Business & Finance

Lockheed Martin reduced the terms of its agreement to buy Titan Corp. as the companies seek to resolve allegations that Titan consultants bribed officials of foreign governments, CBS MarketWatch reported. Instead of $22 a share, the world's No. 1 defense contractor will pay $20 a share, or $1.64 billion, the report said. The proposed merger is up against a June 25 deadline for completion, or either party may cancel it. But first, Titan, a San Diego, Calif., provider of defense and network security technology, must enter into a plea bargain with the Justice Department or obtain written confirmation that the latter's probe of the allegations is complete and won't result in fines, CBS MarketWatch said.

DaimlerChrysler took a hard line with its troubled Mitsu-bishi Motors affiliate, telling shareholders it isn't prepared to commit billions of dollars to the latter's recovery plan, the Financial Times reported. It cited sources close to chief executive Jürgen Schrempp as saying there is a possibility the German automaker may even walk away from their relationship, although some analysts saw that as a tactic to motivate Mitsubishi's other investors to put more cash into the company. DaimlerChrysler holds a 37 percent stake in Mitsubishi, which lags its Japanese rivals, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi announced the closure of one of its three Japanese assembly plants and said it plans to cut nine models - among them the Diamante luxury sedan - from its 2005 fleet.

Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest cellphone service provider, will close service centers that employ 1,700 people in Orangeburg and Morristown, N.J., a report in the White Plains (N.Y.) Journal News said. The company plans to open call centers in Wilmington, N.C., and another yet-to-be-announced location, offering a $10,000 after-tax bonus to employees who transfer to them, the report said.

If shareholders approve, the first merger of publicly traded companies in China will be between two department stores. According to published legal notices, Shanghai No. 1 Department Store Co. proposes to absorb Shanghai Hua Lian Co. Until now, they've been traded separately, although both are subsidiaries of China's largest retailer, the Bailian Group, whose announced goal is to become one of the world's 500 largest companies by the end of the decade.

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