News In Brief

Philips Electronics announced it would acquire Healthcare Solutions Group, a subsidiary of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Agilent Technologies, for $1.7 billion. Healthcare Solutions of Andover, Mass., employs 5,000 people worldwide and is best known as a supplier of patient-monitoring equipment for hospitals. Agilent, which was created a year ago when Hewlett-Packard spun off several divisions, indicated the sale would help in focusing on its telecommunications components and life-science businesses. Philips, based in Amsterdam and the world's third-largest maker of consumer electronics, has spent more than $4 billion in the past two years to buy companies and build a medical-products business.

Furnituremaker O'Sullivan Industries Inc. said it would close its plant in Cedar City, Utah, terminating 350 jobs. The company, based in Lamar, Mo., employs about 2,500 people and makes ready-to-assemble pieces that are carried by national chains such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Lowe's, and OfficeMax. Among the reasons officials cited for the closure were flat sales and the rising cost of raw materials. Employees have been offered the opportunity to move to the company's plant in South Boston, Va., which is adding 100 jobs, or its headquarters in Lamar, which also is slated for expansion.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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