News In Brief
Houghton Mifflin Co., one of the US's few remaining independent publishers of school textbooks, agreed to be bought for $1.7 billion by Vivendi, the French media conglomerate, the Boston-based company said. Approval of the deal by regulators would put three of the top four US educational publishers under foreign ownership. Late last month, Vivendi paid $372 million for online music distributor MP3 and bought back $1.1 billion in stock from the family of executive vice president Edgar Bronfman.Skip to next paragraph
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Internet provider PSINet filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing liabilities that were almost double its assets. The filing covered Ashburn, Va.-based PSINet and 24 US subsidiaries. Four Canadian subsidiaries also filed for bankruptcy protection in Ontario., but those in Asia, Europe, and Latin America, and a consulting business, Metamor, are not involved.
In layoff news:
* French telecommunications giant Alcatel SA said it will close three US facilities and eliminate 900 jobs. The move covers a fiber-optic cable plant in Portland, Ore., and laboratories in Andover, Mass., and Milpitas, Calif. Last week, Lucent Technologies backed out of talks with Alcatel on a deal worth a reported $32 billion.
* Cummins Inc., the world's No. 1 producer of diesel engines over 50 horsepower, announced plans to cut at least 500 jobs by mid-2002 and halt development of a new engine line. The company is based in Columbus, Ind.
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