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    A U.S. bankruptcy judge largely declined on Friday to rule that former American Airlines (AAL) parent company AMR Corp had a unilateral right to terminate benefits for nearly 47,000 retirees. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane in New York rejected a motion AMR made in 2012 for a ruling holding that the health and welfare benefits it provided retirees had not vested and could be unilaterally modified.

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    Merger talks between Barrick Gold Corp (ABX) and Newmont Mining Corp (NEM), the world's top two gold producers, broke down in the past few days, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. The two companies, with a combined market capitalization of about $33 billion, were in advanced talks about a merger this week, the Journal said.

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    By Gillian Tan, Alistair MacDonald and Dana Mattioli. Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) and Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) were in advanced talks this week over a deal that would have combined the world's two largest gold producers, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks broke down in the past few days, the people said.

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    Telus Corp (TU), one of Canada's dominant telecom providers, has reached a new agreement to acquire struggling wireless startup Mobilicity, in a renewed bid to overcome government objections on competition grounds. Mobilicity said late Thursday that it agreed to be acquired by Telus for C$350 million and that a court-appointed monitor has recommended the transaction.

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    U.S. power company Calpine Corp (CPN) said it will sell six power plants in the U.S. Southeast to LS Power for $1.57 billion in cash to focus on the wholesale power markets and better align its asset base. The power plants together generated about 3.5 gigawatts of capacity in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina.

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    Calpine Corp (CPN) said it will sell six power plants in the U.S. Southeast to LS Power for $1.57 billion in cash to focus on the wholesale power markets and better align its asset base. The company said the divesture is expected to add about $100 million to its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation in 2014.

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    Telus Corp (TU), one of Canada's dominant telecom providers, has won another chance to overcome objections by the government to its takeover of struggling wireless startup Mobilicity. Mobilicity announced late Thursday that it agreed to a new deal to sell to Telus for C$350 million and that a court-appointed monitor has recommended the transaction.

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    * Sells 51 pct stake in Djezzy to Algerian sovereign fund. * Retains 49 pct stake and keeps operational control. * To get $1.9 bln in dividends from Djezzy to pay down debt. * Vimpelcom ADRs gain 8.6 pct in New York. By Maria Kiselyova.

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    Russian telecoms operator Vimpelcom (VIP) said on Friday it had resolved an ongoing shareholder battle in Algeria with the sale of a 51 percent stake in Orascom Telecom Algeria to the Algerian National Investment Fund for $2.6 billion. The sale by its 51.9 percent-owned unit Global Telecom Holding will reap $4 billion including dividends to the GTH holding company.

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    Jostens, a leader in the school ring and academic memento market, on Thursday said it had dropped plans to acquire competitor American Achievement Corp - a deal the Federal Trade Commission had said it would fight.

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    * Planned spectrum auction rules could crimp big carriers. * Proposed deal would merge Nos. * A tie-up would reshape wireless sector. By Alina Selyukh. A possible merger between Sprint Corp (S) and T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS) could prompt U.S. regulators to rewrite rules they are now weighing for a 2015 auction of airwaves, according to sources familiar with the proposed regulations.

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    Peer-to-peer lender Lending Club said on Thursday it has picked up the type of investors it would want when the company is taken public, after raising $65 million from T. Rowe Price (TROW), Wellington Management, Blackrock (BLK) and Sands Capital as part of its acquisition of Springstone Financial. Peer Lending Lures Yield-Hungry Investors.

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    The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 1600 GMT on Thursday: ** Standard Chartered's planned sale of its Hong Kong consumer finance unit has drawn first-round bids from suitors like Carlyle Group and Bain Capital, lured by the unit's industry-beating returns, people familiar with the matter said.

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    Nelnet (NNI) shares are up 10.7% to $43.55 following the announcement of its intent to purchase CIT Group's  Federal Family Education Loan Program for $3.6 billion.The sale of the lending business includes the transaction of $2.6 billion in student loans and related assets and approximately $950 million of unsecuritized student loans. Must Read: Warren Buffett's 10 Favorite Growth Stocks.

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    An agreement between Carlos Slim's America Movil and the Austrian government to take joint ownership of Telekom Austria is likely to be agreed next week despite a public war of words that broke out on Friday.

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     Blackstone Group  President and COO Hamilton "Tony" James confirmed the company's preferred equity stake in Fannie Mae  and Freddie Mac  but said he does not believe the asset management giant will drive the debate over the future of the government sponsored enterprises.

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    Two prominent proxy advisers have split on whether shareholders should vote to maintain Augusta Resource Corp's (AZC) shareholder rights plan, which could thwart a hostile takeover bid from larger Canadian base metals miner HudBay Minerals Inc. Glass Lewis has advised its clients to vote to preserve the plan, while rival Institutional Shareholder Services has come out against the plan.