News In Brief
The widely expected announcement that AT&T would sell a major equity share to Japan's largest mobile phone company finally came in Tokyo. Confirming speculation that had been circulating for weeks, DoCoMo, the wireless unit of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp., said it will pay $9.8 billion for a 16 percent stake in AT&T's Wireless Group. The acquisition gives DoCoMo an important foothold in the US for its mobile multimedia services and third-generation wireless technology, while AT&T gains cash to help reduce a heavy debt load.
Hercules Inc., the world's biggest manufacturer of papermaking chemicals, is up for sale, senior executives announced. Hercules has struggled with massive debt and declining profit, and its stock has fallen sharply over the last year. The Wilmington, Del.-based company, once part of the E.I. duPont chemicals empire, has 11,000 employees worldwide and is valued at as much as $3 billion. Possible suitors, analysts said, include Germany's BASF, France's Vivendi, and Switzerland's Ciba or Clariant.
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