Business & Finance

Schlumberger, the technical-services giant whose operations span the oil and gas, semiconductor-testing, smart-card, and Internet-solutions industries, will pay $5.2 billion to acquire struggling Sema PLC, which performs similar tasks, the companies announced. The all-cash deal is not expected to result in "any substantial breakup" of Sema, a senior executive said. London-based Sema has such high-profile clients as cellphone giant Vodafone AirTouch and Club Med but has issued profit warnings twice in recent months. Schlumberger is based in New York.

In an effort to create the largest electricity-delivery company in the mid-Atlantic region, Potomac Electric Power Co. announced a $2.2 billion cash-and-stock deal to buy Conectiv Inc. Potomac Electric, known in the industry as Pepco, has been looking to expand since its $3 billion merger with Baltimore Gas & Electric fell apart in 1997 after more than two years of regulatory scrutiny. The Washington-based utility currently has more than 700,000 customers. Conectiv, based in Wilmington, Del., serves more than 1 million customers and is the product of a 1998 merger between DelmarvaPower & Light and Atlantic Energy.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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