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Harleysville soars

September 30, 2011

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Harleysville soared after Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., the eighth-largest US personal auto insurer, agreed to buy the Pennsylvania-based rival in a deal valued at about $1.6 billion. Nationwide chief executive Stephen Rasmussen, who took the job in 2009, is making his first large acquisition for the Columbus, Ohio-based carrier. Harleysville shares had slipped 14 percent this year until yesterday.