Baltimore-bound Big Flower Press sets stock offeringBig...

Baltimore-bound Big Flower Press sets stock offering

Big Flower Press Holdings Inc. -- owner of Treasure Chest Advertising, which is moving its headquarters to Baltimore -- has registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public with an initial public offering of 8,275,000 shares of stock at an expected price range of $17 to $19 a share.


Goldman Sachs & Co. and BT Securities Corp. will represent the underwriters for the domestic share offering, which will include 6,620,000 shares of the company's common stock. Goldman Sachs International and Bankers Trust International PLC will represent the underwriters in the international offering, which will include 1,655,000 shares.

Some 5.5 million shares are being sold by Big Flower Press Holdings Inc., and 2,775,000 shares are being sold by existing shareholders, not including Chairman R. Theodore Ammon or other senior management.


Big Flower prints and markets advertising circulars, newspaper TV guides and color Sunday comic sections. Its customers include The Baltimore Sun Co.

Lockheed to supply Romania with radar

Lockheed Martin Corp. is to supply five long-range, air traffic control radar units to the Romanian government under the terms of an agreement announced yesterday by the Bethesda-based defense and aerospace company.

The five FPS-117 radar units, valued at $82 million, are designed primarily to monitor the country's civilian air traffic. But Lockheed Martin also will provide NATO-compatible technology for military use. It's the company's first contract with Romania.

The radars will be built at Lockheed Martin's Ocean, Radar & Sensor Systems plant in Syracuse, N.Y.

Westinghouse sells all of its Micros stake

Westinghouse Electric Corp. said yesterday that it sold its remaining 49 percent stake in Micros Systems Inc., a Beltsville maker of point-of-sale computer systems, for about $130 million.

Westinghouse sold 3.85 million shares for $34 a share in an offering underwritten by J. P. Morgan. Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse sold 1 million Micros shares in July to reduce its stake from 4.85 million shares, or 62 percent.


Westinghouse acquired its stake in Micros, whose computer systems are used in restaurants and hotels, in 1986. Proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce debt, company officials said.

Fredric Reynolds, chief financial officer of Westinghouse, said in a statement that the company "realized a significant return" on its investment in Micros. He didn't elaborate.

Court dismisses Bell suit against competitor MFS

A federal judge in Wilmington, Del., dismissed a Bell Atlantic Corp. suit aimed at quieting antitrust charges by competitor MFS Communications Co.

The suit claimed that for 18 months MFS had improperly accused Bell Atlantic antitrust violations. Some of the accusations were made in filings with the Federal Communications Commission, according to Bell Atlantic, which asked the court to declare that MFS has no basis for charges of anti-competitive conduct and that Bell Atlantic hasn't violated any antitrust laws.

The Philadelphia-based regional telephone company claimed it was important to establish immediately that it had done nothing wrong because MFS' comments and actions appeared to be a prelude for an antitrust suit. The court rejected that argument.


Penril will take a charge to close down division

Penril DataComm Networks Inc. of Gaithersburg said it plans to take a charge of $1.5 million to $2 million for the fiscal fourth quarter ended July 31 to discontinue its Technipower division.

The maker of data communications equipment said it expects operational losses, excluding Technipower, of about $2 million for the quarter. The Gaithersburg-based company said gross margins fell in the quarter due to inventory reductions in preparation for new products.

The company also said it expects to raise $7.5 million through a private placement of common stock, is looking for buyers of its non-data communications businesses and wants to raise enough money to reduce debt.

EAI projects loss, $5.5 million charge from Hartford dispute

Education Alternatives Inc. said it will take a $5.5 million fourth-quarter charge, about 75 cents a share, because of a payment dispute with the Hartford, Conn., school system.


The school-management company -- which manages nine Baltimore schools and provide noninstructional services in three others -- also said it expects to report a loss from operations for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Education Alternatives made the announcement after its shares closed up 75 cents, at $15.25.

Analysts expected the company to earn about 1 cent a share in fiscal 1995, according to the average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research. It earned 33 cents in fiscal 1994 and 18 cents in fiscal 1993.

House panel works on bill to convert S&Ls; to banks

The House Banking Committee moved yesterday toward completing a sweeping bill that would convert the nation's 1,500 remaining federal S&Ls; into national banks.

The proposal is in a plan to rescue the Savings Association Insurance Fund, which has been depleted by the failure of hundreds of thrifts in the 1980s despite the infusion of more than $100 billion from taxpayers. The shaky fund potentially would need another taxpayer bailout if hit by more S&L; failures.

The banking committee's plan to eliminate S&Ls; by 1998 is in a sweeping budget bill that would trim $5.6 billion in federal spending next year. The committee is under orders from the House to recommend $2.4 billion in budget cuts over the next seven years.


The bill also would terminate affordable-housing programs run by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Resolution Trust Corp., and scale back the Community Reinvestment Act, a major fair-lending law.

Loehmann's fashion chain sets IPO to refinance debt

Loehmann's Inc., a Bronx, N.Y., discount fashion chain, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 3.85 million common shares through an initial public offering.

The company expects to raise $46 million after expenses through the IPO, according to an S-1 registration statement filed yesterday. Loehmann's estimated the shares would be sold for $14 each. Current investors paid an average of $7.45 a share for their stock.

Loehmann's plans to use the proceeds from the stock sale, along with $100 million raised through the sale of senior notes, to refinance its existing debt and redeem its preferred stock. When the sale is completed, the public will own 58.8 percent of the company's 6.54 million shares outstanding.

12 Calif. cities, agencies sue Merrill Lynch on losses


A dozen California cities and public agencies have filed suit against brokerage giant Merrill Lynch & Co. to recover money they lost in the bankrupt Orange County investment pool.

Merrill Lynch dismissed the lawsuit as "absurd," saying it did no wrong and would defend itself.

The complaint, filed in state Superior Court in San Francisco, accuses the securities giant of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and deceit, knowing receipt of stolen property and violating the California Unfair Business Practices Act. The 12 plaintiffs seek more than $50 million in damages.

Boeing, McDonnell Douglas seek Vietnamese orders

Boeing Co. and McDonnell Douglas Corp. made their first public pitches yesterday for commercial airline orders in the fast-growing Vietnamese market, which could rival Asia's biggest.

Vietnam Airlines has said it plans to more than double its fleet by the turn of the century to between 30 and 40 aircraft to meet demand generated by growing business, tourism and foreign investment. The airline has been leasing planes from other carriers.


Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, and European competitor Airbus Industrie, showed models at Vietnam's first air show.