Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Business Briefcase

June 20, 2001

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GE president expects Honeywell deal to die

General Electric Co. president Jeffrey Immelt, right, said in an interview published Tuesday there was "zero" chance his company's $41 billion merger with U.S. technology firm Honeywell International Inc. would go ahead.

"The indications we have from the European Commission lead us to think the offer won't be accepted," Immelt said, referring to the executive arm of the 15-nation European Union. The deal has so far failed to win clearance from European regulators.

Asked by a French newspaper to estimate the chances of a successful conclusion to the proposed acquisition, Immelt said: "The percentage is zero."

Immelt is due to take over as chairman of General Electric when Jack Welch, left, who delayed his retirement to see through the Honeywell deal, steps down later this year.

Honeywell has an avionics plant in Lawrence.

Harvest: Co-op halts grain buying

Farmers Cooperative Assn. officially stopped buying grain Tuesday, pending the sale of its grain elevators to other parties.

Co-op officials were busy Tuesday preparing to transfer several of the properties to their new buyers, a consortium of area cooperatives. The new owners want to close the deals in time to take advantage of the wheat harvest, which was slowed in northeast Kansas by rain Tuesday.

The Lawrence-based co-op agreed to sell its assets after filing for bankruptcy protection in September.

Aviation: Boeing official says plant merger not set

Boeing Co. is not planning to merge two of its commercial airplane plants in Washington at this time but won't rule it out in the future, the head of its commercial airlines division said.

"I don't see that happening in the near term, but we're certainly studying all options and we will continue to do so," said Boeing Commercial President Alan Mulally, a Lawrence High School and Kansas University graduate, during a conference Tuesday at the Paris Air Show.

Boeing builds the single-aisle 757 and 737 airplanes in Renton, south of Seattle, and larger 747s, 767s and 777s in Everett, 30 miles to the north.

Markets: Stocks slump again

Concerns about weak company profits ruled Wall Street again Tuesday, flattening the market's attempt to rally on bullish comments from tech bellwether Oracle.

"For every Oracle, there are still companies out there that are indicating difficulties with near-term earnings," said Richard Cripps, chief market strategist for Legg Mason of Baltimore.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 48.71 at 10,596.67, despite an earlier gain of 94 points.

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