Sunday, April 19, 1998
Fifth Third Bancorp is ready to go hunting in the Hoosier state. The Cincinnati banking company is interested in what leftovers might remain after Banc One Corp. completes its $30 billion merger with First Chicago NBD Corp.
Banc One and First Chicago, already the largest banks in Indiana might need to jettison at least $2 billion out of $14 billion in deposits in the state to make their deal palatable to antitrust regulators.
First Chicago NBD has 214 branches in Indiana, and Banc One runs 127 offices in the state. Together, they control 42 percent of the deposits in Indianapolis alone. Fifth Third, by comparison, runs 32 offices with $700 million in deposits in Indiana.
"They are going to have to do some divestiture, and that will create some opportunities for us," said Michael Brumm, who heads up Fifth Third's acquisitions efforts.
-- Jeff McKinney
P&G gets a tailgater
Beep, beep, Procter. Your watchdogs are behind you.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, say they have fashioned a vehicle to track P&G's Tide racer around the NASCAR circuit -- a Ford Taurus painted to look like a box of what the organization calls "Died" detergent.
The auto began its tour Thursday at Procter & Gamble Co. headquarters, downtown. Among its passengers were PETA's "laundry ladies," who distributed leaflets that describe animal testing -- the point of friction between the company and the group.
P&G spokeswoman Mindy Montgomery Patton said the company doesn't specify what products require animal testing, but Procter has reduced testing for non-drug goods by 85 percent since 1984. This year, Procter said it invested another $9.5 million in the program, bringing the investment to $64 million.
"(I'm) still disappointed they aren't focusing attention on alternatives because that's how we can conquer animal testing," she said.
-- Lisa Biank Fasig
No comfort in these chairs
Low productivity in the workplace? Buy a "Pony." Or perhaps you'd prefer a "Pogo" to get the workers hopping.
Haworth Inc., of Holland, Mich., has created office chair prototypes -- Pony, Pogo and Palette -- to encourage movement that keeps the worker's mind alert. The thought behind the chairs, according to company literature: "Too much comfort can be counterproductive."
In a quest for the not-too-comfortable chair, Haworth included a gerontologist, a neurologist and psychologists in their design. The result: a stool inspired by a pogo stick; a desk - chair combo (the Palette) that looks like a bicycle bred with a grammar school desk; and the Pony, a rocking horse-shaped chair, complete with saddlebags, designed to be straddled.
Unfortunately for cubicle-corralled office cowboys, the Pony and the other chairs are concepts and likely won't make it to market.
-- Perry Brothers
GE pressured to clean up
When General Electric Co. executives gather in Cincinnati Wednesday for the company's annual meeting, they will encounter a nun with an attitude -- and an agenda.
Sister Patricia Daly is leading a group of 34 religious organizations, which also are GE shareholders, to force the company to take responsibility for cleaning up polychlorinated biphenyls that leaked decades ago from a GE plant into the upper Hudson River. Cries to clean the New York state river have raged since PCBs were banned in 1976.
Sister Daly's coalition seeks support for a proxy resolution that calls for GE to cooperate with state and federal officials to clean the Hudson. A similar resolution was voted on -- and failed -- last year.
In an advertisement last week in the New York Times, Sister Daly and crew took a jab at GE by playing off the company's slogan. The full-page ad's headline read: "On the Hudson, GE Brings Bad Things to Life."
GE's annual meeting falls on Earth Day -- an irony also pointed out in the ad.
-- Ursula Miller
Items for Tipsheet are gathered by Enquirer business reporters. and compiled by Jeff Harrington of the business staff.