Accounting firm to use LotusIn a significant endorsement...

BUSINESS DIGEST

January 04, 1994

Accounting firm to use Lotus

In a significant endorsement of Lotus Development's business-office software, Coopers & Lybrand, the accounting and consulting firm, has decided to adopt Lotus' products for use on all of the company's personal computers.

Although the initial order is worth only about $10 million to the Lotus Development Corp., and analysts said the deal might eventually total $20 million or so, it is Lotus' biggest single-customer agreement yet. And it could have a broad impact because Coopers is an influential business consultant on the corporate use of information technology.

Toys 'R' Us names new leaders

Toys "R" Us Inc., the world's largest toy retailer, shuffled its top management yesterday, with its telegenic chief executive giving up operating control.

Founder Charles Lazarus, 70, who appears in many Toys "R" Us television commercials, often with members of his family, stepped aside as two senior executives were named his successors. The toy retailer also reported what it described as strong gains in its Christmas season sales.

Dutch group buys Rouse stock

A Dutch investment group has acquired a 5.06 percent stake in Columbia-based Rouse Co.

Onroerend Goed Belegginsmaatschappij Omlandia B.V. and other members of the group purchased 100,000 shares of Rouse common stock at $19.50 to $20.25 per share between Dec. 8 and Dec. 21, according to a filing made yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The investors hold a total of 2.38 million Rouse Co. shares. Onroerend Goed, based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is a real estate investment company.

France's banks cut lending rates

France's leading banks cut their base lending rates yesterday, a move that reflected lower money market rates. Lending rates will be lowered to 7.95 percent from 8.15 percent effective tomorrow, the first change since October's quarter-point cut.

Bank failures hit low point

Bank failures plunged to an 11-year low in 1993 and the total assets of failed banks tumbled to the lowest level in nine years, the government said yesterday.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., 42 banks went bust last year, down from 120 in 1992. It was the smallest number of failed banking institutions since 1982, when 42 closed. Last year's failed banks had assets of about $3.8 billion, down from $44.2 billion in 1992 and the lowest level since $3.3 billion in 1984.

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