Originally created 07/10/02

Business briefs



House approves contract limits

WASHINGTON - A House committee voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to bar federal contracts for many companies that move offshore to avoid U.S. taxes in the latest political fallout over corporate misbehavior.

By a bipartisan 41-17 margin, the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee approved the provision by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. She cited $2 billion in government contracts held by Stanley Works, Price-WaterhouseCoopers, Accenture and other companies that have incorporated abroad, a legal move that can dramatically reduce federal tax liability.

Opponents, who were all Republicans, said federal regulations and taxes were the reasons why some companies have fled U.S. shores.

Honda to expand plant in Alabama

LINCOLN, Ala. - Honda Motor Co.'s decision to add 2,000 workers and a new assembly line at its Alabama plant, where it will double production of its light-truck line, underscores the state's bid to be a major player in the automotive industry.

The Japanese company's expansion announcement Tuesday came three months after South Korea-based Hyundai picked a site near Montgomery for a $1 billion plant employing 2,000. Those firms joined Germany's Mercedes-Benz and Japan's Toyota among major automakers opening plants in Alabama.

Drug company loses top officials

DUBLIN, Ireland - The top two executives of Elan Corp., the Irish pharmaceutical company, quit Tuesday after several months of bad news left its stock battered and its long-term survival in question.

The Athlone, Ireland-based business confirmed that Chairman and Chief Executive Donal Geaney and his deputy, Tom Lynch, a director and vice president, had both resigned.

The company announced that Elan's new chairman was Garo Armen, the chairman and chief executive at Antigenics Inc., a New York-based firm that specializes in cancer treatments.

Store chain plans job cuts over tax

TRENTON, N.J. - The corporate parent of Macy's and Bloomingdale's said it will cut jobs and possibly close stores, blaming a new tax that more than doubles what it pays to the state.

Federated Department Stores Inc. also will curtail hiring and end plans to remodel or expand existing stores, the company's chairman, James M. Zimmerman, said Tuesday. Federated closed its Augusta Macy's store earlier this year.

The retail chain claims it paid $4.4 million in state corporate taxes last year. Now, thanks to a new law, Federated says it will pay $10 million.