News In Brief

The six-month-old single currency of the European Union slumped to its lowest level yet against the US dollar and was expected to be a prominent concern as the alliance's finance ministers conferred in Brussels. The euro, which debuted Jan. 4 at $1.19 to the dollar, has since shed 15 percent of that value and was trading at $1.01 in London yesterday.

In what the principals called history's biggest printing- industry merger, Quebecor of Montreal announced it is acquiring World Color Press Inc. for $2.7 billion. The combined company, to be called Quebecor World Inc., will specialize in magazines, catalogs, and books. Quebecor is the second-largest printer in both North and South America - and the largest in Europe. Greenwich, Conn.-based World Color Press operates 58 plants across the US.

Red Roof Inns, a US budget lodging chain, will sell its assets to French travel-services giant Accor for $1.1 billion, it was announced in Paris. Accor's other US holdings include economy chains Motel 6, Novotel, and Sofitel, as well as a 50 percent stake in Carson Wagonlit, a chain of business-travel agencies.

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