Bigs going green in takeover rush

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Businesses that specialize in healthy living, green building, ecotourism and natural products are the new takeover targets. This year, about 7 percent of those companies have been in the gunsights of corporate giants seeking a piece of the US’ $290 billion annual market for things eco-friendly.

Unilever, the European consumer-products conglomerate, just paid more than $600 million to gobble up Vermont-based Seventh Generation, a maker of eco-benign household products. Unilever also reportedly is trying to close a billion-deal to acquire Honest Co., another consumer-goods greenie.

Several international firms also are on the hunt, hoping to cash in on the cachet that green products from the US have in the world market.

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