Finance/Companies news briefs, July 31

TotalFinaElf � Elf Aquitaine � Flowserve � Ingersoll-Dresser Pumps � Ingersoll-Rand � Weir Group � Flying J � Central California Kenworth

TotalFinaElf SA said it is launching an exchange offer for the 4.4% of outstanding shares of El Aquitaine that it does not already own. The offer is being made to all holders of Elf Aquitaine American depositary shares and US shareholders of Elf Aquitaine shares. Elf Aquitaine security holders participating in the exchange offer will receive four shares of TotalFinaElf for each three shares of Elf Aquitaine and four American depositary shares of TotalFinaElf for each three American depositary shares of Elf Aquitaine tendered in the offer. The exchange ratio represents a premium of 11.0% and 11.9% over the closing price of the Elf Aquitaine shares and American depositary shares, respectively, on the Paris and New York Stock Exchanges on May 23, 2000.

A consent degree filed in US District Court on Friday resolved the Department of Justice's antitrust concerns and cleared the way for Flowserve Corp.'s $775 million cash acquisition of Ingersoll-Dresser Pumps from Ingersoll-Rand Corp. (OGJ, Feb. 21, 2000, p. 33). Terms of that agreement include a post-closing divestiture that will affect less than 3% of the combined 1999 revenue of Flowserve and Ingersoll-Dresser Pumps, officials said. Flowserve expects to close that acquisition in August after necessary financing is arranged, officials said. In other action Friday, Flowserve officials denied that they are considering making an offer for Weir Group PLC in Scotland.

Utah-based Flying J Inc., one of the biggest truck stop operators with more than 115 outlets, won a $7.7 million judgment against Central California Kenworth Inc. in federal court in Fresno, Calif., for infringement of the architectural floor plans of its stores. Officials of Flying J, the largest US retailer of diesel fuel, claimed its copyrighted floor plan allows its facilities to operate around the clock 365 days a year with fewer employees, at a savings of "tens of millions of dollars." Jurors agreed that Fresno-based Central California Kenworth owns a truck stop in Madera, Calif., that is based on Flying J's floor plan.

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