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Reliant Resources

(RRI)

will acquire

Orion Power

(ORN) - Get Orion Group Holdings, Inc. Report

for about $2.9 billion in cash. Reliant will pay $26.80 for each share of Orion. The price represents a premium of about 40% to Orion's closing price Wednesday.

Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures:

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company Report

and

Nestle

received European Union approval for a joint venture forready-to-serve drinks and coffee.

Fiserv

(FISV) - Get Fiserv, Inc. Report

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, a data processing and informationmanagement systems provider, agreed to sell itshuman resources and payroll software business to

Gores Technology Group

.

Miscellaneous News:

British Airways

(BAB) - Get Invesco Taxable Municipal Bond ETF Report

will end 190flights a week and ground 20 aircraft. In addition, the company set plans to cut 5,200 more jobs on top of the 1,800previously announced.

Chico's FAS

(CHS) - Get Chico's FAS, Inc. Report

, namedScott Edmonds, the company's operating chief, to the additional post ofpresident.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report

is investing $30million during the next 12 months to try and lureadvertisers to its MSN portal. The company said themove is part of a larger $100 million effort to tryand attract advertisers to its portals all over theworld.

Novartis

(NVS) - Get Novartis AG Report

received approval in the U.S. to sell Foradil, which treats chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused by smoking. Foradil was approved in the U.S. in Februaryto treat asthma, but the latest approval is more wide-ranging and includes treating patients with chronicbronchitis and emphysema.

Compact disc software company

Roxio

( ROXI) named Chris Gorog, the company's current president and chief executive, to the additional post of chairman.

After Wednesday's Close:

Sonus Networks

(SONS)

warned that it will missearnings estimates for the remainder of the year. Thecompany expects to lose 5 cents to 7cents a share, excluding charges, in the fiscal thirdquarter. The company also projected a loss of 8 centsto 10 cents a share for the full year. Analysts hadbeen expecting earnings of a penny in the thirdquarter and income of 3 cents a share for the fiscalyear.