News In Brief

Two thousand more jobs than originally estimated will be cut as a result of the merger between Chase Manhattan Corp. and J.P. Morgan & Co., the companies announced. That puts total layoffs at about 5,000, out of Chase's current workforce of 79,000 and Morgan's 16,000. The Federal Reserve Board approved their $35 billion merger Dec. 11.

About 550 workers, or 6 percent of its workforce, will be laid off by PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., the US's largest provider of Medicare health plans. The move followed a decision last month to limit new enrollment in about 40 percent of its Medicare markets next year because of rising healthcare costs and low federal funding. PacifiCare is based in Santa Ana, Calif.

Abbott Laboratories scheduled a major announcement for today amid speculation it will acquire Knoll AG, the pharmaceuticals subsidiary of German chemical giant BASF. The speculation did not include a purchase price, but sources close to BASF said it had set Knoll's value at between $6.4 billion and $7.3 billion as the basis for auctioning the unit. Abbott Laboratories is based in Chicago.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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