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Byline: -- Staff and Wire Services

Merck to pay huge for Sirna

Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. said Monday that it agreed to pay an eye-popping $1.1 billion to buy Sirna Therapeutics Inc., a tiny biotechnology firm developing drugs based on new technology at the heart of last month's Nobel Prize for medicine award.

Merck's $13-per-share offer for the San Francisco-based company is almost a 102 percent premium over Sirna's closing Nasdaq Stock Market price of $6.45, which fell 5 cents before the bid was made public after the stock markets closed. Sirna's stock surged 98 percent, to $12.74, in after-hours trading.

Spending slows as incomes rise

Consumers kept a tight grip on their wallets in September, increasing their spending by only 0.1 percent, down from a 0.2 percent increase in August.

Incomes, meanwhile, rose briskly.

The Commerce Department's report, released Monday, showed that consumers had a solid appetite for big-ticket goods such as cars and appliances last month. Americans' incomes -- the fuel for future spending -- rose by a brisk 0.5 percent in September.

Findings: BP aware of woes

HOUSTON -- Internal documents show that budget cuts and a lack of leadership contributed to significant safety problems at BP PLC's Texas City plant, the site of last year's deadly explosion, federal investigators said Monday.

In preliminary findings, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board said BP management knew about maintenance, spending and infrastructure problems well before the March 2005 blast that killed 15 people and injured more than 170.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 31, 2006
Words:254
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