In the Region Allegheny plans stock offering to pay for...

BUSINESS DIGEST

April 10, 2001

In the Region

Allegheny plans stock offering to pay for power plants

Allegheny Energy Inc. said yesterday that it will issue about 10 million shares of common stock to finance the purchases of electrical power plants.

The publicly traded, Hagerstown-based company aims to become a national wholesale electricity supplier. It previously stated its goal of boosting generating capacity from about 9,000 megawatts to nearly 13,000 megawatts by 2005. One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.

Any proceeds from the stock transaction not used for buying power plants will be used for general corporate purposes, Allegheny said.

Judge sides with Igen in claim against Roche

A U.S. District Court judge in Greenbelt ruled yesterday that Roche Diagnostics had breached its contract with Gaithersburg-based Igen International Inc. in at least one respect, a ruling Igen said may lead to money damages.

The court granted summary judgment on one of 14 claims that Igen had filed against Roche in a breach-of-contract lawsuit. The court ruled that Roche improperly implemented a "rental surcharge" deduction against royalties it owed to Igen on sales of certain products, Igen said.

A trial on unresolved claims in the suit is scheduled for October.

Aether in deal to provide products for Cendant

Aether Systems Inc., an Owings Mills-based company that develops products for wireless communications, said yesterday that it has entered into a contract to provide wireless products for real estate and travel conglomerate Cendant Corp.

Aether's real estate product will notify brokers of sales leads, allow them to retrieve data and respond to e-mail and prospective homebuyers more quickly on RIM wireless handheld devices while they're away from the office.

About 8,000 brokerages and 200,000 agents operate as part of Cendant for Century 21, Coldwell Banker and ERA.

The size of the contract was not disclosed.

Northrop delivers infrared sensor unit

Northrop Grumman has delivered the first infrared sensor unit for a space-based system the Air Force plans to use to detect missile launches worldwide.

The sensor was delivered to an Aerojet production facility in Azusa, Calif., where it will be used in the production of the satellites that will become part of the system. Northrop Grumman is also providing an optical telescope assembly and the thermal control subsystem, the company said.

Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin is the primary contractor for the program. The satellite system will provide real-time information on missile launches to battlefield commanders, Northrop said.

Calvert Board approves funds for incubator

Capping a two-year effort, the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners approved funding for Southern Maryland's first business incubator, officials said yesterday.

The commissioners voted unanimously last week to provide the College of Southern Maryland, which will manage the incubator, with $49,990 in start-up costs. The school will provide daily management and mentoring services to up to three businesses at a time in the incubator, which is scheduled to open July 1.

CSM and the Calvert County Department of Economic Development are setting up criteria for recruiting start-up companies to the incubator, which is to be at the Calvert County Telecommuting Center in Prince Frederick.

Elsewhere

No glitches reported as Nasdaq switches to decimal quotes

The Nasdaq stock market has finished making the switch to decimal-priced stock quotes and reported no errors or glitches yesterday.

The U.S. government mandated in 1997 that U.S. stock markets price their issues in decimals. The deadline was yesterday.

All 4,880 Nasdaq stocks are now priced like most other U.S. goods and services, joining stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange, which completed the transition to decimals in January.

SBC encountering fines after buying Ameritech

The Federal Communications Commission has fined SBC Communications Inc. $23 million since December for not meeting terms of its 1999 purchase of Ameritech.

SBC's problems have included not installing customers' service by a promised date and not quickly telling competitors when it switches customers to a new carrier, the FCC said yesterday.

Ameritech is one of several SBC subsidiaries, including Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell and Cingular Wireless. Ameritech operates in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. Regulators made opening Ameritech's system to competitors a requirement for approving SBC's buyout of the company.

Strike needn't occur, Delta pilots say

The union representing 9,800 pilots in labor talks with Delta Air Lines Inc. said yesterday that a contract can be reached without a strike if the No. 3 U.S. airline comes to the bargaining table ready to negotiate.

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