In a move that raised eyebrows in the financial sector, franchise king HFS Inc. and direct marketing leader CUC International Inc. announced Wednesday that they plan to merge in a stock swap valued at $11 billion.

In the deal, HFS, whose legion of franchise brands includes Avis, Century 21, Ramada Inn, and Coldwell Banker, will get 2.4031 shares of CUC stock for each of its own shares. CUC uses direct marketing to sell products ranging from discount airline tickets to appliances to financial products.

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