News In Brief

The US's largest newspaper chain, Gannett Co., agreed to buy Central Newspapers Inc., owner of The Arizona Republic and The Indianapolis Star, for $2.6 billion. The deal would give Gannett, which publishes USA Today, dominant market positions in Indianapolis and Phoenix, where the company already owns the top-rated television station. Earlier this month, Gannett agreed to buy 21 Thomson Corp. newspapers in Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin for $1.125 billion.

A $4.2 billion deal between Tyco International Ltd. and Mallinckrodt Inc., announced Wednesday, would form the world's No. 2 medical device maker. Mallinckrodt, based in St. Louis, is a global healthcare company and the No. 1 manufacturer of bulk narcotics and other drug chemicals. Tyco is based in Exeter, N.H.

The first round in the contest to acquire financially troubled South Korean automaker Daewoo was won by Ford Motor Co. In Seoul, the committee representing Daewoo's creditors chose Ford as the "preferred" bidder and gave it six weeks to inspect Daewoo's books and submit a final offer. Ford's initial bid was reported at $6.9 billion, but with competitors now out of the running that is expected to drop to "a much lower level," one analyst said. General Motors and DaimlerChrysler also made initial offers for Daewoo, which reportedly is $18 billion in debt.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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