MORGAN SHARES RISE ON REPORT: J.P. Morgan shares climbed nearly 10 percent following a New York Times report that Chase Manhattan Corp. is in talks to buy the company. Chase and J.P. Morgan declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times said a deal could come as early as today. The Journal said the purchase price would be at least $30-billion. The deal, if successful, would be the latest instance of consolidation in the financial services industry. Last month, Credit Suisse Group agreed to pay $11.5-billion in cash and stock for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Earlier this summer, Swiss banking giant UBS AG agreed to pay $11-billion for the Paine Webber Group. J.P. Morgan shares rose $16.13 to $185.44; Chase fell $4.88 to $52.50.
SECURITIES FIRMS PARTNER ONLINE: Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co. and five other securities firms agreed to create a Web site to provide institutional investors with one place to go for research and other financial information. Other firms included in the venture include Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Salomon Smith Barney Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown and UBS Warburg LLC. The Web site, named TheMarkets.com, will begin operating during the fourth quarter.
PEPSICO EXECUTIVE TO RETIRE: Karl von der Heyden, who helped oversee PepsiCo Inc.'s spinoff of the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC chains and its acquisition of Tropicana juices, will retire as vice chairman Jan. 31. Von der Heyden, 64, came out of retirement in 1996 to rejoin PepsiCo. There are no immediate plans to replace him, a spokesman said.
SUNBEAM TARGET OF LAWSUIT: Sunbeam Corp. has been accused in a lawsuit of violating a non-compete agreement it signed when it sold its outdoor furniture line for $120-million in 1997. SunLite Casual Furniture Inc. of Nashville, Tenn., alleges that the introduction of an outdoor furniture line by Coleman Co., a unit of Sunbeam, would violate the five-year non-compete clause. SunLite filed the suit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. A spokesman for Boca Raton-based Sunbeam said the company feels the allegations are without merit.
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