Friday, October 8, 2004

Business digest



Bank of America to cut 4,500 more jobs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Bank of America Corp., the third-biggest U.S. bank, said it would cut 4,500 jobs in addition to the 12,500 positions it will eliminate as part of its FleetBoston Financial Corp. purchase.

The company said it anticipates severance costs of $150 million from the new job reductions, which amount to 2.5 percent of its workforce of 178,000.

Bank of America completed the $48 billion purchase of Boston- based FleetBoston in April.

Formica retirees to meet next week

Formica Corp. retirees battling cuts in their monthly pension checks will hold their quarterly meeting at 11 a.m. Monday at the Full Gospel Assembly Church, 11850 Lebanon Road, Loveland.

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear arguments Nov. 4 on the retirees' appeal of a lower court's denial of a preliminary injunction to prevent the Evendale laminate maker from reducing the pensions because of errors in how they were calculated. The court granted an expedited hearing of the appeal in April.

Despite hurricanes, Midland expects profit

Midland Co. said Thursday it still expects to post a profit for its just-completed third quarter, in spite of hurricane claim payouts that the company estimates will total $18 million after taxes and reinsurance. The Amelia-based company said it now thinks full-year earnings will fall at the low end of projections. Midland shares fell $1.33, or 4.7 percent, to $27.17 in Nasdaq trading Thursday.

Omnicare persists in merger effort

Omnicare has invited NeighborCare for another round of merger talks, but its Baltimore-based rival wants no part of it.

NeighborCare said Thursday that its board of directors decided that further talks would not be productive. Omnicare, the nation's leading provider of pharmaceuticals to nursing homes, made a $30-a-share tender offer for NeighborCare in June, and the latest extension of that offer expires Oct. 29. Omnicare said 51.2 percent of NeighborCare's fully diluted shares were tendered before the previous deadline on Sept. 30

Wal-Mart OK to build by Mexican pyramids

MEXICO CITY - U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. won a rare victory after Mexican officials and an international preservation group said no damage would be caused by building a discount store less than a mile from the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan.

The announcement Wednesday struck a blow to opponents who had vowed to block the store, claiming it would intrude upon and damage the archaeological site.

Clorox to buy back 29 percent stake

OAKLAND, Calif. - Clorox Co. and Henkel KGaA have agreed to a $2.8 billion stock swap and cash deal, in which Henkel will sell back its 29 percent ownership stake in Clorox in return for $2.1 billion in cash, as well as a handful of Clorox businesses and a position in a Spanish joint venture valued at $745 million.

The transaction, announced Wednesday evening, is the latest effort by German detergents, cosmetics and adhesives conglomerate Henkel to expand its U.S. home products businesses. Earlier this year, Henkel paid $2.9 billion in cash to purchase Dial Corp., and a spokesman said that some of the cash from the Clorox deal would be used to finance the Dial acquisition.

Boeing expects more orders from Far East

CHICAGO - Boeing Co., the world's second-biggest maker of commercial aircraft, said it expects Japanese and South Korean airlines to buy about 1,600 airplanes from both it and rivals over the next 20 years as travel expands in the region.

The market for the aircraft, including passenger and freight airlines, would be worth about $208 billion, the company said in a statement given to reporters in Yokohama, Japan.

Boeing, which lost the top spot in the delivery of commercial aircraft to Airbus SAS for the first time in 2003, aims to get more orders from Asian airlines. All Nippon Airways Co. in April agreed to buy 50 7E7 aircraft worth $6 billion, according to list prices, becoming the first airline to commit to use the proposed jetliners.




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