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Also . . .

* General Electric’s NBC and two companies associated with former junk bond king Michael Milken have taken minority stakes in closely held Hoover’s Inc., which provides detailed descriptions of U.S. corporations, for $8.9 million. Hoover’s said the alliance with NBC and the two units tied to Knowledge Universe, the computer training and information technology company started by Milken in 1996, also involved licensing and distribution agreements. NBC, which owns CNBC, bought shares in Austin, Texas-based Hoover’s for $1.5 million, a Hoover’s spokeswoman told Reuters. An NBC spokesperson was not available for comment.

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* Energy East Corp. agreed to acquire CMP Group Inc. for $1.2 billion, or $29.50 a share, in the latest of a wave of deals sweeping through the deregulated utility industry. The acquisition brings together two gas and electric utilities with more than 1.5 million customers in the Northeast. Albany, N.Y.-based Energy East also will assume $271 million in debt from CMP, which is based in Augusta, Maine.

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* Ryder System Inc., the largest U.S. truck-leasing company, named Gregory T. Swienton its president and chief operating officer, a new position, as it completes a management shake-up aimed at reversing a slide in earnings. Swienton, 49, previously was senior vice president at Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., the second-largest U.S. railroad.

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