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GENERAL MILLS, PILLSBURY UNITS SOLD

MINNETONKA, Minn. (Bloomberg) -- International Multifoods Corp., the biggest U.S. distributor of vending machine food, agreed to buy Pillsbury and General Mills units for a total of about $305 million and said it's exploring alternatives for its food-service distribution business.

General Mills operates a cereal plant in Buffalo.

International Multifoods expects earnings to fall to about 15 cents to 18 cents a share for the fourth quarter ending in May from 37 cents in the year-earlier quarter, the company said in a statement.

The agreement will help General Mills, the No. 2 cereal maker in the United States, gain regulatory approval for its pending acquisition of Pillsbury from London-based Diageo Plc, and aid International Multifoods' plans to concentrate on grain-based foods.

International Multifoods agreed to buy Pillsbury's dessert, specialty-product and non-custom food-service baking-mix businesses and General Mills's U.S. Robin Hood flour brand. The acquisition will add at least 18 cents a share to earnings in the first year after closing, at least 25 cents in the second year and at least 45 cents in the third year, International Multifoods said.

Texaco chairman resigns

WHITE PLAINS -- Texaco Inc. Chairman and CEO Peter I. Bijur has resigned, effective immediately, the company said Sunday.

Bijur, 58, will be replaced by Glenn F. Tilton, a 52-year-old senior vice president and president of global businesses for Texaco.

Phillips to acquire Tosco

NEW YORK (AP) -- Phillips Petroleum Co. has agreed to acquire Tosco Corp. for $7 billion in stock, creating the nation's second-largest oil refiner and one of the largest gasoline retailers.

The transaction was approved by the boards of both companies Sunday.

Under terms of the deal, Phillips will assume approximately $2 billion in Tosco debt.

Phillips is offering 0.80 of one of its shares for each share of Tosco, valuing Tosco shares at $46.50, a 34 percent premium.

Shares of Tosco closed Friday at $34.61 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Berkshire unit plans venture

STAMFORD, Conn. (Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway plans to form a venture with former J.P. Morgan & Co. executives Roberto Mendoza and Peter Hancock that will help companies, government agencies and individuals use derivatives.

The venture will be formed through Berkshire Hathaway's reinsurance unit, General Re Corp. A partnership led by Mendoza and Hancock will buy a majority interest in General Re Securities Holdings, a unit of General Re.

"Roberto Mendoza and Peter Hancock are the kind of people I want to be in business with," Buffett said in General Re's press release. "I have great confidence in the business plan and prospects of Gen Re Securities." General Re said it will keep a substantial minority stake in General Re Securities.

This week in business

Major business and economic events scheduled for the week:

Wednesday -- The Labor Department will release its reports on fourth-quarter productivity and costs; the Federal Reserve will release data on consumer credit for December; the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Business Rights and Competition will hold a hearing on the American Airlines-TWA merger.

Thursday -- The nation's largest retailers are expected to announce January sales results and the Labor Department will issue data on weekly jobless claims.

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