Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

December 17, 2005|By THIS COLUMN WAS COMPILED FROM DISPATCHES BY SUN REPORTERS AND BLOOMBERG NEWS.

Nation: Economy

Current-account deficit narrows

The U.S. current-account deficit unexpectedly narrowed in the third quarter as insurance payments and donations from abroad poured in after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The current account, the broadest measure of trade because it includes transfer payments and income from investments, had a deficit of $195.8 billion last quarter, compared with $197.8 billion in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said yesterday. It was the second straight quarter in which the deficit narrowed after reaching a record $198.7 billion in the first quarter. The deficit is still likely to increase because demand for imported goods is rising, economists said.

Maryland: Acquisitions

Lockheed to buy Aspen Systems

Lockheed Martin Corp. the Bethesda-based aerospace giant, announced yesterday that it had concluded a deal to buy Aspen Systems Corp. Aspen Systems is an employee-owned information management company in Rockville with 2004 revenue of $165 million. More than 90 percent of that came from the federal government, mostly from civilian agencies. The 47-year-old Aspen Systems has 1,700 employees. Lockheed has 135,000 employees and booked 2004 sales of $35.5 billion. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is subject to antitrust review, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2006.

Investing

Omega offering unsecured notes

Omega Healthcare Investors Inc., a Timonium real estate investment trust, announced yesterday that it would offer $175 million in unsecured notes due in 2016 in a private placement. Omega said it planned to use the money raised to repay debt and to pay for its tender offer for $100 million worth of notes due in 2007. Omega owns or leases nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and it contracts with operators to run them.

M. William Salganik

Marketing

Greenberg company changing its name

Owings Mills development company Greenberg Commercial Corp. said yesterday that it is changing its name to Greenberg Gibbons Commercial Corp. to acknowledge the increased influence of the company's chief executive. Since becoming president and chief executive officer in May 1999, Brian J. Gibbons helped create a joint venture between Greenberg and PREI, the real estate investment arm of Prudential Financial Inc. The deal gave the company the financing for retail projects including the Village at Waugh Chapel, Hunt Valley Town Centre and Annapolis Town Centre at Parole.

Andrea Walker

This column was compiled from dispatches by Sun reporters and Bloomberg News.

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