News In Brief

The acquisition of J.P. Morgan & Co. by Chase Manhattan Corp. makes sense, analysts said, because the services of the banking powerhouses complement each other. The stock deal, valued between $34 billion and $36 billion, will create a New York-based firm with about $660 billion in assets, rivaling Bank of America Corp. as the second-largest bank holding company in the US. (Citigroup, with $791 billion in assets, is No. 1.) Under the new structure, services including investment banking, wealth management, and institutional asset management will operate under the J.P. Morgan name. The retail business will be known as Chase and will feature a credit-card division, mortgage banking, and regional consumer banking in the New York area and Texas.

Confusion reigned over the announced $3.4 billion sale of Vidotron, the largest cable TV operator in Quebec and third-largest in Canada, to Quebecor Inc. A statement posted on Vidotron's Web site said "no agreement has been reached, despite ongoing discussions ... [and] there is no assurance that there will be a favorable outcome." Quebecor, which appeared to have beaten out rival bidder Rogers Communications Ltd. of Toronto, Canada's largest cable provider, for Vidotron, has vast publishing, television, and Internet holdings. Quebecor and Vidotron both are based in Montreal.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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