National Post from Toronto, Ontario, Canada on February 29, 2000 · 38
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National Post from Toronto, Ontario, Canada · 38

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Tuesday, February 29, 2000
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C2 BRIEFING FINANCIAL POST, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2000 . 46 BC Julius Caesar institutes the Julian Calendar in the year 709 of Rome. Astronomers calculate a year to be precisely 365 days and six hours long, but in their efforts to adjust for the imbalance between times, they overshoot their mark. 1288 The Scottish Parliament rules that women who ask a man's hand in marriage on this day and who are refused can collect 100 from the man. Eventually, France and Italy adopt the practice as well. It is called Sadie Hawkins Day. 1572 Pope Gregory THIS DAY IN BUSINESS HISTORY institutes the current (Gregorian) calendar for the Christian world. He includes leap year and cuts out 10 days in October of that year to make up for the inaccuracy of the previous calendar. 1860 German Herman Hollerith invents the first electric tabulating machine. 1880 Gotthard railway tunnel between Switzerland and Italy completed. 1904 U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt appoints a seven-member commission to facilitate completion of the Panama Canal. 1960 Hugh Hefner opens his first Playboy Club, in Chicago, featuring waitresses in bunny outfits. In 1986, he closes the clubs, calling them "passe." 1972 Hank Aaron becomes the first baseball player to sign for $ 200,000 a year. ECONOMY . Ui. tells Europe to produce better IMF candidate .WASHINGTON The United States said yesterday it would not support Europe's candidate to . head the International Monetary Fund and told the Europeans to come up with someone better for . die job. In a blunt diplomatic snub . to . Europe, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said Europe's candidate, German deputy finance minister Caio Koch-Weser, did not meet the criteria needed to . head the international lender. The ; U.S. decision to oppose Koch-- Weser came within hours of Euro-. pean finance ministers endorsing r niscandidacy yesterday. Ill income increasesfaster than spending WASHINGTON U.S. personal incomes rose faster than spending in January but Americans' love of shopping was unabated, keeping pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates further to cool the economy despite tame inflation. The Commerce Department said yesterday spending in January rose 0.5 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $6.531-tril-lion (US) following a 1.1 gain in December. Incomes gained a stronger 0.7 to $8.053-trillion after a 0.3 gain in December. Excluding special factors, personal income rose 0.6 in January. RESOURCES Sudan says others ready to . step in if Talisman pulls out . CAIRO Mustafa Osman Ismail, Sudan's foreign minister, said -yesterday several oil companies . would be ready to replace Talisman Energy Inc. if the Canadian : firm ceded to pressure to leave , Sudan. Human rights groups have accused Talisman of worsening the 17-year-old civil war in Sudan and the U.S. Treasury Department has placed sanctions on the consortium to which it belongs. Talisman has been at the centre of a storm over reports alleging that Khartoum is using oil 7 Both may put a smile on your face every morning. The comics for the best in humour. FPX for The financial Host Indexes. Now you can buy these benchmarks as mutual funds, with TALVEST FPX INDEX PORTFOLIOS. For more details, talk to your advisor or call us at 1-800-268-8258, or, better yet, check out f IIIH TALVEST Important information about (he funds is contained in the prospectus. A copy of the prospectus, which you should read carefully before investing, may be obtained from Talvest or from registered representatives. Unit values and investment returns will fluctuate. revenues to fuel its war against rebels in the south. Anderson Exploration to sell stake in pipeline CALGARY Anderson Explo ration Ltd. plans to sell its 50 stake in a pipeline venture with Imperial Oil Ltd. for as much as $126-million using the proceeds to expand its petroleum business. Anderson and Imperial each own half of Federated Pipe Lines Ltd., a 2,000-mile pipeline that carries oil and natural-gas liquids in Alberta and British Columbia. PULP AND PAPER laperriere acquires Beloit unitsin$30Mdeal JTROIS-RIVIERES, QUE. Groupe Laperriere & Verreault Inc. said it has completed the acquisition of Beloit Corp.'s pulping and finishing business units for 330-million. Laperriere said the Requisitions will add $170-million a year to revenues. Harnischfeger Industries Inc. announced in January that Laperriere had won the bid for the pulp and finishing divisions of its Beloit unit, which makes paper-making equipment Harnischfeger and Beloit filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June, 1999. Laperriere said it expects to record sales of $450-million at March 31, 2001, and expects to reach its objective of $500-miHion in revenue in 2002. MEDIA judge signals skepticism bn halting CBS purchase i I NEW YORK ANewYorkjudge Indicated he may be skeptical bbout BHC Communications Inc.'s need for an order blocking Viacom Inc.'s planned $50-bil-lion purchase of CBS Corp. BHC, Viacom's partner in the UPN television network, is suing to block the acquisition, claiming a merger between Viacom and rival network CBS would violate a noncompete agreement. Justice Her-Jnan Cahn of state Supreme Court in Manhattan noted since Viacom would be the surviving entity after purchasing CBS, BHC's rights under its joint-venture agreement with Viacom Would be preserved. BHC could therefore sue Viacom for alleged violations of the non-compete agreement even if the purchase goes forward. Getty Images to buy Visual Communications Seattle Getty Images Inc., the world's largest stock-photography company by sales, agreed to buy rival Visual Communications Group from Britain's United News & Media PLC for $220-million (US) in cash to add to its collection. VCG, the second-largest stock-photography business, had $90-million in revenue and $6-million in operating profit in 1999. Getty Images plans to offer convertible subordinated notes and use the proceeds to pay for VCG. U S West loses long-distance bid Nextel gets $1B loan from Chase NEW YORK Nextel Communications Inc., the number three wire less telephone company, said it got a $l-billion (all figures in U.S. dol lars) loan front Chase Manhattan Corp, to help pay for acquisitions. The new loan adds to a $11.55-billion war chest the company built up in recent months through a credit facility and sales of shares and bonds, mcluding convertible debt It comes after Nextel last week said its fourth-quarter loss narrowed and revenue climbed 66 as the com pany added a record 549,100 new customers. The loan will be an addi tion to a $5-billion loan arranged for the company last October by Chase, Bank of America Corp. and Toronto-Dominion Bank. That transaction, which included a clause allowing Nextel to raise a further $l-buhon, financed the companys purchase of wireless licences from NextWave Telecom Inc. and repaid existing debt. RCN says Vulcan completes S1.65B investment in RCN PRINCETON, N.J. RCN Corp. said Vulcan Ventures Inc., headed by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, completed its $1.65-billion investment to help RCN expand its network of cable-television, telephone and Internet services. Vulcan will get preferred stock that will convert into RCN common stock within seven years at $62 (US) a share. Its stake in RCN increased to 27-4 from 4.5. Vulcan will ap point two members to RCNs board. RCNs fibre-optic and coaxial-ca ble network carries telephone, cable-TV and high-speed Internet ac cess into homes over one wire. Briefing items were compiled from Bloomberg News, The Canadian Press, Dow Jones, Financial Times, Reuters and Financial Post. COMPAQ. U z z w o H rwsoam warn Hewlett- TtS n tint hmi mXM PACKARO Jsd??t I PMW 3MTHT TO GET YQUfi IE1WORKS Guaranteed BUSINESS FROM A TO B TC TO INFINITY CI S Gild Itiuii Ti It lislnts will lilliliy Ticftiiliilis lie. r j L&J Fmd us Fast in the Yellow Poges" Directory C 0 M P A N THE I E S E W S Home Corp. ,C4 Alcatel C2 Allianz AG Holding .C2 America Online Inc. ....Cl,C2 Anderson Exploration Ltd. C2 BCEInc. .C1,C4,D3 BHC Communications ..C2 Bear Steams Cos. C2 Behaviour Comm. ,C2 Lloyd's of London .C12 Look Communications Inc. C4 Lotus Therapeutics Inc. ...D2 Mercury Home Enter. ....XX Microsoft Corp. .CIO Minacs Worldwide Inc. ... J3 Mobil OQ Canada Ltd. .....C2 Mobile Computing Corp. . JJ2 National Westminster C2 Beloit Corp. .C2 Newbridge NetworksCorp.C2 nemxMrp. .iiu,iiz CBS Corp. .C2 CTVInc .Cl Cableft Wireless HKT....C12 Canadian Natural Res. D3 CapGeminiSA .C13 CairenTurSupermarcheSACll Chase Manhattan Corp. ... .C2 Citigroup Inc. .CIO Columbia Energy Group ..Cll Compaq Computer Corp. ,.C1 Daewoo Motor Co. ,C2 DaimlerChryslerAG . .C2.C12 EBay Inc. .C2 Electrobome Broadcasting .Cl Ericsson C2 Emst&Young .C13 Enatexa C4 KatSpA ,C2 Ford Motor Co. .C2 GenSd Regeneration Sc. .JW General Motors Corp. Standard Life Getty Images .C2 Golden Rule Resources ....Cl Grp Lapperere k Verreault C2 Gulf Canada .Cl HanaBank .C2 fydro-QuebecCapflfech ..D3 Hyundai Motor Co. .C3 (CraveTV .Cl iMagkOV .C4 Imperial Oil Ltd. .Cl Kasten Chase D2 LG&E Energy Corp. ,C3 Lehman Brothers Holding .C3 Lions Gate Kims Corp. ,...C6 Nextel Communications . . .C2 NiSourcelnc .Cll Oracle Corp Cll Pacific Century .C12 Phoenix ROT .C8 PixStreamlnc. .C4 Place Resources Corp. ,...J3 PowerGenPLC .C2 QuebecTel .C4 QwestCommunkations ...C3 RCN Corp. .C2 Research and Marion Ltd. . .Cl Rogers Communications ..C4 Royal Bank of Scotland ....C2 Sears, Roebuck and Co. ...Cll Sega Enterprises Ltd. ....13 SheD Canada Ltd. Cl Singapore TUecom. Ltd. ,.C12 Sony Corp. .CIS Sotheby's Holdings Inc. ,...C2 ,...C3 Stamet Communications ,C2 Talisman Energy Inc. ,C3 TebaAB , ,C2 Tbronto-Dominion C3 Iravdbyusxom , .09 USWestlnc .C2 VCG C2 Viacom Inc. .C2 INTERNET EricssoaVolvoJeliafonn mobile Web auto firm STOCKHOLM Swedish telecom group Ericsson, automaker Volvo SPOTLIGHT ON COMMUNICATION rprmerNewbridgeexecutivefiles$31Msuit OTTAWA Former Newbridge Networks Corp. executive Brian Jervis has filed a wrongful dismissal claim against the Canadian net work equipment developer seeking damages of more than $31-million, according to court documents. Newbridge last week announced its sale to French telecom group Alcatel for $7.1-bilhon. Mr. Jervis is seek ing $15-milhon in damages for breach of contract and wrongful dis missal, $15-million for damages for breach of fiduciary duty, $l-mil- lion for punitive damages and $100,000 for mental distress, according to a statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court m Ottawa. Mr. Jervis, 49, was previously executive vice-president of Newbridge's switching products group. yesterday they are forming a joint firm, called WirelessCar, to deliver mobfle Web services to the automotive industry. The company wul develop and market complete solutions for mobile e-services to vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators. The announcement comes on the back of Ford Motor Co, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler announcing on Friday they would put their procurement needs, worth $240-bfllion (US) a year, on a single online exchange and invited others to join in. EBay says it's not interested in Sotheby's NEW YORK EBay Inc. denied yesterday a published report that the online auctioneer was preparing a takeover bid for troubled ' auction house Sotheby's Holdings Inc. "We're not buying them. There's absolutely nothing to these rumours," said eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove. The Independent on Sunday said eBay was preparing a jEl-billion ($1.6-billion US) bid for Sotheby's, where two senior executives have resigned amid a widening price-fixing probe. Sotheby's declined to comment on the report. Starnet in second round of negotiations for adult unit VANCOUVER Starnet Communications International Inc. has entered a second round of negotiations to sell off its Internet pornography business. The online gambling and pornography company, which is the subject of an ongoing police investigation into its activities, said yesterday it has signed a letter of intent to negotiate the sale of its adult entertainment division. The identity of the prospective purchaser was not disclosed. FINANCIAL SERVICES WASHINGTON U S West Inc., the smallest of the four Bell regional phone companies, lost a U.S. Supreme Court bid for the right to break into the $90-billion (US) long-distance business through marketing partnerships with other companies. The justices, without comment, let stand a lower court decision forbidding U S West from selling long distance service on behalf of Qwest Communications International Inc. The case was an important test of the rights of the Bells to offer customers one-stop shopping by teaming with long-distance providers. While U S West and Qwest have now shifted their focus to a planned merger, they signed up 130,000 new customers during the three weeks the marketing plan was m force. Shareholders back NatWesttakeover EDINBURGH Shareholders of Royal Bank of Scotland approved its j21-billion ($49-bil-lion) takeover of National Westminster Bank PLC yesterday. Votes tallied at an extraordinary general meeting were 436.8 million in favour and 2.4 million against, a bank spokesman said. Royal Bank won the battle for NatWest against Bank of Scot land after the latter conceded defeat and NatWest capitulated on Feb. 11. Allianz to buy into South Koreas HanaBank SEOUL Germany s Allianz AG Holding will invest $l6l-million (US) to become the biggest share-" holder in South Korea's Hana Bank, the companies said yester- day. With the investment, Allianz will hold 12.5 of Hana. South Korea's Dongwon Securities Co. had been Hana's number one shareholder with a 5.8 stake. Allianz and Hana will sign a formal agreement and Hana will issue the new shares in March. Lehman hires Bear Stearns managing director NEW YORK Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. said it hired Alan Mnuchin, who had headed media and entertainment banking at Bear Stearns Companies Inc. since 1996. Mr. Mnuchin, who had been with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for 12 years before coming to Bear Stearns, had been responsible for the firm's relationships with large-cap entertainment and cable television companies. His clients at Bear Stearns included Viacom Inc., News Corp., Seagram Uo. Ltd. and Time "Warner Ine Mr. Mnuchin will be the co-head of Lehman's media industry banking group with Jack Langer. a u t,o:h.o;tj vixiz, Volkswagen entitled to Internet name, court says ALEXANDRIA, VA. Volkswagen AG, the world's fourth-largest automaker, said it won a court's rul ing to claim the World Wide Web domain name from an Internet service provider. A U.S. federal court decided last week that Virtual Works infringed Volkswagen's protected trademark and violated federal cybersquatting laws when it tried to seD the Internet name to the Wolfburg, Germany-based automaker. The carmaker claimed Virtual Works was committing cy-berpiracy and trying to extort it Chryslerworkerstoget $8,100 in profit sharing DETROIT U.S. employees of the Chrysler side of DaimlerChrysler AG will receive profit-sharing cheques averaging $8,100 (US) this year. The cheques to 82,600 hourly and salaried workers will exceed the previous high of $8,000 in 1994 from the former Chrysler Corp. Cheques last year averaged $6,800 to $7,300. Ford Motor Co. will send out cheques averaging $8,000 to 109,000 employees on Friday. And 154,000 hourly employees of General Motors Corp. will get profit-sharing cheques of $1,775 in March. Five automakers plan bid for Daewoo SEOUL Five carmakers including General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have indicated they intend to bid for Korea's struggling automaker Daewoo Motor Co., Daewoo officials said yesterday. The other companies that submitted letters of intent to enter the bidding include DaimlerChrysler AG of Germany, Fiat SpA of Italy and Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest carmaker. FILM Behaviour asks to delay filing its results MONTREAL Behaviour Communications Inc. said it has applied to securities commissions to be exempted from having to file its annual financial statements for the year ended Sept 30 and for its first quarter ended Dec. 31. The company said it continues to pursue various alternatives for the financing and restructuring of its current ongoing operations and in the absence of such alternative financing there is no certainty it can continue operating. , UTILITIES PowerGentobuyU5.'s LG&Efor$5.4B LONDON PowerGen PLC, Britain's third-biggest power producer, agreed to buy LG&E Energy Corp. for $5.4-billion (all figures in U.S. dollars) in cash and assumed debt, ending a two-year effort to break into the deregulating U.S. electricity market Power- Gen will pay $3.2-billion in cash and take on $2.2-billion in debt for Kentucky's biggest utility company. The offer values LG&E at $24.85 a share, 58 more than Friday's close and one of the highest premiums for a U.S. utility LG&E owns coal plants that give it some of the lowest generating costs in the Midwest, a market the size of Germany and France combined. CORRECTION A story in Saturday's edition of the Financial Post incorrectly Volkswagen ag .a stated that John Pollock, chief vdm iC3 executive of Electrohome Broad- Vukventareitol"!!!!!!c2 casting Inc., owned seven mil lion C i v shares, a 12.1 staxe. The stake is held by Electro-home. WesUet Airlines Ltd Xa Yahoo! Inc .C4.C10 The Caissede depot et placement du Quebec said it played no part in last year's sale of Culinar Inc. to the Saputo Group Inc. The So-ci&6 generate de financement du Quebec led the negotiations. Incorrect information appeared in Saturday's Financial Post.

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