Archive for Thursday, June 28, 2001

Business Briefcase

June 28, 2001


Seventeen among magazines boosting awareness, profits

An increasing number of consumer publications, from Seventeen to Food and Wine, are licensing products to bolster brand awareness and boost revenues during an advertising slump.

Eyewear, socks and hair accessories are among the products licensed under the Seventeen brand by Prime Media Enterprises. Please see story, page 4D.

Manufacturing: Martin Logan receives state training grant

A Lawrence manufacturer will get $10,000 to help boost efficiency at its Lawrence plant.

Martin Logan Ltd., which makes high-end speakers for audio and home-theater systems, will get a $10,000 Kansas Industrial Retraining grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce & Housing, Lt. Gov. Gary Sherrer announced Wednesday.

The company, 2001 Del., will add $13,460 to the grant to finance retraining of 80 company employees in lean manufacturing principles. The retraining is expected to make manufacturing more efficient by requiring less floor space and boosting cash flow through reduced inventories.

Telecommunications: Sprint reaches upgrade deals with Lucent, Nortel

Overland Park-based Sprint Corp. has reached deals worth $1 billion each with Lucent Technologies Inc. and Nortel Networks to expand Sprint's next-generation wireless network.

Under the three-year agreements, announced Wednesday, Lucent will supply base stations and mobile switching centers and Canada-based Nortel will supply networking and radio base station equipment.

The deal with Nortel, a top producer of fiber-optic and other communications equipment, extends and expands a five-year relationship with Sprint.

Lucent has worked with Sprint in the development of the wireless Sprint PCS network. Lucent's third-generation wireless system is intended to help Sprint give customers faster speeds and enhancements for such activities as downloading data and music to portable wireless devices.

Meat processing company: Tyson Foods to acquire IBP under original terms

Tyson Foods agreed to acquire IBP Inc. under the original terms of a deal Tyson had tried to abandon, citing problems with IBP's books.

The offer values IBP, the nation's largest beef producer, at $2.7 billion. The companies announced the latest deal after its approval by a Delaware judge Wednesday.

The deal will create a processing company with 28 percent of the beef market, 25 percent of the chicken market and 18 percent of the pork market.

Black farmers protest First Union merger

Black farmers marched in protest of the proposed $14.3 billion bank merger between First Union and Wachovia, saying it would prevent them from getting the credit they deserve.

About 20 protesters, including John Boyd, above, with the National Black Farmers Assn., chanted, "Stop the merger!" and "We want loans!" as they marched on the sidewalk in front of First Union's headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.

The 60,000-member organization said the banks must commit themselves to opening more lines of credit to black farmers and black-owned businesses before the merger is approved.

Russia: GM joins deal to produce SUVs

General Motors Corp. signed an agreement Wednesday with Russia's largest automaker Avtovaz and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to create a joint venture that is expected to produce 75,000 sport-utility vehicles a year.

The $340 million deal is one of the largest foreign investment projects in Russia, and by far the biggest joint venture in Russia's car industry, which is struggling to modernize its aging equipment and develop new products.

The new vehicle, which will be sold under the trademark Chevy Niva, will be a Russian product to be sold at Avtovaz's dealerships in Russia and GM's dealerships abroad.

Aviation: Boeing's hopes to land contract after test

Boeing Co. said Wednesday that it had completed the most technically challenging part of its Joint Strike Fighter testing, which the company said would give it an advantage over rival Lockheed Martin as both compete for a $200 billion government contract.

Lead test pilot Dennis O'Donoghue said he was able to land Boeing's X-32B airplane vertically setting down like a helicopter or a Harrier after taking off horizontally in conventional jet-fighter style.

On Sunday, Lockheed Martin, which is competing with Boeing for the JSF contract, announced that its X-35B had made two vertical takeoffs and landings, with 35-second hovers.

Telecommunications: Lucent expected to cut work force

Lucent Technologies Inc. is making plans for another round of layoffs that could exceed 10,000 workers as the struggling telecommunications giant continues its restructuring, according to a published report. Lucent stock fell 2 percent.

The Murray Hill, N.J.-based company refused to comment Wednesday on The Wall Street Journal report, which cited people familiar with the situation who said that the company would announce its intentions as part of its fiscal third-quarter earnings in late July.

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