Archive for Tuesday, January 11, 2005


January 11, 2005


Hollywood OKs buyout by Movie Gallery

Video rental chain Hollywood Entertainment Corp. has agreed to a buyout offer of about $850 million from rival Movie Gallery in a deal that would create a stronger challenger to industry leader Blockbuster.

The planned combination announced Monday of the No. 2 and No. 3 video rental chains would create a company with annual revenue of $2.5 billion and about 4,500 stores. Blockbuster has 9,000 outlets worldwide, including two in Lawrence.


McFarlane Aviation project clears county

Douglas County commissioners unanimously approved a site plan Monday that allows McFarlane Aviation to expand the company's plant at the Vinland Valley Aerodome near Baldwin.

Owner Dave McFarlane said the company would add 3,500 square feet to its existing 16,890-square-foot plant. The addition will be used for metal fabrication and warehouse space.

McFarlane Aviation develops and manufactures aircraft replacement parts, mainly for Cessna, Piper and Raytheon planes. The company has 24 employees; 21 work full time.

Dennis Lawson, who lives near the company, said McFarlane had been a good neighbor and corporate citizen.

"We're very supportive of this expansion and pleased they've been so successful," Lawson said.


GM to continue layoffs in 2005

General Motors Corp. plans to reduce its U.S. work force by about 7 percent for a fourth consecutive year in 2005, chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner said.

That means about 8,000 hourly and salaried positions at the world's largest automaker will be eliminated through attrition and retirement over the next 12 months.

Struggling to trim costs in the face of rising health care expenses and other factors, GM each year since 2002 has cut about 2 percent to 3 percent of its salaried work force, 5 percent to 6 percent of its hourly work force and about 10 percent of its contractors.


Comcast to offer Internet-based service

Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable television company, plans to challenge local phone companies by offering Internet-based phone service in 20 markets this year, company officials said.

The Philadelphia-based company plans to offer its Digital Voice technology to all of its markets by 2006. Company officials said they expected to be serving about 20 percent of phone customers in those markets within five years.

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