Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

December 29, 2004

In the Region

Corporate Office Properties buys 6 buildings in Va.

Corporate Office Properties Trust of Columbia said yesterday that it has bought six buildings for $26.3 million at a business park next to the Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center in King George County, Va.

The move further increases the real estate investment trust's concentration in offices used by government and defense contractors.

The buildings, totaling about 205,000 square feet, are within the Dahlgren Technology Center and are fully leased.

Elsewhere

Adelphia offers $300 million to settle two U.S. probes

Adelphia Communications Corp. said yesterday that it has offered $300 million to settle investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department.

The company is in settlement talks with both agencies to quash civil penalties over alleged securities violations by members of the founding Rigas family, according to Adelphia's 2003 annual report, which was released Thursday.

Adelphia said the SEC has filed claims in the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case that could total billions of dollars. The annual report said the SEC's action isn't covered by bankruptcy protection against creditors.

Jobs' $74 million stock deal is tops in pay in Bay area

Steven P. Jobs, co-founder and chief executive of Apple Computer Inc., was the highest-paid executive in the San Francisco Bay area last year, according to a new study.

Jobs received a salary of $1 but he traded in almost all of his stock options for $74.8 million in restricted stock, according to an analysis of 400 publicly traded companies in the Bay Area by Equilar, which tracks executive compensation.

Other Bay area CEOs in the top five were John T. Chambers of Cisco Systems Inc., $47.7 million; Meg Whitman of eBay Inc., $42.6 million; Stephen M. Bennett of Intuit Inc., $29.9 million; and Craig Conway, formerly of PeopleSoft Inc., $26.9 million.

Scandal-marred Janus to offer two new funds

Janus Capital Group plans to offer two new mutual funds next month as it tries to lure back investors who have pulled billions out of a company hit by scandal and lackluster performance.

The company said it plans to open Janus Explorer and Research funds, pending regulatory approval. They would be the first new investment products offered by Janus since it opened the Global Opportunities fund in mid-2001.

Model train maker granted 30-day extension on loans

Lionel LLC, maker of model trains since 1900, can continue to use loans from PNC Financial Services Group and General Electric Co. through Jan. 31 while it seeks new financing, a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled yesterday in New York.

The $36 million in loans from PNC Bank and General Electric's Business Capital unit were set to expire Dec. 31, but Judge Burton R. Lifland extended the company's access to the loans by one month. The lenders agreed to the extension.

SEC fines lawyer $25,000 over germ-killing flashlight

A lawyer who regulators say helped deceive investors of Spectrum Brands Corp., which claimed it had an anthrax-killing flashlight, has agreed to a $25,000 fine as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The commission said Robert J. Cassandro neither admitted nor denied its allegations in the settlement but agreed to a permanent bar from practicing before it.

Spectrum Brands, which claimed its $139.95 DeGerm-inator flashlight could kill anthrax spores amid heightened concerns about bioterrorism in 2001, was secretly controlled by a group of stock promoters and convicted felons in Hicksville, N.Y., the SEC said. Cassandro helped file an 8-K form that misrepresented the company's sole officer and director, and contained a phony address.

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

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