Air-Cure announces plans to merge with Allied...

BUSINESS DIGEST

September 22, 1995

Air-Cure announces plans to merge with Allied Industries

Air-Cure Technologies Inc. said yesterday it intends to acquire the common stock of Allied Industries Inc. of Houston, Texas.

Michael Lawlor, Air-Cure Technologies president and chief executive officer, said, `The merger of Allied Industries with Air-Cure Technologies will create a combined enterprise with annual sales revenue in excess of $100 million."

The merger, expected to close during the fourth quarter of 1995, will be treated as a pooling-of-interests for accounting purposes, officials said.

Shareholders of Allied Industries will receive between 3.88 million and 4.4 million shares of Air-Cure Technologies common stock based on a formula using the closing price for Air-Cure Technologies common stock for a 20-day period preceding closing.

Westvaco set to sell Baltimore box plant

Westvaco Corp. said yesterday it has agreed to sell 10 plants -- including one in Baltimore -- that make corrugated cardboard boxes to Weyerhaeuser Co. Terms were not disclosed.

The agreement needs approval by federal regulators and both companies' boards of directors, but Westvaco officials said they expect the transaction to be completed by the end of the year.

The Baltimore facility, on East Biddle St., has about 130 employees, said Westvaco spokesman William P. Fuller III.

New York-based Westvaco is getting out of the corrugated box business because of price fluctuations and concerns about long-term profitability, Mr. Fuller said.

Weyerhaeuser, based in Tacoma, Wash., said it wants to operate and perhaps even expand the box plants.

"We want to nurture and grow that business. We are in the box business," said Weyerhaeuser spokesman Brian McDermott. "We like those plants."

Southwest Airlines to begin new BWI service

Southwest Airlines said yesterday it will begin service from Baltimore-Washington International airport to Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 22.

The lowest restricted fare from BWI to both cities will be $89, and the highest unrestricted fares will be $159 to Tampa and $179 to Fort Lauderdale.

The Dallas-based airline will offer two non-stop daily flights to BWI from Tampa and six direct flights from Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore with stops in Tampa.

The airline, which kicked off a discount fare war at BWI with its arrival there two years ago, will also begin flying from Baltimore to Orlando in April. Fares and frequencies for that route will be announced later. Southwest's foray into the popular Florida market is expected to drive down fares among other carriers that dominate the territory.

Cheung withdraws reverse-split proposal

Columbia-based Cheung Laboratories Inc. said it has withdrawn the reverse split proposal on its proxy statement.

Officials said they are confident that performance of the projects now under way in the company's business plan will raise its stock price without Cheung's having to resort to such a measure.

The company said its 9.5 percent interest in Aestar Fine Chemical Inc. Ltd. of Zhongshan, China, and two other projects have the potential for near-term income. Cheung expects to receive dividend income from Aestar next March.

Tobacco companies win legal victory in Canadian court

In a stunning victory for tobacco companies, the Supreme Court in Toronto yesterday struck down the law at the heart of Canada's anti-smoking movement, ruling that a ban on tobacco advertising violates free expression.

The high court said in a 5-4 decision that the sweeping Tobacco Products Control Act of 1988, which banned most tobacco advertising, is unconstitutional.

Limited restrictions on tobacco ads are permissible, but a comprehensive ban improperly prohibits a manufacturer from communicating with customers about a legal product, the majority opinion said. The decision was applauded by tobacco companies and criticized by the anti-smoking lobby.

Caldor's interim financing approved by judge

A federal bankruptcy judge in New York yesterday approved Caldor Inc.'s request for $150 million in interim financing by Chemical Banking Corp.

The financing, along with $125 million in cash collateral also approved by Bankruptcy Judge James Garrity, will help fund the retailer until Oct. 11, when the court will consider the rest of the $250 million debtor-in-possession financing package from Chemical.

Caldor filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors Monday after what company lawyer Mitchel H. Perkiel called a "crisis of confidence" among Caldor's suppliers that led to a liquidity crisis.

The company said the balance of the $250 million credit line from Chemical, along with expected permission to use a total of $250 million in cash collateral -- proceeds from the sale of inventory -- will give it access to more than $500 million.

Waiting period is over, Federated Stores says

Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores Inc. said yesterday the waiting period in its merger with Broadway Stores Inc. had expired, setting up completion of the $373 million dollar deal.

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