A Massachusetts judge dismissed a lawsuit against Marriott International that was filed by the owner of some of the hotel chain's senior-living centers.

Five Star Quality Care and Senior Housing Properties Trust of Newton, Mass., filed suit to try to end their management contracts with Marriott to operate 31 of its senior living centers. Marriott agreed last year to sell its entire senior living business to Sunrise Assisted Living of McLean.


Tredegar, a Richmond manufacturer, agreed to sell its portfolio of venture capital investments to investors managed by or affiliated with Goldman Sachs's private equity group. Tredegar has investments in the life sciences, communications and information technology industries. It expects to receive about $75 million in cash after taxes, but the sale is expected to result in a first-quarter charge of $49 million after taxes.

Ntelos, a Waynesboro telecommunications company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization last week, said the Nasdaq Stock Market will delist its stock beginning March 13. Ntelos said it won't appeal the decision, and that its stock should be available on the over-the-counter bulletin board system.

VSE, an Alexandria engineering and management services company, discontinued its evaluation of strategic business alternatives, which had included a possible sale of the company. VSE said its board determined its shareholders would benefit more from the company's ongoing business plan than from the proposed alternatives. "Based on the announced contract awards received by VSE during the past several months and our decision to exit the telecommunications technologies market, we believe VSE has an opportunity to increase its revenues and profitability in its traditional business areas over the next two or three years," VSE chairman and chief executive Donald M. Ervine said in a statement. Last August, VSE hired Quarterdeck Investment Partners as a financial adviser to help it pursue business alternatives, including mergers, acquisitions or a potential sale.


Spherix, a Beltsville company that makes artificial sweeteners and provides services to the pharmaceutical and other industries, said president and chief operating officer David H. Affeldt resigned. The company did not provide a reason for the departure. Company founder Gilbert V. Levin remains chief executive. Spherix also said it lost $2.9 million in 2002, compared with a profit of $567,823 in 2001. Revenue declined 24 percent, to $15.1 million, from 2001. The company attributed the declines to a slow economy and higher legal fees.

Coventry Health Care, a Bethesda managed health-care company, amended its shareholder rights plan designed to protect against hostile takeovers. Coventry's board increased the threshold that activates the plan to a 20 percent stake owned by any hostile investor, up from 15 percent.

Corporate Office Properties Trust, a Columbia real estate investment trust, plans to pay $18 million for a 155,000-square-foot, two-story building in Annapolis that now serves as the headquarters of USinternetworking, a maker of Internet software. Under the terms of the deal, USinternetworking, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, would lease the building for 15 years.

Continental Realty of Baltimore is seeking tenants for 200,000 square feet of new office and flex space at the Bare Hills Business Center site in the Falls Road corridor in Baltimore County. Construction for the first of four 50,000-square-foot office buildings is scheduled to be completed in June. Continental, which has held the 37-acre property for two years, has pre-leased 20,000 square feet and plans to move its corporate headquarters and staff of 50 from Towson when the building is finished.

Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.