Business & Finance

GE Capital, the financial services subsidiary of General Electric, said it has reached agreement to acquire Security Capital Group Inc. for about $4 billion in cash and stock. The deal also calls for the assumption of $1.4 billion in debt. From its base in Santa Fe, N.M., Security Capital invests in real estate companies that develop and operate shopping centers, industrial parks, and assisted-living, self-storage, and commercial parking facilities in the US and Europe.

In layoff news:

• Another 7,000 jobs will be cut by Qwest Communications on top of the 4,000 announced in late September, the company said. The new layoffs will affect mostly Colorado, Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, and Virginia.

• ITT Industries, a major supplier of electronic components for telecommunications, aerospace, and other sectors, said Friday it will cut 3,400 jobs, most of them next year. The company is based in White Plains, N.Y.

• Bell South said 1,200 workers will be laid off by April 1 in its clerical and field operations. In October, Atlanta-based Bell South announced it was cutting 3,000 white-collar jobs.

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