Originally created 03/10/99

Additional business news



DaimlerChrysler still considering bid for Nissan

GENEVA -- The U.S. co-chairman of DaimlerChrysler says the German-American automaker will likely decide before month's end whether to take a stake in debt-hobbled Nissan Motor Co. of Japan.

Robert J. Eaton denied reports that DaimlerChrysler is in a bidding war for Nissan with France's Renault SA.

In an interview Tuesday at the Geneva International Motor Show, Eaton also said he wouldn't be surprised if there are more defections of top American executives from DaimlerChrysler.

Eaton declined to reveal details of DaimlerChrysler's negotiations with Nissan. But he said statements last month that no decision would be made before mid-May were no longer valid.

French bank makes bid to become world's largest

PARIS -- France's Banque Nationale de Paris has made a bold bid to create the world's largest bank, offering to buy Paribas SA and Societe General SA.

The surprise offer comes just weeks after Societe General moved to buy Paribas for $17.07 billion to create Europe's second-largest bank.

The takeover bid, announced late Tuesday night by regulators for the Paris stock exchange, comes amid widespread consolidation among banks across Europe.

If successful, the merger would create the largest bank in world with nearly $1 trillion in assets. That would surpass the $800 billion in assets from the bank that would be created by the pending merger of Deutsche Bank AG and Bankers Trust Corp.

Merck says rival makes better cholesterol-reducing drug

NEW YORK -- Merck, the world's largest drug company, has unveiled a new study that shows rival Warner-Lambert makes a slightly better cholesterol-reducing drug.

In a study involving 842 patients in 19 counties, Warner-Lambert's Lipitor cholesterol drug reduced LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels by 45 percent to 51 percent compared to Merck's Zocor, which cut levels 43 percent to 49 percent. The study's chief investigator called the differences small, yet statistically significant.

The findings were disclosed this week at the American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans.

Jurgensen named editor at USA Today

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Karen Jurgensen, a 17-year veteran of USA Today and editor of the editorial page, was named the newspaper's editor Tuesday, succeeding David Mazzarella, who is retiring.

"Karen Jurgensen has played many important roles in helping develop USA Today's content since its founding in 1982 and offers the editing breadth and leadership skills necessary for the next era of the newspaper's growth," said president and publisher Tom Curley.

Jurgensen, 50, joined the newspaper at its founding in 1982. She has held several editorial positions, including senior editor for special projects, managing editor for cover stories and editor of the Life section. She began her journalism career at the Charlotte (N.C.) News and worked later for the Miami News.