Mental health firms to mergeTwo Connecticut companies will...

BUSINESS DIGEST

September 24, 1993

Mental health firms to merge

Two Connecticut companies will merge by year's end to become one of the country's largest providers of managed mental health and substance abuse services, if shareholders and regulators approve the deal.

Value Health Inc. of Avon, Conn., said it would acquire Preferred Health Care Ltd., which is based in Wilton, in a stock-swap deal. The total value of the deal was about $404 million based on stock prices yesterday, down from $425 million based on Wednesday's close.

Car, truck sales rise 21 percent

Sales of domestically built cars and trucks rose almost 21 percent in mid-September, with most major manufacturers reporting stronger sales, automakers reported yesterday.

Detroit's Big Three and the seven Japanese companies that build cars and trucks in the United States sold a total of 280,778 vehicles in the Sept. 11-20 period, up 20.9 percent from the same time last year.

Deal helps GPA avert collapse

Debt-crippled GPA Group Plc, the world's biggest aircraft-leasing company, sealed a rescue package with General Electric Co. yesterday requiring a huge $7.7 billion cut in GPA's aircraft orders.

The struggling Shannon, Ireland-based firm, outlining the final shape of a package that averted its almost certain collapse, said it was cutting its new aircraft orders by more than 75 percent, to 57 planes from 242.

Executives less bullish on economy

Top executives of U.S. corporations are less confident about the economy than they have been since the Persian Gulf war, according to a study released yesterday. The Conference Board's measure of business confidence in the third quarter registered a substantial decline, falling seven points, to 50, a level that signifies an even balance of positive and negative responses.

As for the next six months, substantially fewer respondents than last time foresee a pickup in the economy -- 29 percent, down from 50 percent in the second quarter, the board said. One-third of the respondents said they fear conditions will worsen.

Harte-Hanks will go public

Harte-Hanks Communications Inc., a publishing and rTC broadcast company that went private in 1984, plans to offer 6.25 million shares in an initial public offering aimed at paying off debt. Harte-Hanks registered yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the proposed offering of common stock.

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