In the Region Igen to sell Army chemicals to test for...

BUSINESS DIGEST

March 14, 2002

In the Region

Igen to sell Army chemicals to test for bio-weapons

Igen International Inc., a medical diagnostics maker, said yesterday that it will sell detection products that test for anthrax and other biological weapons to the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command. Their agreement is worth at least $2 million.

The Gaithersburg company said that it has already delivered instruments, and that it will deliver reagents - substances used in a chemical reaction to detect other substances - into 2003. The products will be used in Department of Defense laboratories to detect agents or toxins in the environment through water or air samples.

Igen said Army scientists at Fort Detrick have used the company's patented technology to develop the biological detection products.

Riggs shareholders to vote on bank's auditor

Riggs National Corp., a big Washington bank holding company, has adopted a proposal made by a shareholder activist mandating shareholder ratification of the board's selection of its independent auditors each year.

Riggs will amend its corporate bylaws so shareholders will get the opportunity for the first time at the company's April 17 annual meeting. Earlier this week, the bank's board selected KPMG as its auditor, severing a 28-year relationship with Arthur Andersen LLP, the accounting firm tainted by its role as Enron Corp.'s auditor.

Ratification of Riggs' auditor by shareholders had been promoted by Evelyn Davis has pushed for a change for years. Davis said she was pleased with the board's decision and has withdrawn a proposal she made that would have required the company's auditing firm to be elected by shareholders at the end of each year.

Bethlehem in talks to sell rest of namesake plant site

Bethlehem Steel Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, said yesterday that it's in negotiations to sell the rest of Bethlehem Works, the former site of its namesake steel factory now being developed for recreational and retail use.

Delaware Valley Real Estate Investment Fund wants to buy the remaining 120 acres of Bethlehem Works, in Bethlehem, Pa., about 70 miles north of Philadelphia.

Bethlehem Steel, the No. 3 U.S. steel maker, closed the factory after 140 years of production in 1995 and started planning the development a year later. Parcels of the 160-acre site not included in the talks are those already sold, which will be used for a hockey arena and the National Museum of Industrial History.

Deutsche Bank unit hires Shiebler for Americas post

Deutsche Asset Management, the money-management unit of Europe's largest bank, hired William Shiebler as chief executive for the Americas.

Shiebler, 60, will oversee about $470 billion of the firm's $900 billion in assets under management when Deutsche Bank AG's acquisition of Scudder Investments from Zurich Financial AG closes in the next few months.

Whiteley named CEO of InforMax software firm

InforMax Inc. yesterday named Andrew Whiteley chairman, chief executive officer and president of the Bethesda company that makes software for studying and sorting genes and proteins.

Whiteley succeeded InforMax founder Alex Titomirov, the founder of InforMax. The company announced in October, after a weaker than expected third quarter, that Titomirov would step aside as soon as a successor was found.

Titomirov also resigned from the company's board.

Whiteley, a member of InforMax's board, previously was vice president of bio-informatics for Amersham Biosciences Corp.

Schultz is leaving post at Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International, Inc., the Silver Spring company that franchises more than 5,000 hotels worldwide, said yesterday that its executive vice president for domestic hotels, Steven T. Schultz, will leave at the end of May.

Choice officials also said Joseph M. Squeri will lead the franchise sales effort, and will become senior vice president for development and chief financial officer.

The company franchises hotels in 43 countries. Its brands include Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn and Econo Lodge.

YMCA of Central Maryland picks Weber Shandwick

The Baltimore office of Weber Shandwick Worldwide has been chosen to provide brand and marketing consultation services to the YMCA of Central Maryland.

Weber Shandwick will be responsible for developing and implementing a program to support membership development, a capital fund-raising campaign and the YMCA's 150th anniversary in 2003.

Billings were not disclosed.

Elsewhere

Some Lehman clients to get refunds in theft of funds

Lehman Brothers Inc. has offered refunds to some clients of a broker charged with stealing at least $40 million from them.

Lehman said yesterday that it is examining the accounts of several dozen people, some of whom have multiple accounts, and will credit their accounts for missing money "where we can see it's appropriate."

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