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Cendant to buy Galileo for $2.9 billion

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New York--Cendant Corp., the franchising giant that owns Avis Rental Car Management Services and Century 21 Real Estate Corp., said Monday it would buy Galileo International Inc., the world's second-biggest computerized travel reservation network, for $2.9 billion. The deal will make New York-based Cendant the primary competitor of Sabre Holdings Corp., the leading travel reservations company. Rosemont, Ill.-based Galileo has access to more than 500 airlines, 40 rental car companies and 45,000 hotel properties worldwide. While it has developed its overseas capabilities, Galileo has lost ground in the U.S. domestic market. Cendant said it does not anticipate staff cuts as a result of the acquisition, but it did announce that Galileo's CEO, James Barlett, would leave the company once the transaction is compete.
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