News In Brief

Occidental Petroleum Inc. said it would pay $3.6 billion for Altura Energy Ltd., an oil- and gas-production venture jointly owned by BP Amoco and Royal/Dutch Shell. To make the purchase, Los-Angeles based Occidental will pay $1.2 in cash and borrow the rest - $2 billion of which will be loaned by BP Amoco and Shell. Altura, based in Houston, operates 6,400 wells in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico.

In a $2 billion deal that would create a computer-network hardware giant with yearly sales of an estimated $250 million, Apex Inc. and Cybex Computer Products Corp. announced they would merge. Redmond, Wash.-based Apex makes switches and other equipment that help manage corporate networks. Cybex, based in Huntsville, Ala., develops KVM (keyboard, video, and mouse) switches that let network managers control multiple PCs with a single set of those peripherals. The companies count Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Dell among current customers.

J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc. launched a new online merchant banking unit and said it would commit as much as $1 billion to electronic business initiatives this year. The New York-based investment bank said the new unit, LabMorgan, would be staffed by almost 200 professionals globally.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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