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News In Brief

By Robert KilbornJudy Nichols and Stephanie Cook / February 17, 2000



In a stock-swap deal valued at $6.6 billion, the largest communications company in Canada, BCE Inc., said it had reached agreement to buy the remaining shares of Montreal-based Teleglobe Inc. BCE (Bell Canada Enterprises) already owns 23 percent of Teleglobe, the world's third-largest provider of broadband services. The transaction is subject to approval by regulators in the US as well as in Canada.

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A major newspaper chain said its US properties are for sale, and financial analysts predicted they'd fetch more than $2 billion. Thompson Corp. of Toronto owns 49 dailies and dozens of nondaily papers on the US side of the border, most with circulations of fewer than 50,000 copies. Five Canadian papers also are on the market, although the company planned to keep its flagship, the Toronto Globe & Mail. A spokesman said Thompson wants to concentrate on its core business: specialized legal, professional, and educational materials.

Despite higher mortgage rates, housing construction grew by 1.5 percent last month to its highest level in a year, the Commerce Department reported. Builders began work on new units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.78 million, far higher than analysts had expected.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society