Canadian insurance dealSun Life Assurance Co. of Canada...

BUSINESS DIGEST

August 18, 1994

Canadian insurance deal

Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada yesterday grabbed the British operations of Confederation Life Insurance Co., while rivals continued to pick over other assets of the failed company.

Sun Life, Canada's second-largest insurer, said it agreed to buy Confed's British subsidiary, Confederation U.K. Holdings Plc, for an undisclosed amount. Industry analysts have placed a C$350 million ($254 million) to C$450 million ($326 million) price tag on the unit.

The Canadian government seized Confederation Life, Canada's fourth-largest insurer, last week and appointed a liquidator Monday to sell its assets. The government moved after Confed failed to secure a C$600 million ($435 million) bailout package from a consortium of insurance firms.

Sears to be Compaq distributor

Compaq Computer Corp. announced a distribution agreement yesterday with Sears, Roebuck & Co., the nation's second-largest retailer.

More than 700 Sears stores will sell Compaq products. The Compaq Aero will be the first portable computer sold by Sears.

Sears joins a number of other retailers selling Compaq products, including the nation's largest, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Baltimore Bancorp dividend

Baltimore Bancorp declared a quarterly cash dividend yesterday of 5 cents per share, payable Sept. 29, 1994, to holders of record Sept. 15, 1994.

Baltimore Bancorp, the holding company for the Bank of Baltimore, earlier this year agreed to be acquired by First Fidelity Bancorporation of Lawrenceville, N.J. Baltimore Bancorp's stock closed at $20, unchanged from Tuesday.

Carpal-tunnel suits dismissed

A New York state judge yesterday dismissed 113 carpal-tunnel syndrome lawsuits filed against International Business Machines Corp. and other computer keyboard makers.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Crane dismissed the suits based on his reading of the state's three-year statute of limitations for the personal injury suits.

Judge Crane backed up an earlier decision that the statute expired three years after a carpal-tunnel sufferer first developed the condition, rather than three years after he or she realized that condition could be linked to a particular keyboard.

MPP pioneer in bankruptcy

Thinking Machines Corp. filed yesterday for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Closely held Thinking Machines, one of the pioneers of a technology called "massively parallel processing," or MPP, had failed in repeated attempts to secure a cash infusion or to be bought by another company.

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