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Archive for Friday, May 25, 2001

Business briefcase for Friday

May 25, 2001

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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 on Wednesday 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. They also discussed KS97P0630, a variety to be released in August as 2145 that should produce high yields, and KS00Hw114, a sprout-resistant white wheat that looks promising for central Kansas.

ACQUISITION

Pride International,

Marine Drilling to merge

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

The merger forms "an extraordinary company with size, geographic scope and balance sheet flexibility," said Robert L. 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 have already 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 announces

new business 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 Companies Inc.

The new division, which has not been named, will include San Francisco-based Fritz and seven smaller companies UPS has acquired during the past 18 months.

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