In the Region Universal Security names Knepper as...

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 24, 2001

In the Region

Universal Security names Knepper as chairman and CEO

Universal Security Instruments Inc. said yesterday that one of its co-founders has been named chairman and chief executive officer. Stephen Knepper has been a director since the company was formed in 1970 and he served as chairman from that year to 1996.

Knepper replaces Michael Kovens, also a co-founder, who was chairman and CEO for the past five years.

The Owings Mills-based company makes and markets smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and security products. Its shares fell 5 cents to $1.01 yesterday.

Legg Mason's board authorizes stock buyback

Legg Mason Inc. said yesterday that its board of directors has authorized the company to buy up to 3 million shares of common stock in the future.

The Baltimore-based asset-management and brokerage company had 67 million shares outstanding as of Sept. 30.

Legg Mason also declared a regular quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share on its common stock payable Jan. 7, to shareholders of record on Dec. 12.

Bankruptcy Court OKs RailWorks refinancing

RailWorks Corp., a railroad industry products company, announced yesterday that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland approved a $165 million financing arrangement with Bank of America, CSFB Global Opportunities Advisers LLC, Stonehill Capital Management LLC and Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America.

The Baltimore-based company had already received interim approval to use up to $81 million of that amount, but the court approved use of the balance yesterday. The money is to be used to fund daily operations, pay suppliers and vendors, complete current projects and compete for new business. RailWorks filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on Sept. 20.

Crosby Marketing lands Royal Farms account

Crosby Marketing Communications has been named agency of record for Royal Farms, a convenience store operator with more than 110 stores in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.

Annapolis-based Crosby will handle advertising, branding, positioning, public relations, direct mail and point-of-sale promotions for the new account, estimated at $1.5 million in billings. A new fall campaign will promote Royal Farms as not only a convenience store, but a destination for quality food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Elsewhere

Pentagon backs Northrop's bid for Newport News

The U.S. military yesterday backed Northrop Grumman Corp.'s multibillion-dollar bid to take over Newport News Shipbuilding Inc. as antitrust regulators sued to block a competing offer from General Dynamics Corp. .

Ending months of deliberations, the Defense Department announced its surprise decision after concluding that a merger of General Dynamics and Newport News - the nation's only two nuclear submarine makers - would raise monopoly concerns, Pentagon spokesman Glenn Flood told Reuters.

Less than an hour after the Pentagon signaled its support for the dark-horse Northrop bid, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it had filed an antitrust lawsuit to block General Dynamics' $2.1 billion all-cash offer for the Virginia-based maker of aircraft carriers and nuclear-fueled submarines.

Companies win points for reporting misconduct

Federal securities regulators are laying out a new policy that gives companies credit for coming forward to report misconduct, which could possibly accord them more lenient treatment in return.

The action announced yesterday by the Securities and Exchange Commission came a day after the SEC's new chairman, Harvey Pitt, promised a gentler relationship with accountants.

FTC seeks to block bid for Seagram unit

U.S. antitrust enforcers opposed a joint $8 billion bid for Vivendi Universal SA's Seagram drinks business by Diageo PLC and Pernod-Ricard SA, noting concerns that the takeover would reduce competition in the U.S. rum market.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission voted 5-0 to seek a court injunction to block the transaction, which it said would concentrate most U.S. rum sales in the hands of Diageo and market leader Bacardi Corp.

Greenspan lauds system for easing Sept. 11 fallout

America's financial system operated with remarkable efficiency to minimize the fallout from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said yesterday.

"We are blessed with a financial system that is creative, that is flexible, that is innovative," Green- span said in remarks to the American Bankers Association.

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

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