MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Six Flags Expects Bids Next Month

Six Flags expects to begin receiving bids for the company in early November, it said in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Six Flags put itself up for sale in August after Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder launched a bid to gain effective control of the company.

Six Flags is also trying to persuade its investors to reject Snyder. In its presentation, laid out in filings, Six Flags defended its "Mr. Six" ad campaign, featuring a dancing octogenarian, with pie charts showing that 89 percent of mothers and teenagers "found Mr. Six enjoyable." Snyder had criticized the campaign as costly.

LENDING

Fannie Mae to Ease Rules for Hurricane Victims

Fannie Mae plans to ease lending rules to make it easier for survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita to buy new homes, the District-based housing-finance company said.

Under the new terms, lenders will have the option of relying on a borrower's credit history before the storm when making loan decisions and can disregard any money the borrower may still owe on storm-damaged property.

REAL ESTATE

Bethesda's Asset Capital Plans IPO

Bethesda-based commercial real estate company Asset Capital said it plans to go public in an initial offering of stock worth as much as $75 million.

Details about the number of shares offered and estimated price range for the IPO weren't disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The shares are expected to list on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol ACCI.

Sandy Spring Bancorp, a suburban Maryland bank based in Olney, said profit in the third quarter rose 48 percent because of larger and more profitable loans. Sandy Spring earned $9.5 million (64 cents a share) in the quarter, three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $6.4 million (44 cents) in the comparable quarter last year. For the first nine months of the year, Sandy Spring earned $25.1 million ($1.70), up from $20.1 million ($1.37) in the first nine months of 2004.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.