News In Brief
WorldCom Inc. announced plans to realign its businesses by creating two separately traded tracking stocks. Under the plan, WorldCom stock will track the main growth components of the company, such as data, Internet, and international services. MCI stock will track the company's consumer, small business, and wholesale long-distance voice businesses as well as dial-up Internet access services. The changes come amid a flagging stock price and in the wake of a failed $120 billion acquisition of smaller rival Sprint Corp. They also follow last week's unveiling of a massive overhaul of operations by rival AT&T.
Viacom has held talks to make a roughly $3 billion purchase of BET Holdings Inc., which owns the nation's only cable-TV network aimed at blacks, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the situation. They said the negotiations took place recently but that it is possible no deal will result. Viacom already owns a range of media companies including CBS, Paramount Pictures, the United Paramount Network (UPN), MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon.
In a $1.3 billion deal creating the 19th-largest US bank, Comerica Inc. said it would acquire Imperial Bancorp. Comerica is based in Detroit; Imperial in Los Angeles.
Selectron Corp., the world's No. 1 maker of contract electronics systems, announced it will pay $2.4 billion for NatSteel Electronics (NEL), the largest company in Asia engaged in similar work. NEL, which is a key supplier to such customers as Apple Computer, is based in Singapore. Solectron's headquarters are in San Francisco.
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