News In Brief

Lucent Technologies Inc. said it agreed to sell its Power Systems unit to Tyco International Ltd. for $2.5 billion in cash. The sale is part of Lucent's effort to focus on its wireless and Internet businesses and shed noncore businesses. The unit in question, based in Mesquite, Texas, makes switching power supplies, batteries, and backup power systems for the high-tech industry. Tyco makes products ranging from undersea telecommunications networks to disposable medical products. It is based in Bermuda, but also does business out of Exeter, N.H.

About 1,000 employees, or 10 percent of marchFIRST Inc.'s workforce, will be cut, the Internet consultant announced. The move, made in the wake of a declining market, is expected to save $100 million annually. MarchFIRST, based in Chicago, provides services in areas such as technology, strategy, and brand-building.

Two of the largest forest-products companies in the Pacific Northwest could merge via a $5.3 billion takeover bid, reports said. Weyerhaeuser Co., based in Federal Way, Wash., announced it had made an offer for Portland, Ore.-based Willamette Industries Inc. Willamette's board hasn't officially responded to the offer, but initial reaction indicated some hesitation. Willamette made news last July when the company agreed to pay the biggest air-pollution fine the Environmental Protection Agency has assessed to date against a forest-products company. The fine includes an $11.2 million civil penalty.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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