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BUSINESS TODAY

SKYWAY SOFTWARE GETS CAPITAL: Daniel Aegerter, who sold Tradex Technologies Inc. of Tampa to Ariba Inc. in Dec. 1999 for an estimated $5.5-billion, is funneling some of his money back to area business. Aegerter is now chairman of Armada Ventures, an Atlanta venture capital fund that put seed money in late 2001 into a Tampa software firm founded by several ex-Tradex executives. Now Armada has taken the lead on another $2.6-million investment in the same company, Skyway Software, formerly known as Turtle Software. Skyway is developing software that will allow businesses to integrate processes; it is expected to be ready for the market by year end. Other investors include Imlay Investments, Guide Capital and members of Skyway's management.

WAL-MART, DOLLAR DEAL: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. agreed to book rental cars for Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. through the Walmart.com Web site, as the world's largest retailer expands travel services. Walmart.com will offer reservations for the rental company's Thrifty brand at rates of $29.95 a day for compact cars and $39.95 for midsize vehicles, excluding taxes. Thrifty will pay Wal-Mart an undisclosed commission for each booking, said Chris Payne, a spokesman for the rental-car company. Wal-Mart already offers hotel discounts and cruises through partnerships with such companies as Carnival Corp. Dollar Thrifty, which also owns Dollar Rent a Car, has sought to expand its leisure bookings because a slump in business travel after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks reduced demand for rental cars.

HALLIBURTON TAKES CHARGE: Halliburton Co. said Monday it would take a "substantial" charge against second-quarter earnings to cover the cost of future asbestos-related claims. The industrial conglomerate said it also would take losses to cover the cost of layoffs, declining value of assets and exiting some lines of its business. Halliburton shares dropped sharply in Monday afternoon trading, closing at $9.97, down 1.58, or 14 percent. Halliburton declined to put a specific figure on the asbestos-related charge until it reports second-quarter financial results on Wednesday. The company faces nearly 300,000 claims.

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