Business & Finance

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer pushed back its annual shareholders meeting from May 12 to June 29 amid growing indications that Sony Corp. may be close to buying the legendary film studio. For almost two years, MGM has been seeking to grow through an acquisition or merger, and sources said the company wants the extra time to evaluate its options. If Sony does strike a purchase deal, it probably would fold MGM into its Sony Pictures Entertainment division, analysts said. Sony reportedly is interested in acquiring MGM's library of more than 4,200 titles, among them the James Bond and Pink Panther movies.

Texas Pacific Group, a leading buyout specialist, agreed to pay $1.4 billion for IASIS Healthcare of Franklin, Tenn. IASIS owns 15 hospitals in such markets as Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City.

The largest phone-service provider in Southeast Asia, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., said it will buy back $1.78 billion of its own stock. Despite the move, company executives said enough cash reserves remain for new investments in the region.

Rambus Inc., a developer of random-access memory technology, sued four chip manufacturers for $1 billion in damages, despite concerns that doing so may complicate a federal probe into alleged price-fixing in the industry. The Los Altos, Calif., company's suit targets Infineon Technologies, Micron Technologies, Siemens, and Hynix Semiconductor, claiming they withheld royalties for its intellectual property and conspired unlawfully to eliminate competition by excluding its designs. Rambus said its suit is independent of the Justice Department investigation but that documents uncovered in that probe could be helpful to its case, the Financial Times reported.

Graphic Packaging Corp., a leading maker of folding cartons for the beverage industry, announced plans to close its Bow, N.H., and Clinton, Miss., facilities by the end of next year, with a loss of about 400 jobs. Meanwhile, Deluxe Corp., the nation's largest printer of checks, said it will close its Anniston, Ala., plant and consolidate its operation with a facility in Colorado Springs, Colo. The moves will result in a loss of 200 jobs at the former but a gain of 100 at the latter. Deluxe is based in St. Paul, Minn.

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