News In Brief

Copper-industry giant phelps dodge Corp. won its hard-fought and complex takeover battle for rival Asarco Inc., when the latter accepted a $1.1 billion cash-and-stock offer. The move completes a three-way, $2.9 billion merger that also includes Asarco's former intended partner, Cyprus Amax Minerals Co. Phoenix-based Phelps Dodge signed a $1.8 billion deal to take over Cyprus Amax Sept. 30. But at that time, it appeared Asarco might prefer to thwart Phelps Dodge and sell instead to Grupo Mexico, a Mexico City-based mining and railways conglomerate.

A week before its expected formal takeover offer for Britain's National Westminster Bank, the Bank of Scotland has found a way to boost the bid even higher if necessary, analysts said. A Bank of Scotland spokesman said streamlined operating practices and lower property costs -if it won control of National Westminster - would save almost $1.7 billion. Bank of Scotland, which is smaller than its target, has an informal offer of $30 billion on the table. Two competitors, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Abbey National, also are believed likely to make takeover offers for National Westminster.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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