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Archive for Friday, May 25, 2001

Briefcase

May 25, 2001

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Agriculture

New wheat varieties coming to Kansas

A natural herbicide-resistant wheat called Clearfield and other new varieties geared specifically to Kansas were showcased for producers at this year's Spring Wheat Day.

Producers taking tours Wednesday of demonstration plots at the Wheat Day at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Station at Hays showed a special interest in Clearfield, which is resistant to an entire class of herbicides, including those marketed under the brand names Raptor, Olympus and Maverick.

In addition to Clearfield, scientists unveiled Vista, a variety for the northern tier of Kansas counties; Stanton, a variety that resists the Russian wheat aphid for the western tier of counties; and Lakin, a white wheat for southwest Kansas that could be used for Asian noodles.

Acquisition

Pride International, Marine Drilling to merge

Pride International Inc. and Marine Drilling Cos. Inc. announced Thursday they will merge in a $1.9 billion stock deal, creating the third largest offshore drilling contractor.

The merger forms "an extraordinary company with size, geographic scope and balance sheet flexibility," said Robert Barbanell, currently chairman of Marine Drilling. He will serve as chairman of the combined company, which will have 10,000 employees worldwide.

Alliance

Microsoft, Lockheed seek government deals

Microsoft Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. announced an alliance Thursday aimed at securing government contracts for such projects as secure e-mail and e-commerce.

Lockheed Martin and Microsoft already have collaborated on U.S. government defense projects including software for the Navy's next nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and a secure-messaging system for the Defense Department.

Mail service

UPS forms new unit

United Parcel Service Inc. said Thursday it was forming a new business unit to handle freight forwarding and customs brokerage as it completed its $437 million acquisition of the Fritz Cos. Inc.

The new division will include San Francisco-based Fritz and seven smaller companies that UPS has acquired during the past 18 months.

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