Originally created 06/19/02

Business briefs



Southern Co. buys New Power clients

ATLANTA - The Southern Co. has agreed to acquire the Georgia customers of gas marketer New Power Co., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week.

The deal allows Atlanta-based Southern Co. to purchase New Power's customer contract and billing system for $28 million, or about $131 for each New Power customer. Southern Co. also will pay approximately $32 million for the company's gas inventory and accounts receivable.

Southern Co. would operate the gas business under a new entity called Southern Company Gas LLC. The deal must be approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission.

Purchase, N.Y.-based New Power provides natural gas in Georgia to approximately 210,000 residential and small commercial customers, about 15 percent of the market.

Tyco battles against lawsuits

CONCORD, N.H. - On the defensive for months over its accounting practices and criminal charges involving its former chief executive, Tyco International Ltd. is fighting back.

The embattled conglomerate sued two former top company officials Monday, claiming they received compensation totaling $55 million that should have been disclosed to and approved by the board. Tyco stock rose almost 4 percent on the news in early trading Tuesday.

Tyco accused former legal counsel Mark Belnick, who was fired last week, of failing to disclose $35 million in compensation and loans. The company said Mr. Belnick also concealed the criminal investigation that led to Dennis Kozlowski's June 3 resignation as chief executive.

Company will sell tools subsidiary

CINCINNATI - Milacron Inc. is selling a metal-cutting-tool subsidiary for $175 million as part of its restructuring plan, the company said Tuesday. The company also said it doesn't expect to break even until the fourth quarter.

Milacron management said Valenite, a subsidiary that operates primarily in the United States, is being sold to Sweden's Sandvik, a manufacturer of metal-cutting tools.

Valenite includes about 1,300 employees at plants in West Branch, Mich., and the Detroit area; Gainesville, Texas; Westminster and Seneca, S.C., and a small operation in Japan. Milacron said it is trying to concentrate on its plastics processing technology and its industrial fluids operation.

Radio Flyer recalls wooden push cars

WASHINGTON - Radio Flyer Inc. is recalling about 15,000 wooden push cars for repair because the horn can come off the steering wheel, exposing a small part that poses a choking hazard to children.

The Chicago company has received three reports of the horns being pulled off, but no injuries have been reported, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday.

For more information, consumers can call Radio Flyer toll-free at (800) 621-7613 Between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday.