Copyright 2000 The Houston Chronicle Publishing Company
The Houston Chronicle
December 14, 2000, Thursday 3 STAR EDITION
SECTION: BUSINESS; Pg. 2
LENGTH: 610 words
Nation & World
Bloomberg News, Reuters, Associated Press
P&G buys maker of power toothbrush
CINCINNATI - The
Procter & Gamble Co. has agreed to buy Cleveland-based Dr. Johns Products,
which makes a battery-powered toothbrush priced to compete with manual brushes.
Terms of the deal, announced Wednesday, were not disclosed.
maker of Crest toothpaste and toothbrushes, expects the acquisition will more
than double its annual toothbrush sales, currently at $ 75 million. The deal is
expected to close within 30 days. The battery-powered brushes sell for $ 5 to $
6, the company said.
FTC to meet
today over AOL merger
WASHINGTON - After nearly a year of
review, the Federal Trade Commission has set a meeting for today to decide
whether to approve the proposed merger of America Online and Time Warner, taking
a vote that officials said Wednesday remained too difficult to call.
There were signs throughout the agency that a number of the five
commissioners had not made up their minds. The commissioners have been meeting
with representatives of the companies' rivals and consumer groups, who have
reported that several commissioners were wrestling with the decision.
Agency Chairman Robert Pitofsky was said to have asked lawyers
representing those groups what the Internet marketplace might look like if the
FTC approved the deal and how the market would look if it rejected it.
General Mills reports growth in
CHICAGO - Cereal giant General Mills said Wednesday its
fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 5 percent, in line with forecasts, as
noncereal products posted strong volume gains and the company got a boost from a
The maker of Cheerios and Wheaties said it earned $
202.7 million, or 70 cents a share, in the quarter ended Nov. 26, compared with
$ 193.7 million, or 62 cents a share, a year earlier. Second-quarter results
included after-tax income of $ 4.8 million, or 2 cents per share, associated
with General Mills' award from a class-action lawsuit related to price-fixing by
in financial pickle
CHERRY HILL, N.J. - Vlasic Foods
International may seek bankruptcy protection if the sale of businesses or other
measures don't generate enough funds to repay debt, the company said in a
The maker of Vlasic Pickles and Swanson frozen foods
is in discussions with potential buyers for the sale of all or parts of the
company, the company said. It is unlikely that Vlasic will make the January
interest payment on some senior credit agreements, it said in a filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission.
Chrysler may build Hyundais in U.S.
Chrysler, the struggling U.S. unit of DaimlerChrysler AG , is looking at using
unused capacity at its North American plants to build vehicles made by South
Korean affiliate Hyundai Motor Co., sources close to the situation said
Chrysler executives are racing to bolster operations at a
unit that lost $ 512 million in the third quarter and may lose that much in the
fourth. Germany's DaimlerChrysler bought a 10 percent stake in Hyundai in June
for $ 428 million.
Contraceptives must be covered
WASHINGTON - It's against federal law for employers to exclude
contraceptives from their health insurance
plans when they cover other preventive treatments, the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission said Wednesday.
The decision directly affects
only two women who complained to the commission, but it has implications for
millions of others whose health insurance plans exclude birth
control pills, diaphragms and other forms of prescription
NOTES: Bloomberg News, Reuters, the Associated Press
and Chronicle staff contribute to this report.
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