News In Brief

Trumping two earlier offers from other organizations, poultry giant Tyson Foods Inc. bid $2.8 billion, plus the assumption of about $1.4 billion in debt, for meatpacker IBP. If accepted, the deal would create a company with more than $21 billion in sales in all three of the largest-selling meat categories - beef, pork, and poultry. Last month, Smithfield Foods Inc., the nation's No. 1 pork producer, made an offer for Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based IBP. Previous to that was an agreed-upon management buyout offer led by a unit of investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

A lawsuit has been filed to block the $3.8 billion acquisition of Northeast Utilities by Consolidated Edison Inc., The Wall Street Journal reported. The transaction would create the nation's largest distributor of electricity, the newspaper noted. It said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, in a filing with his state's Superior Court in New Britain, said Con Ed's allegedly high rates and poor environmental record made it an unfavorable match for residents there. Connecticut utility regulators already have approved the deal, although with several conditions. It also has been OK'd by two federal and seven state regulatory agencies but is still pending before the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, and the state of New Hampshire.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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