•Tribune, the media company that owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Cubs baseball team, has expressed its willingness to sell parts of the company. At the same time, Tribune is in talks with private equity firms that are interested in the entire company.

•R.R. Donnelley & Sons, a printing-services company, has agreed to acquire printing firm Banta for $1.3 billion in cash. The deal was reached after Cenveo withdrew its $1.2 billion offer for Banta. The deal is subject to regulatory and Banta shareholder approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.

•CVS, the second-largest American drugstore chain, has agreed to buy pharmacy benefits manager Caremark Rx for over $21 billion. The acquisition would be the largest one by CVS so far and would make CVS the top pharmacy benefits manager.

•CB Richard Ellis Group, the largest commercial real estate broker worldwide, has agreed to purchase Trammell Crow, a firm that manages property for corporations, for $1.8 billion in cash. The combined company would have $4.4 billion in annual revenues.

The Future of Finance Has Arrived

The pace with which finance functions are employing automation and advanced technologies is quickening. Rapidly. A new survey of senior finance executives by Grant Thornton and CFO Research revealed that, for just about every key finance discipline, the use of advanced technologies has increased dramatically in the past 12 months.

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•Merck has agreed to acquire Sirna Therapeutics for $1.1 billion in cash. Sirna is a biotech firm that develops medicines using an emerging area of technology, RNA interference, which was the basis for the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2006. Many expect the technology to have the potential to produce treatments for cancer, blindness, and other diseases.

•Schneider Electric, a French electrical-equipment company, has agreed to purchase American Power Conversion Corp. for $6.1 billion in cash. The transaction will make the combined company the world’s top producer of equipment that protects factories and computers against power outages. The deal, subject to approval by shareholders of American Power Conversion, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.

•Rinker Group, an Australian building materials firm, has rejected Cemex’s $12 billion takeover bid. Mexico-based Cemex, the world’s third-ranked cement producer, would have entered the markets in Australia and China if Rinker had accepted the offer.

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