In the Region Cytyc again extends deadline on offer to...

BUSINESS DIGEST

May 10, 2002

In the Region

Cytyc again extends deadline on offer to buy Digene

Digene Corp. said yesterday that Cytyc Corp. once again has extended the expiration date of its cash-and-stock offer for all of Digene's outstanding shares.

The offer, previously scheduled to expire at midnight yesterday, now is set to expire at midnight May 23.

The two companies have said the extensions are necessary because the Federal Trade Commission has not finished its review of the proposed acquisition. Terms of the deal allow Cytyc to extend its offer one or more times, but only for periods of up to 10 business days each. Gaithersburg-based Digene and Boxborough, Mass.-based Cytyc both make test kits for cervical cancer.

Novavax loses 22 cents a share, up from 10 cents in 1Q of 2001

Novavax Inc. said yesterday that its first-quarter net loss more than doubled as selling and marketing expenses rose in anticipation of the launch of its Estrasorb estrogen-replacement lotion.

Novavax reported a quarterly loss of $5.3 million, or 22 cents a share, on revenue of $6.1 million. That compares with a loss of $2.2 million, or 10 cents a share, on revenue of nearly $5 million in the 2001 first quarter.

The Columbia company said last month that it would withdraw its application to market the lotion after the Food and Drug Administration notified the company it wouldn't approve the drug without more information. The company has said it plans to answer the FDA's concerns and submit a new application.

Health insurer MAMSI expects profit to grow 28%

Mid Atlantic Medical Services Inc., the Rockville health insurer, told analysts yesterday that it expects earnings-per-share growth this year of 28 percent to 30 percent.

MAMSI said it is projecting premium increases of 13 percent to 13.5 percent, running slightly ahead of medical cost increases of 12.5 percent to 13 percent.

Also, MAMSI said its board had authorized an additional $21.5 million to continue its share repurchase program, bringing the total available to $30 million.

Elsewhere

Sale to clear way for Diageo to finish Seagram deal

Diageo PLC said yesterday that U.S. regulators have approved its plan to sell its Malibu coconut-flavored rum brand to rival Allied Domecq PLC, clearing the way for Diageo to swallow the bulk of Seagram Co.'s drinks business.

Diageo, the world's biggest liquor company, is selling Malibu for 560 million British pounds ($818 million). Approval from the Federal Trade Commission was the last obstacle Diageo faced in the deal, which it expects to complete by May 22.

Kaufmann-Filene merger to displace 1,200 workers

May Department Stores Co.'s merger of the Kaufmann's and Filene's chains in August will result in about 1,200 "displaced" workers.

May is devising plans to place the workers elsewhere within the company, Kaufmann's said without elaborating. May also owns the Lord & Taylor and Hecht's chains.

Louisiana-Pacific to shed businesses, 4,400 jobs

Louisiana-Pacific Corp., a maker of lumber, pulp and building products, said yesterday that it will sell several businesses and shed nearly half of its work force as part of a restructuring effort.

The company, with headquarters in Portland, Ore., said it would trim 4,400 jobs - cutting its work force from 9,700 to 5,300. The moves would leave the company with 30 North America mills instead of 60.

It is also selling 935,000 acres of timberland in three states - Idaho, Louisiana and Texas - and its plywood, industrial panels and lumber businesses.

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

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