executive Paul Tellier Monday. Two members of the board of directors also left. Laurent Beaudoin, two-time former chief executive, was announced as head of a new "office of the president." His son, Pierre Beaudoin, who directs Bombardier's aerospace division, was named as one of two executive vice presidents. Bombardier, which builds commercial jets and is the world's No. 1 maker of railroad rolling stock, has been losing money and is in the midst of a restructuring plan. It is Canada's third-largest manufacturer.

Critics slammed the announcement by Danske Bank of Copenhagen, the No. 2 lender in Scandinavia, that it's buying Northern Bank and National Irish Bank for a combined $1.93 billion. Northern is the largest retail bank in Northern Ireland, but National Irish Bank has only a 3 percent share of the market in the Irish Republic, plus a checkered ethical record. In July, regulators penalized it $85 million for overcharging borrowers and for encouraging depositors to open tax-free accounts using false addresses. The seller, Australia National Bank, also is recovering from a scandal earlier this year involving the loss of $274 million in rogue currency trades.

In a deal valued at $1.2 billion, the owner of the Financial Times and Penguin Books announced it is selling its 79 percent stake in Spanish media group Recoletos SA to a consortium of investors. Pearson PLC of London said the growing focus of Recoletos on sports publications didn't fit with its predominantly business-news strategy.

Cardinal Health Inc., a medical products and services supplier, said Monday it plans to cut 4,200 jobs as part of a restructuring plan. The Dublin, Ohio, company, which has more than 500 facilities, including sales offices and pharmacies, seeks to improve earnings by $500 million a year.

United Airlines will impose pay cuts on its 8,500 non-union employees, including an 11 percent reduction for top executives, it said Monday. The company remains in difficult negotiations with its unions over the bulk of givebacks it's seeking, hoping not to have to ask court approval to put them into effect next month in lieu of a deal.

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