News In Brief

Procter & Gamble, the nation's No. 1 maker of household products, plans to buy the Clairol business from Bristol-Myers Squibb for $4.95 billion in cash, the companies announced. If approved by regulators, the deal will give P&G a leading position in the hair-color and -care products market. New York-based Bristol-Myers put its Clairol unit, the No. 2 US hair-coloring products maker, on the auction block last fall and had been entertaining a rival offer from Japan's Kao Corp. P&G, which markets such shampoos as Pert Plus, Pantene, and Head & Shoulders, now will add Ultress and Loving Care coloring solutions to its stable. Clairol's other hair-care brands include Herbal Essences, Aussie, and Infusium. P&G's headquarters are in Cincinnati.

In its second major overseas move in less than a week, Enron Corp. pulled out of a $3.5 billion natural gas project in the Persian Gulf. The Houston-based energy marketer sold its 24.5 percent stake to UAE Offsets Group for an undisclosed amount. The project aims to develop gas reserves in Qatar and route them to the United Arab Emirates via a proposed new pipeline. An Enron official said the company didn't believe it could add "a lot of value" to the project at the current stage. Earlier, Enron threatened to withdraw from a $2.9 billion project to build the world's largest gas-fired power plant at Dabhol, India, over lack of payment for electricity already purchased by the state of Maharashtra.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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