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Archive for Thursday, June 20, 2002

Briefcase

June 20, 2002

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Purple to join M&M family

The results are in: purple reigns.

The maker of M&M's said Wednesday that purple will be the latest color for the little chocolate candies. The decision came after more than 10 million people in 200 countries voted on the Internet and over the phone on whether to add purple, pink or aqua to the mix.

"Our consumers have spoken. Purple it is," said Paul Michaels, president of Masterfoods USA in Hackettstown, N.J.

Purple received 41 percent of the vote. Aqua had 37 percent and pink had 19 percent. Purple will join the existing mix of red, blue, brown, green, orange and yellow in August.

Aviation

Goodrich to buy part of TRW

Global aerospace parts maker Goodrich Corp. has agreed to buy TRW Inc.'s aeronautical systems businesses for $1.5 billion in cash, as TRW restructures rather than accept an unsolicited takeover bid from defense contractor Northrop Grumman.

The deal, announced late Tuesday, "will expand Goodrich's product line and open new growth opportunities," Goodrich chairman and chief executive officer David L. Burner said Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear how the Goodrich deal might affect a hostile takeover bid by Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp. Northrop agreed last month to delay its pursuit of its $6.7 billion bid for TRW while it examined the company's private records under terms of a confidentiality agreement.

Technology

Federal investigation slated for memory chip makers

At least three of the world's largest makers of computer memory chips have been subpoenaed as part of a federal criminal antitrust investigation, the companies said Wednesday.

Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest maker of memory chips, Infineon Technologies AG and Micron Technology Inc. confirmed that they received subpoenas earlier this week.

The three companies, which make up a majority of the $12 billion global memory market, described the U.S. Department of Justice actions as part of an industrywide investigation and said they would cooperate.

SEC Investigation

ImClone may face charges

ImClone Systems Inc. said it received a formal notice that the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering recommending charges against the firm for its handling of a rejection notice received by the Food and Drug Administration.

The document, called a Wells Notice, gives the company or individual a chance to explain its actions before the SEC makes its final decision.

On Dec. 28, ImClone learned that the FDA was rejecting the application for its cancer drug Erbitux, touted as a potential blockbuster. Initially, the company downplayed the rejection, claiming it could be easily remedied. But it was subsequently disclosed the problems with the application were much more serious than the company initially implied.

Utility

Western to begin trading under new Westar name

Topeka-based Western Resources announced Thursday that its stock will begin trading under the company's new name Westar Energy Inc. on Monday.

Shareholders approved the name earlier this month. The company will continue to trade under the symbol WR on the New York Stock Exchange.

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