Firstar Corp. announced it will buy U.S. Bancorp for about $21.8 billion in stock. The deal creates the No. 8 US bank holding company with assets of more than $160 billion and 2,200 branches in 24 states. Firstar's headquarters are in Milwaukee, but the new company will be based in Minneapolis. The deal comes two days after FleetBoston Financial Corp. announced it would buy Summit Bancorp for $7 billion.
Motorola will sell its interests in five mobile phone companies in Mexico to Spanish telecommunications giant Telefnica for an estimated $2.6 billion, news reports said. The deal is aimed at strengthening Telefnica's presence in Latin America; it already has operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
A deal creating one of the world's largest disk-drive makers was announced by Maxtor Corp., which said it would buy Quantum HDD for about $1.3 billion in stock. The latter is a unit of Quantum Corp., whose storage-systems group is not part of the deal. Together, Maxtor and Quantum HDD - both based in Milpitas, Calif. - are projected to ship more than 50 million hard drives for personal computers annually.
The Grand Union supermarket chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the third time since 1995 while it courts a buyer. The Wayne, N.J.-based company noted that several potential buyers are interested but a deal will probably force some layoffs and the closure of some stores. Grand Union has about 13,000 employees and 197 stores in the Northeast. It already has announced layoffs twice this year.
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