News In Brief

Amerada Hess, the US's eighth-largest oil company, dramatically hiked its production capacity with the purchase of British independent Lasmo PLC, industry analysts said. The cash and stock deal was valued at $3.47 billion. Lasmo has operations in the North Sea, Indonesia, North Africa, and Pakistan. But its principal attraction for Amerada Hess is believed to be its promising holdings in the Dacion region of Venezuela. The addition boosts Amerada Hess's capacity from 374,000 barrels a day to 582,000. Lasmo is based in London; Amerada Hess in New York.

In a stock deal valued at about $2.07 billion, Broadcom Corp., a maker of high-speed communications semiconductors, said it will buy SiByte Inc., which manufactures processor chips. The purchase is the most recent in a wave of acquisitions for Irvine, Calif.-based Broadcom, which is aiming to be a one-stop source for equipment and semiconductors. SiByte is based in Santa Clara, Calif.

Northwest will sell back a large portion of the 14 percent stake it acquired in Continental two years ago, the airlines said, in an effort to settle the federal government's anti-trust case against them. Under the deal, Continental will repurchase 6.69 million shares for $450 million; Northwest will retain about 2.6 million Continental shares. Northwest's original stake gave it super-voting rights representing more than 50 percent control of Continental.

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