Business & Finance
With hundreds of angry union demonstrators protesting outside, creditors of South Korea's bankrupt Hynix Semiconductor Inc. voted to approve the sale of its memory-chip operations to Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology for $3.8 billion. The creditors, who had until today to OK the deal, passed it by slightly more than the 75 percent of the vote required in last week's memorandum of understanding. It still must be endorsed by the boards of both companies, although Hynix's directors reportedly are critical of the sale, calling it a "virtual giveaway." They are scheduled to meet on the matter today in Seoul, and protest organizers vowed they'll try to disrupt the proceedings via a sit-in. The union also has threatened a strike if the sale is finalized.
Senior executives of General Motors are to sign a contract today in Seoul, finalizing the company's $1.2 billion takeover of the bankrupt automaker Daewoo. The deal, following more than 1-1/2 years of negotiations, gives GM two of Daewoo's assembly plants in South Korea and one in Vietnam, plus sales units in Europe. Not included are 16 other plants that will be left to creditors to dispose of.
In a cash-and-stock deal valued at $4 billion, health insurer Anthem Inc. will acquire Richmond, Va.-based Trigon Healthcare Inc., the companies announced. Trigon, which offers a range of services from disability insurance to HMOs, has enrolled more than one-quarter of Virginia's population. Anthem markets health insurance and related services to about 8 million customers from Maine to Nevada, mainly under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield trade names. The company is based in Indianapolis.
Du Pont Co., the chemical giant, will lay off 2,000 workers in its textiles and interiors division, an announcement said. Most of the cuts will affect workers in the US. Wilmington, Del.-based Du Pont announced a plan in February to spin off the unit, which makes Lycra fabrics, Stainmaster carpeting, and other products for the apparel and interior decorating industries.