News In Brief

Volvo and Renault announced a deal, valued between $1.52 billion and $1.7 billion, to create the world's second-largest producer of heavy trucks. The deal calls for the Swedish company to acquire Renault's RVI division and its US subsidiary, Mack, in exchange for the French company taking a 15 percent stake in Volvo. A planned merger between Renault and Volvo fell through in 1993. And last month, the European Commission rejected a $6.9 billion merger between Volvo and Swedish rival Scania on grounds that it would be anticompetitive. Analysts predicted the new deal would not run into regulatory obstacles.

The truck deal came as creditors were approving Renault's offer to buy a 70.1 percent stake in bankrupt Samsung Motors. The $562 million deal is the first time a foreign auto-maker has gained a foothold in South Korea.

International Paper Co. offered $6.2 billion in cash and stock for rival Champion International, muscling in on the latter's agreement back in February to be bought by Finland's UPM-Kymmene Corp. The move could spark a bidding war, published reports said. The offer by International, the world's largest paper producer, topped the current valuation of the UPM-Kymmene deal by more than 20 percent. International Paper is based in Purchase, N.Y; Champion in nearby Stamford, Conn.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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