Bid for Kemper grows hostileGE Capital Corp.'s...

Bid for Kemper grows hostile

GE Capital Corp.'s bid for Kemper Corp. appears to be growing increasingly hostile, with GE taking its battle directly to shareholders.


GE Capital, the financial services arm of General Electric Co., asked Kemper for a list of shareholders Sunday, signaling what could be a bitter fight for control of Kemper.

The move to go straight to Kemper shareholders appeared designed to put pressure on Kemper's board of directors, which unanimously rejected GE's $55-per-share offer last week.


TCI plans restructuring

Tele-Communications Inc., the nation's largest cable television concern, is planning a sweeping corporate restructuring that may lead to turning its four main operating divisions into separate, publicly traded companies.

TCI, based in Englewood, Colo., plans to become a holding company for four subsidiaries: a cable and communications concern, a programming company, an international cable and programming business and a venture capital arm.

Minority stakes in each of the four companies would be sold to the public, according to analysts aware of TCI's plans. The idea is to get investors to put a higher value on TCI's businesses separately than they are commanding together.

Firm's stock rises as assets sold

Shares of Columbia Real Estate Investments Inc. rose 75 cents, to $9.50, yesterday after the company said it has sold most of its assets, and estimated that its stockholders will get about $10 a share in a special dividend.

Early this month, shareholders of the Columbia-based company, which invests in mortgage derivative products, voted to sell off Columbia Real Estate's assets to maximize their return.

Allstate ups quake loss estimate


Allstate Corp. said yesterday it has increased its California earthquake loss estimate to $600 million from $350 million, and expects to report a first-quarter loss of 15 cents a share as a result.

The estimate was revised after follow-up inspections on thousands of the 38,000 earthquake-related claims filed with the Northbrook, Ill.-based insurer. The magnitude 6.7 quake struck near Los Angeles on Jan. 17.

Manufacturing activity stable

Manufacturing activity was largely unchanged and inflation remained subdued in February in the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's five-state area, which includes Maryland, the Fed reported yesterday.

While manufacturers reported that finished goods prices rose 0.5 percent and raw materials prices rose 1.5 percent on an annual basis, they said they expected the pace of inflation to accelerate over the next six months.