Business & Finance

Boeing earned the nod over rival Lockheed Martin Corp. to develop a new plane for the Navy to hunt submarines and surface vessels and conduct long-range surveillance. The $3.89 billion deal, announced Monday, aims to replace a fleet of aging Lockheed planes with what Boeing calls the Multimission Maritime Aircraft, which should be ready for deployment by 2012 or 2013. Boeing is expected to build more than 100 of the planes during a production run that could continue until the mid-2030s.

Delta Airlines will suspend about one-third of the flights of its low-fare subsidiary, Song, in September, The Wall Street Journal reported. Delta downplayed the impact of the move on Song's viability, saying it was "nothing unusual" and an opportunity for "routine maintenance" during a traditionally off-peak month for air travel. But analysts noted that the announcement coincided with Delta's efforts to cut costs and avoid filing for bankruptcy.

For the third time, NeighborCare Inc. rejected a hostile takeover bid by rival Omnicare Inc., calling it "not anywhere close to what is appropriate." Both companies supply prescription drugs to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The latest offer was valued at $1.35 billion by The New York Times. NeighborCare is based in Baltimore; Omnicare in Covington, Ky.

Despite its already deep financial problems, the government of the Philippines will absorb $8.9 billion in debt from troubled National Power Corp. (Napocor), the Financial Times reported. The state-owned utility builds and operates nuclear-, oil-, hydro-, and geothermal-powered generating plants. But Napocor has been hamstrung by the fixed fees it must pay, by low energy consumption, and by a failure to attract buyers for assets it wants to sell.

Another 900 jobs will be eliminated by pharmaceutical giant Schering AG, the company said, as it reorganizes to try to improve profitability and focus on areas with the greatest growth potential. Those areas were identified as anticancer medication, skin disorders, hormonal treatments, and diagnostic imaging. Schering, based in Berlin, said most of the job cuts will come outside Germany and will be completed by 2006. Last year, the company announced 1,100 layoffs.

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