INVESTIGATION

HUD Report Cites Fannie Mae Lobbying

Department of Housing and Urban Development officials said a recently concluded agency probe of Fannie Mae's network of 55 "partnership offices" concluded that the housing finance company used them mainly to try to influence elected officials and not simply to promote affordable housing, National Mortgage News reported.

HUD has not released the report publicly, even though the inquiry ended in August. Fannie Mae last month fired 20 lobbyists and publicists in several regional offices and renamed the partnership offices "community business centers" as part of an effort to "better align" the offices with "the needs and focus of our customers and partners," spokesman Brian Faith said.

HOTELS

12 Marriott Sites in New Orleans to Reopen

Marriott International will reopen 12 of its New Orleans hotels to the general public starting Nov. 1. The hotels, which closed after flooding and are housing relief and restoration workers, are accepting reservations.

"The French Quarter is intact, with restaurants reopening daily and a renewed sense of vibrancy. St. Charles Avenue and the historic Garden District are as beautiful as ever," Mark Sanders, general manager of the Marriott hotels of New Orleans, said in a statement.

Four of the Bethesda-based firm's hotels in New Orleans and one in Alabama remain closed after suffering more severe damage.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Anteon Buys Milestone for $31.5 Million

Anteon International, an IT services firm, said it acquired privately held Milestone Group of Arlington for $31.5 million.

Milestone, which provides IT services to the U.S. government, generated more than $21 million in revenue for the year ended Sept. 30. Fairfax-based Anteon said the deal should immediately boost its earnings but is not expected to increase per-share earnings in fiscal 2005.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.