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The owner of Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher Price toys announced Monday that it is buying Hit Entertainment from a consortium led by private equity firm Apax Partners.

Mattel Inc. already markets many Thomas & Friends die-cast and plastic toys under a license that extends until 2014. Global sales of those toys are more than $150 million.

Mattel said the deal will help combine its own global marketing and distribution capabilities with Hit Entertainment's global programing and licensing expertise, said Robert A. Eckert, said Mattel CEO.

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Insurer Cigna to buy HealthSpring for $3.8 billion

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) â¿¿ Cigna Corp. will buy fellow health insurer HealthSpring Inc. in a $3.8 billion deal as it becomes the latest managed-care company to snap up a bigger share of the fast-growing Medicare Advantage market.

Cigna, based in Bloomfield, Conn., also said Monday it raised its earnings expectations for 2011 and moved up its third-quarter earnings report to Friday from Nov. 3.

Cigna's acquisition is the latest in a series of deals made by health insurers to expand their Medicare Advantage businesses, which are growing at a faster rate than commercial insurance as baby boomers become eligible for them. In addition, big insurers like Cigna have reported strong results in recent quarters, and analysts have speculated that companies would start exploring acquisitions.

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Oracle to buy RightNow for $1.5 billion

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Software company Oracle Corp. said Monday that it is buying RightNow Technologies Inc. for about $1.5 billion so it can offer a broader range of software and services that help businesses manage customer service.

Oracle is offering $43 per share for the tech service company from Bozeman, Mont. That is a 19.6 percent premium over RightNow's closing price of $35.96 on Friday.

RightNow's board has agreed to the deal, which is subject to shareholder approval. The company says it will stay in Bozeman.

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