News In Brief

Italian industrial group Montedison declared opposition to a takeover bid by a consortium, Italenergia, led by Italian carmaker Fiat. Montedison's board said the bid price was inadequate and refused to call a shareholders' meeting to replace some of its members. The news that Montedison was fighting back against the raid gave an immediate boost to its stock, but the Italenergia consortium has already bought more than 50 percent control.

British telecommunications company Marconi PLC issued a profit warning after suspending its share for an entire day. When trading resumed, shares in Marconi plummeted by more than 50 percent to an all-time low, following an announcement that sales for the current financial year would likely fall by 15 percent, operating profits could be halved, and the company plans to cut 4,000 jobs worldwide. The company has already laid off some 3,000 employees in recent months.

In other layoff news:

* German electronics giant Siemens AG plans to cut 2,000 jobs at its product-servicing unit by the year's end to wipe out overlapping jobs created by a recent merger and to stay in line with falling demand. The layoffs, which will occur mostly in Germany, are in addition to 8,100 cuts made earlier this year by the Munich-based company.

* L.G. Philips Displays, a joint venture between LG Electronics of South Korea and Dutch electronics group Philips, said it will lay off 1,200 workers, the Financial Times reported. The firm cited weak demand for electronics.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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