AlliedSignal and Honeywell agreed to shed avionics businesses that account for about 1 percent of their combined sales to gain regulatory approval for their proposed merger, the companies said. The Justice Department will not challenge the merger if Honeywell sheds its Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System, while AlliedSignal must divest its search and surveillance weather-radar business; its space and navigation business; its communications-electronics business; and its guidance technology.
Halliburton, the largest oil-field service company, said its Dresser Industries subsidiary is selling its stake in two joint ventures to partner Ingersoll-Rand for $1.1 billion. Ingersoll will pay about $595 million for Dresser's 51 percent stake in Dresser-Rand, a joint venture that makes compressors and other heavy machinery, and $515 million for 49 percent of Ingersoll Dresser Pump, which makes pumps for industrial and municipal customers. Dallas-based Halliburton will also repay the joint ventures about $220 million of advances made to Dresser. The sale will give Halliburton a fourth-quarter gain of about $380 million, or 84 cents a share.
Westvaco, the world's third-biggest maker of bleached paperboard, agreed to buy a Temple-Inland mill in east Texas for $625 million and will cut about 300 jobs elsewhere as it restructures operations. Westvaco also expects to take a pretax charge of about $85 million in its fiscal fourth quarter ending Oct. 31, mostly for write-downs. The company, which also sells chemicals and owns forest land, plans to fire 2.3 percent of its 12,800 workers and said it expects the restructuring to save $35 million a year.
Intel revealed the name of perhaps its most significant product in more than a decade, the "Itanium." The chip, formerly known as Merced, won't be ready for mass production until mid-2000. The Itanium family will power the heavy-duty computer servers that act as the Internet's traffic cops. For Intel, the Itanium family offers the promise of higher profit margins as the PC market matures. Many analysts have shrugged off worries about falling PC prices, saying that Intel's move into higher-performance chips will more than offset this erosion.
IBM said it created a magnetic disk for hard drives that can hold three times as much information as current storage systems. Each square inch of the new disks holds as many as 35.3 billion bits of data, IBM said, 75 percent more than the high-capacity disks it introduced less than five months ago. The company in June came out with a storage device called a microdrive, which is the size of a quarter, and a 37-gigabyte drive for personal computers.
Microsoft has licensed its technology for finding home loans over the Internet to Chase Manhattan, the biggest mortgage lender in the nation, for use on its Web site. It is the first time Microsoft has licensed its online loan technology. Chase chose the technology for finding a mortgage and starting an application online because it's easy to use and cheaper than developing its own, said Ian Morris, group product manager for Microsoft's HomeAdvisor Web site.
T-bill rates rose. The discount rate on three-month Treasury bills auctioned yesterday rose to 4.73 percent, from 4.72 percent the previous week. Rates on six-month bills rose to 4.87 percent from 4.81 percent. The actual return to investors is 4.869 percent for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,880.40, and 5.076 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,753.80. Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for changing adjustable-rate mortgages, rose to 5.24 percent last week from 5.23 percent the previous week.
Investors in Tiger Management, Julian Robertson's hedge-fund group, withdrew about $1.5 billion in the third quarter as its losses in financial markets reached 23 percent so far this year, investors said. Tiger's net assets have declined to about $8 billion, from about $15 billion at the start of the year. Tiger funds, which dropped an average of 6.7 percent in September, have slumped because of declines by some of its biggest stock holdings, such as US Airways Group and Waste Management.
A California man has been arrested on charges that he allegedly tried to extort $1 million from the chief executive of a corporation that manages more than $5 billion in investors funds. Paul Ridenhour, 38, was arrested in Cayucos, Calif., where he lives, on a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court. Federal prosecutors would not identify the intended victim of the alleged extortion scheme or the company for which he works. According to the complaint, the CEO received a letter late last month that demanded he make a payment of $1 million in cash. The letter alleged that, if the CEO failed to make the payment, the author of the letter would allegedly take various steps to harm the CEO's reputation and finances.
Gasoline prices fell 0.7 cents, to $1.255 a gallon, in the past week, dropping for a second week from their highest level in more than three years, a government survey showed. The average price of regular self-serve gasoline for the week ended yesterday was pulled down by lower prices on the West Coast and in central parts of the nation, according to a Department of Energy survey of 800 filling stations. The declines more than offset rising prices on the East Coast and in the South.
Legg Mason, a Baltimore-based money manager and brokerage, said it bought half of the trust company affiliated with Boston law firm Bingham Dana, its second acquisition in a month to bolster business with wealthy investors. Terms were not disclosed. Bingham Dana's fiduciary services group, which provides trust and fund management services to the wealthy, was renamed Bingham Legg Advisers. Legg Mason and Bingham Dana each own a 50 percent interest in it.
MicroStrategy of Vienna said it has signed a $52.5 million licensing and technology deal with NCR of Orlando. NCR will pay $27.5 million to resell MicroStrategy's data-mining software. MicroStrategy will pay NCR $11 million for technology that will run its Strategy.com network, which delivers news and information through the Internet and hand-held devices. MicroStrategy has also agreed to buy a data analysis business unit of NCR's for $14 million in stock.