Saturday, March 21, 1998
P&G subsidiary to sell
Brazil factory

Procter & Gamble Co.'s Brazilian subsidiary said Friday it plans to sell its underperforming Phebo brand soap factory in the Amazon as part of a worldwide product improvement program.

The subsidiary, Procter & Gamble do Brazil, wants to focus its Brazilian operations on core brands such as Pampers, Tampax, Quanto laundry soap, Pantene, Pringles and Vicks. A company spokeswoman said Phebo has not been a big seller.

The Phebo plant makes soaps anddeodorants in Belem, the largest cityin Brazil's Amazon region. P&G isreported to control 85 percent of theBrazilian laundry soap market.

Guarantee Life to buy Westfield for $100M

Guarantee Life Cos. Inc. of Omaha, Neb., will purchase Ohio-based Westfield Life Insurance Co. for $100 million in cash and stock, adding 87,000 life insurance policies and 500 independent agents.

The transaction, set to close May 31, would be Guarantee's fourth and largest purchase since it began trading stock publicly in 1995. Westfield, based in Westfield Center, is part of Ohio Farmers Insurance Co., which specializes largely in property-casualty insurance. Guarantee will pay $90 million in cash and $10 million in stock.

Ohio Farmers would become one ofGuarantee's largest stockholders,owning about 4 percent of its stock.

Pepsi using Dayton as new bottle test site

Pepsi-Cola Co. is using the Dayton, Ohio, area as the lead market to introduce a plastic bottle designed to be easy to grasp and pour.

''The Grip'' was rolled out this week in supermarkets, convenience stores and other retail outlets in the area. Pepsi expects to gradually introduce the bottle in other markets.

Under development since 1994, the2-liter bottle has a built-in grip handle. An inner wall that runs throughthe center of the bottle is designed to allow the handle to hold its shapeunder the pressures of carbonation.

Cincinnati Bell secures credit for acquisitions

Cincinnati Bell Inc. this week said it closed revolving credit agreements totaling $1.25 billion with a group of banks to finance acquisitions and other investments.

Bell said the agreements, 75 percent of the funds for 364 days and the remaining 25 percent for five years, will back up the company's commercial paper program. More than 20 banks are participating in the credit agreements with Chase Securities leading the syndication. Bell purchased AT&T Solutions Customer Care business for $625 million and will pay about $110 million thisyear for 80 percent of AT&T's newwireless communications network inthe Cincinnati-Dayton region.

Microsoft exec to speak at Chamber program

Jeff Raikes, a group vice president at software giant Microsoft Corp., will speak on using the Internet to increase business at a DecisionMaker Lecture sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. The program will start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Sharonville Convention Center.

Tickets are $10 and can be ordered by calling the chamber's branch office at 891-8833. Registration and a social hour will run from 6:30 to 7:30. p.m.