In the Region Top bridal registry to marry No. 1 seller...

BUSINESS DIGEST

July 04, 2000

In the Region

Top bridal registry to marry No. 1 seller of wedding gowns

May Department Stores Co. agreed yesterday to buy David's Bridal Inc. for $436 million to link its bridal registry with the biggest U.S. wedding-gown retailer.

The owner of Lord & Taylor, Hecht's and other department stores will pay $20 a share in cash, about 73 percent more than David's Bridal's closing price of $11.5625 on Friday. David's Bridal, based in the Philadelphia suburb of Conshohocken, Pa., generated $175 million in sales last year.

May plans to tie its gift registry business, where brides select silver, china and other home goods, to David's Bridal's 110 stores that sell wedding gowns and accessories. The move may help draw younger consumers to May's department stores, which are competing with specialty chains such as AnnTaylor Stores Corp.

2 gene database firms agree to share data

Gene Logic Inc. and Genaissance Pharmaceuticals have reached an agreement they hope will enable their customers to design, market and prescribe drugs more effectively using genomic information. Terms were not disclosed.

Genaissance, of New Haven, Conn., will subscribe to the Gaithersburg company's suite of databases, which detail in part what genes are active in diseased and normal tissues.

Gene Logic plans to buy the rights to use Genaissance's data that show variations in the chemical recipes of genes and to post that information in Gene Logic's own databases.

Celera hires Molle as sales vice president

Celera Genomics Group, which last week announced that it had all but finished sequencing the human genome's 3 billion chemical pairs, says it has hired a sales and marketing senior vice president to help it sell the results. The Rockville company said Jason Molle will be responsible for identifying markets for selling Celera's gene databases as well as developing product strategies. Molle, former president of North American operations for Dialog Corp. PLC, has more than 10 years experience in online sales and product development.

Elsewhere

AMR's cargo unit to raise air freight surcharge by 5M-"

Citing rising fuel costs, the cargo division of AMR Corp.'s American Airlines said yesterday that it would raise the fuel surcharge on air freight by 5 cents per kilogram.

The higher fee will apply to international cargo flights originating in the U.S.

"This limited adjustment will allow the company to maintain current service levels in the face of continued, rising fuel costs worldwide," said airline spokesman Mark Najarian.

Rumored German takeover of Sprint alarms senators

Thirty senators are voicing opposition to foreign government-owned companies taking over U.S. telecommunications businesses, amid reports that German carrier Deutsche Telekom is looking at snapping up long-distance giant Sprint Corp.

In a letter to the head of the Federal Communications Commission yesterday, Democratic Sen. Ernest Hollings of South Carolina and 29 other lawmakers urged FCC Chairman William E. Kennard to heavily scrutinize any such deals brought before his agency.

The legislators claim in the letter that such acquisitions by government-owned foreign firms raise serious national security concerns and could put domestic competitors at the mercy of a foreign government.

That could complicate efforts by German communications business Deutsche Telekom, which reportedly is eyeing No. 3 U.S. long-distance company Sprint as a possible acquisition. The German company - a former state telephone monopoly - is majority owned by the government.

This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Reuters.

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