Duty Free to buy rival InflightDuty Free...


Duty Free to buy rival Inflight

Duty Free International Inc., which operates a distribution center in Glen Burnie, yesterday announced a definitive agreement to buy Inflight Sales Group Ltd. for $70 million in cash and notes.

The Ridgefield, Conn.-based company, which operates 170 duty-free shops, said the acquisition of the New York company that supplies duty-free merchandise to airlines eventually may result in more workers at the 175-employee center on Baymeadow Drive, said Gerald F. Egan, Duty Free's chief financial officer.

Cable break disrupts MCI service

A mudslide severed a fiber-optic cable yesterday morning, disrupting long-distance phone service for thousands of MCI Communications Corp. customers up and down the East Coast.

The severing of the fiber-optic cable initially shut down service for customers making calls from Washington, most of Maryland and Richmond, Va., or into these areas from other parts of the country, said MCI spokesman Dave Thompson. The disruption also affected some East Coast customers calling up and down the coast.

The break occurred in a swampy area near Fredericksburg, Va. Crews were expected to complete the laying of a new cable yesterday afternoon, Mr. Thompson said.

Legg Mason buys N.Y. firm

Legg Mason Inc. has acquired Gray, Seifert & Co., a New York-based, privately owned investment counseling firm for wealthy individuals and family groups, endowments and foundations. The firm has approximately $700 million under management in equity and balanced accounts. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Edward Taber, executive vice president of Legg Mason, said Gray, Seifert will be operated as an independent subsidiary of the Baltimore-based company, best known for its stockbrokerage business. He said the addition would also benefit Legg Mason's trust company, which opened last year to manage individual and institutional funds.

New Spectrum chairman quitting

Citing unrelenting media pressure, the new chairman of troubled Spectrum Information Technologies Inc. said yesterday that he was quitting after just 10 days on the job.

Edward W. Maskaly, who replaced technology star John Sculley as chairman of the Long Island-based wireless data company, said he would resign as soon as a replacement could be found. Mr. Maskaly, who came to the job as a Spectrum board member and associate of embattled company President Peter Caserta, said a new chairman with no former links to the company is needed.

Pepsi to begin dating drinks

Pepsi-Cola Co., the soft-drink unit of PepsiCo Inc., unveiled a plan yesterday to provide freshness dating information on all of its Pepsi products in the United States.

The labeling plan is intended to distinguish Pepsi products from those of competitors, such as No. 1 soft-drink maker Coca-Cola Co.

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