In the Region Magellan settles suit accusing company of...

BUSINESS DIGEST

May 26, 2000

In the Region

Magellan settles suit accusing company of fixing prices

Magellan Health Services, Inc., the Columbia-based mental-health insurer, announced yesterday the settlement of a lawsuit charging it and several competitors with price-fixing. The settlement acknowledges there was no evidence of price-fixing, and involves no payment to the plaintiffs or their lawyers, Magellan said.

The suit was filed two years ago in U.S. District Court in New York by therapists, charging Magellan and other mental-health insurers with fixing prices to drive down reimbursements to psychiatrists, psychologists and other providers.

The settlement, Magellan said, includes an agreement that the insurers will not terminate therapists for filing complaints or challenging decisions by the insurers - which Magellan and the other insurers say they don't do anyway.

Antex Biologics reports bigger first-quarter loss

Gaithersburg-based biopharmaceutical company Antex Biologics reported decreased revenue resulting in a first-quarter net loss of $1.2 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with a year-ago loss of $538,581, or 2 cents a share.

Revenue was $129,763 this quarter compared with $921,068 a year ago. Research and development costs decreased slightly, to $1,006,958 from $1,040,267. The company, which completed a $15.3 million private placement in March, reported cash and cash equivalents of $15.6 million on hand as of March 31.

Whiting Turner awarded $63 million Navy contract

The Whiting Turner Contracting Co. of Baltimore was awarded a contract worth up to $63,228,984 for work repairing and rehabilitating a portion of the U.S. Naval academy dormitory that houses all 4,000 Midshipmen, the Navy announced.

Whiting Turner will complete the last two wings of Bancroft Hall, where renovation work has been going on for years. The company will gut the rooms and replace systems, including electrical and mechanical equipment. The company's work is expected to start in early June and should be completed by August 2001.

Bainbridge International hires Baltimore agency

Bainbridge International of Southampton England has named Baltimore-based Blakeslee Group as its agency of record for the company's North American division in Canton, Mass. The value of the account was not disclosed.

Bainbridge is a textile converting company that specializes in sailcloth and other recreational and industrial fabrics and products. Blakeslee, a full-service marketing communications agency with 1999 year-end billings of $54 million, is designing Bainbridge's first brand awareness program for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets.

Elsewhere

Justice Department OKs AT&T deal with MediaOne

The Justice Department gave conditional approval yesterday to AT&T Corp.'s acquisition of MediaOne Group Inc., a deal that would make the long-distance carrier the nation's largest cable company.

AT&T has agreed to shed its stake in Road Runner, the second-largest provider of high-speed Internet access, which MediaOne has an interest in. AT&T already has a controlling interest in the biggest provider of high-speed Internet access, Excite@Home.

The Justice Department determined that combining both service providers would substantially lessen competition in the distribution of high-speed Internet services delivered over cable lines. The deal still requires approval by the Federal Communications Commission.

Ford to start building Thunderbirds for 2002

Ford Motor Co. will begin building the revived Thunderbird convertible next year as a 2002 model, a company spokesman said yesterday.

Based on the same chassis as the Lincoln LS and the Jaguar S-Type, the T-Bird will be a rear-wheel drive convertible, offered with the LS's 3.9-liter V8 engine and five-speed automatic transmission. The production car is expected to differ little from the prototype concept car Ford unveiled at the 1999 North American International Auto Show.

Analysts expect the T-Bird to be priced around $40,000.

Krispy Kreme reports high first-quarter profit

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. yesterday reported better-than-expected profit for its first quarter after going public in a well-received $63 million initial public offering last month.

Krispy Kreme reported net income for its fiscal first quarter, ended April 30, of $3.1 million, a 61 percent rise from $1.9 million a year earlier.

Diluted earnings of 27 cents per share topped the year-earlier 20 cents and beat analysts' expectations of 23 cents. System-wide sales jumped about 41 percent in the first quarter to $103.3 million, compared with $73.1 million a year ago.

Bausch & Lomb aims to target board in takeover

Bausch & Lomb Inc. said yesterday that it will move forward with plans to unseat three members of Wesley Jessen VisionCare Inc.'s board if enough investors back its $627 million tender offer for the company.

Earlier this month, the Rochester, N.Y.-based eye care company raised its cash tender offer for Wesley Jessen to $35.55 a share and extended the offer to May 31.

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