News In Brief

In a $26.5 billion deal, reportedly the largest in the history of the insurance industry, Britain's Prudential PLC agreed to buy majority control of Houston-based American General Corp. If regulators OK the all-stock transaction, it will make Prudential - not to be confused with the US carrier of the same name - the world's sixth-largest insurance company.

SPX Corp. has agreed to buy United Dominion Industries Ltd. for $1.83 billion in stock and debt-assumption, the companies said. SPX, based in Muskegon, Mich., supplies motor parts and services to vehicle manufacturers. Charlotte, N.C.-based United Dominion makes industrial and building products such as pumps, gauges, valves, vehicle restraint systems, and agricultural machinery.

Stockholders were considering a lawsuit against the parent company of Swissair, reports said, amid a flurry of developments such as last week's mass resignations of its executive board and chief of airline operations - the latter after only six weeks on the job. In its annual report next month, SAirGroup is expected to post a $1.5 billion loss, largely because of a strategy of buying minority stakes in other European carriers that are unprofitable.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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