Firms to develop cable networkMicrosoft Corp. and...

BUSINESS DIGEST

March 08, 1994

Firms to develop cable network

Microsoft Corp. and Tele-Communications Inc. said yesterday that they will join forces to develop and market a cable television network targeted to the growing consumer market for personal computer hardware, software and accessories.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, the world's largest independent software company, and TCI, the nation's largest cable TV operator, agreed to become equal partners in the joint venture.

The companies said they envision how-to discussions, interviews and product news in a broadcast magazine format, and possibly home shopping to buy computer software instantly.

McCormick in India venture

McCormick & Co. Inc., the Sparks-based spice and flavorings company, has formed a joint venture with A. V. Thomas Group Cos. of Madras, India, to build and operate a plant in Cochin, India, to produce spices for export. McCormick gave no estimate of expected sales. Each company will have a 50 percent share of the joint venture.

A. V. Thomas Group, which has operations in rubber, leather, produce and industrial products, has annual sales of about $70 million. The deal is the third foreign venture announced by McCormick in the last two weeks.

Blues meet insurance law

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland has begun offering health insurance to small employers without requesting the medical histories of the employees, complying with a new state law ahead of schedule, the company said yesterday.

The new law, which goes into effect July 1, 1994, is an attempt to make it easier for the 600,000 uninsured Marylanders to get coverage.

Landover firm buys N.C. builder

Landover-based Washington Homes Inc. has agreed to--acquire the homebuilding division of Westminster Homes Inc. of North Carolina for an undisclosed price.

Westminster, a subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co. of Tacoma, Wash., builds single-family homes in greater Raleigh and Greensboro. The builder completed 309 homes last year with an average sales price of $120,000.

Washington Homes designs and builds single-family detached homes, townhouses and condominiums in the Baltimore and Washington areas.

Venture fund at $230 million

New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm with headquarters in Baltimore and San Francisco, said yesterday that it has completed a $230 million venture limited partnership called New Enterprise Associates VI. The company now has $750 million of capital under management, targeted toward investments in start-up and established companies in the life sciences and information technology industries.

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