Bell Atlantic and US West will form a joint venture with the Czechoslovak government to build a cellular phone system there and help plan the modernization of the telecommunications system. The U.S. companies will hold 49 percent of the venture.
Reebok International, which disclosed Thursday that its biggest stockholder, Pentland Group PLC, wants to sell its 31.5 percent stake, initiated two anti-takeover measures.
NVR of McLean, the area's biggest home builder and seventh-largest in the nation, made an on-time $14.3 million interest payment on $220 million worth of fixed-rate and convertible bonds, according to Vice President Douglas Poretz. A $250 million line of credit the company uses to fund its operations, due for renewal yesterday, "is continuing in place," although Poretz said, "I can't tell you definitively" that a final renewal agreement has been reached.
Vie de France of McLean said it plans to offer 3 million shares of common stock to existing stockholders under nontransferable rights. Proceeds will be used to reduce long-term debt.
Mortgage rates were mixed this week. Fixed-rate mortgages averaged 10.12 percent, up from 10.10 percent last week, while one-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 8.44 percent, down from 8.50 percent last week, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said.
Unemployment in Maryland was 3.3 percent in April, the same as in March and the lowest April rate in nearly 20 years, state officials said. The comparable U.S. rate was 5.2 percent; the rate for the Washington metro area during the period was 2.5 percent. Joblessness in Maryland's Washington suburbs edged up to 2.4 percent from 2.3 percent.
Gannett has created an employee stock ownership plan. The Arlington-based company said it sold 1.25 million shares of stock for $50 million to the ESOP, which made the purchase with funds borrowed from the company. The shares will be used to match employee contributions to a new 401(k) savings plan starting July 1.
Japan and the United States are "working very hard" to reach a settlement on the so-called Structural Impediments Initiative talks, according to Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
Philips Industries entered a definitive agreement to be acquired by Tomkins PLC, a British management firm, for $550 million.
Cineplex Odeon said its Plitt Theatres unit has agreed to sell 62 movie theaters in Utah, Idaho, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, North and South Carolina and Tennessee to Plitt Amusement Co. and Carmike Cinemas.
Microsoft will increase its work force by more than 50 percent in the next year, to about 8,000 from 5,200, with most hires in the Seattle area.
Honda said it would market in Japan jeep vehicles produced by Chrysler Corp.