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    Veteran Italian banker Alessandro Profumo and other investors have signed a deal with U.S. private equity firm JC Flowers to buy a majority stake in Italian broker Equita SIM. Profumo, who will step down next week as chairman of Monte dei Paschi di Siena and previously headed top Italian bank UniCredit, will create an investment vehicle together with Equita managers to take over Equita.

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    A plan to create a $1.5 billion private school giant in South Africa collapsed on Wednesday after parents threatened to pull pupils out of elite academies if they were bought by a company accused of having segregated children by race.

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    Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC) has no interest in selling down its stake in a planned liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique, the company's chief executive said on Wednesday, following talk of international interest in the southern African country's gas reserves.

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     . It's a good day to be an investor in biotech Gilead Sciences, Shares are up over 4% Wednesday, a day after the company topped earnings per share and revenue estimates and raised its full-year revenue guidance. It was a "fabulous quarter," said TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, during CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment. Gilead Sciences GILD data by YCharts.

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    GlaxoSmithKline Plc CEO Andrew Witty told analysts: * CEO says headline results of SUMMIT trial with Breo likely around Sept/Oct * CEO says big-to-big pharma deals have high "pain" threshold and risky; GSK. fixated on delivery after Novartis deal * For more news, please click here.

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    Altice, the holding company of tycoon Patrick Drahi, will likely take a breather on telecom acquisitions in the short-term as it focuses on closing a cable deal in the U.S., said its chief executive on a conference call. Chief Executive Dexter Goei also appeared to close the door on making another run at buying Bouygues Telecom, after its 10 billion euro bid was rebuffed in June.

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    * HIV sales help offset margin slide post Novartis (NVS) deal. * Q2 core EPS 17.3 pence vs consensus 16.7p. * Q2 sales 5.9 billion pounds, in line with consensus. * GSK says has around 40 new drugs and vaccines in Phase II/III. * Shares up more than 3 percent on earnings beat. By Ben Hirschler.

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    European stocks rose on Wednesday, driven by earnings from companies including Dutch phone giant Royal KPN and global luxury leader LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, as well as continued M&A deal momentum. In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.52% at 6,529.29. On the mainland, the DAX added 0.35% to 11,213.55 in Frankfurt and the CAC 40 gained 0.43% to 4,998.97 in Paris.

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    The European Commission said on Wednesday it had cleared generic drug maker Mylan's planned takeover of Ireland-based Perrigo Co. The Commission said in a statement that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because the parties' activities are largely complementary, Mylan being one of the main European producers of prescribed generic drugs and Perrigo (PRGO) specialised in sel...

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    The following bids, mergers, ** Belgian chemical group Solvay has agreed to buy U.S. peer Cytec for $5.5 billion, giving it a bigger presence in the lightweight materials business where demand from the aerospace industry is booming.

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    U.S. private equity firm Lone Star has agreed to buy British property firm Quintain Estates and Development (QUTDF) for 700 million pounds to gain one of London's few remaining large-scale development opportunities. The cash bid of 131 pence a share is about 22 percent above Quintain's closing price on Tuesday and gives Lone Star access to a large area of undeveloped land around London's Wembley Stadium.

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    * New chairman says to speed up asset sales, cost cuts. * Keeps dividend flat for 2015, rules out capital raising. * Shares hit 18-month high, up 2 pct. By Steve Slater and Matt Scuffham. Barclays' (BCS) new chairman sought to stamp his mark on the bank on Wednesday by accelerating the sale of assets and cost cutting after the group produced a 12 percent increase in second-quarter profits.