News In Brief

Liberty Financial Cos., which put itself up for sale Wednesday, could go for about $2 billion, industry sources estimated. The decision comes amid a wave of deals in the US asset-management sector as companies seek to bulk up to cut the cost of doing business. Liberty Financial also said it plans to merge a number of its smaller mutual funds, resulting in charges of $15 million this year and next. The Boston-based company sells annuities and mutual funds and manages investments for other companies. It is 70 percent-owned by giant insurer Liberty Mutual.

Three thousand layoffs were announced by Aon Corp., the world's second-largest insurance broker, as part of a $325 million restructuring program. Most of the cuts will come in offices in the US and Britain, an announcement said. The Chicago-based company employs about 50,000 people in 120 countries.

Revlon Inc. announced plans to close plants in Ontario and Phoenix and eliminate at least 1,115 jobs, about 14 percent of its worldwide workforce. The cosmetics giant, which makes such products as Flex shampoo and Almay makeup, said it expects to post $55 million to $60 million in restructuring charges over the next 15 months, The moves are part of a larger plan to revitalize Revlon, spearheaded by Jeffrey Nugent, who came on board as president and chief executive officer last year.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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