In the Region Hunter Group combined into Cedar company...

BUSINESS DIGEST

April 03, 2001

In the Region

Hunter Group combined into Cedar company

Cedar Group PLC, a British software and consulting firm, said yesterday that it has combined the Hunter Group Inc., a Baltimore-based information consulting group it purchased last fall for $72 million, Sotas of Boston and Cipher Systems Ltd. of Canada into a company called Cedar.

Cedar Group also said it plans to base its North American headquarters in Baltimore. The new subsidiary will help the company make a greater push into the North American market, said Chief Executive Officer Tom Rump.

Cedar employs 100 people at its offices at 100 E. Pratt St. and 20 in Bethesda.

Zim-American is moving U.S. operations to Norfolk

Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co. Inc. will invest $6.2 million to move its U.S. headquarters from New York to Norfolk, Va., and will hire 235 people to work there, Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III said yesterday.

Gilmore also approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist the Development Authority of Norfolk with site preparation for the new building.

Zim-American is the general agent in North America for Zim Israel Navigation Co., one of the largest container shipping companies in the world.

A SafeNet product is licensed by UUNet

SafeNet Inc., a Baltimore County Internet security company, said yesterday that UUNet has licensed one of its products.

UUNet - a WorldCom Inc. company that provides Internet access, Web hosting and other Internet services - will license a product SafeNet makes that makes online communications, such as e-mail, secure for use on UUNet's dial-up service.

COPT plans offering of preferred stock

Corporate Office Properties Trust plans to offer 1 million shares of preferred stock to raise $25 million.

Lead managers for the offering will be Credit Suisse First Boston and A. G. Edwards & Sons Inc. COPT said the shares would produce a 10.25 percent yield and be callable in five years.

The cash will be used immediately to pay down debt of the Columbia-based real estate investment trust. It will also be used for property acquisitions.

UM team is second in venture capital final

A team of University of Maryland M.B.A. students won second place and a $5,000 prize in the national final of the fourth annual Venture Capital Investment Competition, held last week at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The student teams were judged on how well they interviewed executives from five real start-up companies and allocated money from a mock portfolio of $200 million to the companies. Eight schools advanced to the national final after winning first or second place in regional competitions among 28 schools.

A team from Yale University won first place and a $10,000 prize. In the Southeast regional competition last month, the University of Maryland team finished second and won a $2,000 prize.

Elsewhere

Schering-Plough accused of trying to suppress a generic

Federal regulators charged pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough Corp. and two generic manufacturers with conspiring to keep a generic version of a Schering blood pressure drug off the market, costing consumers $100 million.

This is the third time in 13 months that the Federal Trade Commission has brought such charges against a major pharmaceutical company and generic manufacturers.

In this case, the FTC alleges that Schering illegally paid Upsher-Smith Laboratories and ESI Lederle Inc., a division of American Home Products Corp., to keep a generic version of K-Dur 20, used to treat people with high blood pressure, off the market. K-Dur 20 sales totaled $287 million last year.

Schering denied the charges. Upsher-Smith and ESI executives could not be reached for comment.

Kmart bringing back the Blue Light Special

Kmart Corp. is reviving the Blue Light Special after a 10-year hiatus, using a piece of Americana to try to lure shoppers and revive sales at the second-largest U.S. discount chain.

The specials will offer savings on products from microwave ovens to fishing poles at Kmart's 2,109 stores and its majority-owned BlueLight.com Web site. The famous phrase, "Attention, Kmart shoppers," once again will be used to announce the specials and guide shoppers to the proper aisles.

Xerox delays filing annual report with SEC

Xerox Corp. said yesterday that it has delayed filing its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission because the company is conducting an internal review of accounting practices.

Xerox said it believes that its accounting policies and procedures are "appropriate," but wanted a fuller review because of an investigation into its Mexican operations by the SEC, Xerox said.

Brill's Content founder buying Powerful Media

Steven Brill, the media entrepreneur who founded Court TV and Brill's Content magazine, is buying Powerful Media, parent company of the media news Web site Inside.com.

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