Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 17, 2002

In the Region

Whiting Turner wins African-American museum contract

The state Board of Public Works approved yesterday a $21.3 million construction contract for the Reginald F. Lewis Maryland Museum of African American History and Culture, paving the way for the project to break ground by December.

Whiting Turner Contracting Co. was the sole bidder for the 82,000-square-foot museum, according to Gov. Parris N. Glendening's office.

The museum, scheduled to open in 2004 will be named after Reginald F. Lewis, the late Baltimore native and philanthropist whose family has donated $5 million to the project. Lewis was running TLC Beatrice International Holdings, the nation's largest black-owned business at the time of his death in 1993. Lewis bought Beatrice in 1987 for $1.6 billion.

The $33 million, five-story museum at East Pratt and President streets will be the second-largest African-American museum in the country, behind Detroit's.

M&T Bank Corp. to raise dividend 5 cents

M&T Bank Corp., the Buffalo, N.Y., banking company that announced plans last month to acquire Allfirst Financial Inc., said yesterday that it will boost its quarterly dividend 30 percent.

M&T's directors agreed to increase the dividend to 30 cents a share from 25 cents. The dividend will be payable Dec. 31 to shareholders of record Dec. 2.

M&T Bank agreed to buy Baltimore's Allfirst for $3.1 billion in a cash and stock. The deal, expected to be completed early next year, would make M&T the country's 18th-largest banking company. Allfirst's parent, Allied Irish Banks PLC, would have a 22.5 percent stake in M&T.

Chicken Out Rotisserie gets $21 million in financing

Chicken Out Rotisserie, a "fast-casual" restaurant chain in Gaithersburg, has received $21.25 million in combined financing from several venture capital firms, including Grotech Capital Group of Timonium.

The 11-year-old chain will use the money to expand in the mid-Atlantic region and the Southeast, Grotech said yesterday.

Chicken Out operates 30 restaurants in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, and plans to open an unspecified number in those markets and others. The company also plans to expand its franchise and catering divisions.

Grotech led the financing with $15 million and will hold a roughly 25 percent stake in the company, a Grotech official said yesterday. The rest of the financing came from Mercantile Capital Partners, Reicon Capital and William Blair & Co.

Elsewhere

EC regulators OK Northrop purchase of two TRW units

The European Union's regulators gave antitrust clearance yesterday to U.S. defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp.'s $7.8 billion purchase of two units of TRW Inc.

The European Commission, the union's administrative arm, said the deal between the two U.S. companies would have "a marginal impact in the European market."

The EU said the two companies would face stiff competition from a number of European rivals. Northrop Grumman is buying TRW's space and electronics unit and its systems subsidiary.

Procter & Gamble to cut 180 jobs at its oldest plant

Procter & Gamble Co. said yesterday that it will eliminate 180 jobs at Ivorydale, the oldest manufacturing plant in its system, by contracting out some manufacturing operations at the St. Bernard, Ohio, plant and moving another.

The changes are to take place during the first half of next year, reducing P&G's manufacturing employment at the suburban Cincinnati complex from 525 to about 345 workers.

The jobs cuts were announced at a meeting with workers yesterday at Ivorydale. The plant makes Ivory soap and has operated continuously since 1886.

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

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