Business & Finance

Employees of deeply indebted Hynix Semiconductor set off firecrackers in celebration after the South Korean chipmaker's board unanimously rejected its $3.8 billion sale to Micron Technology Inc. of the US. The decision, regarded as a surprise by analysts, nullified last week's memorandum of understanding signed by executives of both companies, and attempts to renegotiate it appeared unlikely. Hynix's president, who had pushed for the deal, resigned after the vote. A Hynix spokesman said the rejection came because prices for memory chips are rising again and the board believes the company can survive on its own. But the analysts said the move would put Hynix on a collision course with its creditor banks, which had endorsed the sale Monday and show no signs of willingness to lend the company more money. Hynix owes its creditors more than $6 billion.

Northrop Grumman edged out rival General Dynamics for a $2.9 billion contract to design the next generation of destroyers for the Navy. The award is Northrop Grumman's first major deal since its purchase last year of Litton Industries and Newport News Shipbuilding. Construction of the DD-X destroyers is expected to begin in 2005, although the Pentagon has yet to award the contract to build them.

Microsoft is expected to announce its $1.1 billion purchase of Danish software specialist NavisionDamgaard as soon as next week, the Financial Times reported. Navision is a leading supplier of business-planning software to midsize companies in European Union member states.

Almost 700 workers laid off by Northwest Airlines in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will be recalled beginning June 1, the carrier announced. All will be assigned to fight gates, baggage-handling positions, and ground and cleaning crews for the peak summer travel season, with an unspecified number keeping their jobs after Sept. 1.

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