Archive for Friday, April 6, 2001

Briefcase

April 6, 2001

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communications

Winstar to cut jobs, halts expansion

Winstar Communications Inc. said it would cut its work force by 40 percent and halt the expansion of its communications networks for the rest of the year.

The New York-based company is the latest telecommunications firm to cut capital spending in the face of the slowing economy.

Winstar has been building a wireless broadband network in the United States. About 5,400 office buildings with 150,000 companies are hooked up to the network, which offers local and long-distance phone service, Internet access and data transport mainly to business customers. The company currently serves about 32,000 customers.

Instead of expanding its facilities, Winstar said it will focus on signing up customers who already have access to the network.

Closure

Barbie's playhouse heading to Mexico

Mattel Inc. is closing its last toy factory in the United States a western Kentucky plant that produced such things as Barbie playhouses and battery-powered pickups for nearly 30 years.

The company is shifting production at the 980-employee Murray, Ky., plant to existing factories in Mexico.

The plant was opened by Fisher-Price in 1973 and was acquired by Mattel in 1993. The layoffs are to begin in June as part of a companywide restructuring announced last fall. Seven distribution centers will remain in the United States, in Hebron, Ky., and in California, Texas and Wisconsin.

Products made at the Murray plant in recent years include child car seats, Barbie Jeeps and playground equipment.

slowdown

Agilent Technologies to cut staff pay

Agilent Technologies Inc. will cut its workers' pay by 10 percent as it attempts to deal with declining demand without firing staff it will need later.

"We view the economic slowdown as a business cycle, even though it's deepening and broadening," said Ned Barnholt, Agilent's president and chief executive officer, on Thursday.

"We believe this pay reduction is the most appropriate action for us. We value our work force."

The pay cuts will save about $70 million per quarter, helping Agilent deal with flat revenue in the second quarter, which ends April 30. Revenue was $2.84 billion last quarter.

Agilent makes instruments used to test telecommunications equipment and semiconductors.

Dairy processors Suiza to buy Dean

Got milk? Suiza Foods is about to have lots of it nearly a third of the U.S. market.

In a giant milk merger pairing the two biggest U.S. dairy processors, Suiza said Thursday it is buying Dean Foods Co. for about $1.5 billion in cash and stock, taking its rival's name and moving Dean's headquarters from Franklin Park, Ill., to Suiza's base in Dallas.

If it clears regulatory hurdles, the deal would create a dairy and specialty foods giant with about $10 billion in annual sales, 30,000 employees in 39 states and 30 percent of the U.S. fluid milk market. Suiza stockholders would own 65 percent of its shares.

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