News In Brief

National Commerce Bancorporation and CCB Financial Corp., two banks in the Southeastern US, announced they would merge in a deal valued at about $1.95 billion. Shareholders of Memphis, Tenn.-based National Commerce would own about 53 percent of the combined company. CCB is based in Durham, N.C.

Signs were emerging of a possible hitch in the sale by BMW of its money-losing Rover division to a London venture-capital fund, the German edition of the Financial Times reported. The newspaper said it learned BMW might wait until May to see whether a more lucrative offer for Rover was forthcoming. The deal with Alchemy Partners has angered British trade unions, which called for a boycott of BMW models. The London government, meanwhile, complained that the deal had made it difficult to strucure a financial-aid plan for workers at Rover's Longbridge plant, some of whom stand to lose their jobs. BMW also sold Land Rover, the most profitable unit in the company, to Ford for $3 billion.

At least 2,000 workers will be laid off in a cost-cutting move, the Dutch airline KLM announced. To reduce overhead by $222 million and to achieve an "acceptable" profit level, the carrier also said it will cut its fleet of planes by seven, leasing them to other airlines.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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