In the Region

BWI gets $10 million toward cost of new screening system

The federal Transportation Security Administration has allocated $10 million to offset the cost of a new in-line baggage screening system at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, according to the Governor's Office of Homeland Security.

The explosives-detection system will be installed in the terminal being built for Southwest Airlines, the airport's largest carrier. The terminal is to open this spring.

The high-tech system, which will cost $15 million, is expected to make screening more accurate and efficient. Airport officials will continue to seek money for the unfunded $5 million.

Hawke to head SEC district that includes Md., D.C.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said yesterday that Daniel Hawke will take over the enforcement program for the nation's top securities regulator in five states including Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Hawke, 41, has been with the SEC's Washington office for six years and worked on the fraud case against accounting firm Arthur Andersen for its auditing of trash hauler Waste Management Inc. Andersen paid $7 million to settle commission charges.

Hawke will succeed Merri Jo Gillette at the SEC's Philadelphia office, the agency said. Gillette was named regional director of the SEC's Midwest office last year.


Gain in market share wins IBM chief raise of 24%, to $18 million

International Business Machines Corp., the world's biggest computer company, gave Chief Executive Officer Samuel J. Palmisano a 24 percent pay increase to $18 million last year because he gained market share in key businesses.

Palmisano received a salary of $1.66 million, a bonus of $5.18 million, long-term pay of $1.68 million and other income of $316,000, IBM said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing yesterday. He received 250,000 options that Bloomberg News valued at $9.14 million.

IBM gained or held on to market share in key businesses last year and had "strong growth" in new markets such as Russia, China and India, the compensation committee said in the filing. IBM increased its market share last year in computer services, which generates half of the company's sales, and servers, the machines that run Web sites, market researcher Gartner Inc. said.

Coke 'strongly' advises rejection of TRC share bid

Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. said yesterday that it has received notice of an unsolicited tender offer from TRC Capital Corp. to buy up to 5 million of the company's common shares.

TRC has offered $20.45 per share, 4.2 percent below the Feb. 28 closing price of $21.35, Coca-Cola Enterprises said, adding that it "strongly recommends against" tendering shares in response to the offer.

GM says Mich. shutdown to cut 1Q profit $79 million

General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, said yesterday that its first-quarter profit will be reduced about $79 million by the shutdown of a Lansing, Mich., plant whose vehicles are being discontinued.

Production of the Pontiac Grand Am and Chevrolet Classic cars will end and the factory's 3,000 workers will be laid off in the second quarter, the company said in a regulatory filing. GM also said it expects monthly costs of about $13 million for pay and benefits of laid-off workers and a future shutdown expense of as much as $16 million.

GM said in November that it would shut down plants in Baltimore and in Linden, N.J.

Chicago exchange's outage disrupts electronic trading

The Chicago Board of Trade had an on-again, off-again session yesterday.

The exchange's electronic trading system shut down at 9:20 a.m. yesterday for nearly two hours because of sporadic outages. Then, after working for 20 minutes, it shut down again at 11:30 a.m. for another hour before trading was able to resume in the afternoon, board spokeswoman Melissa Jarmel said.

Board of Trade officials said only electronic financial contracts were affected. Open outcry trading, in which traders shout out their buy or sell offers on the floor, continued as usual.

Buffett on the lookout for large acquisitions

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he's on the prowl this year for new companies after lamenting last year's failure to make multibillion-dollar acquisitions to boost earnings.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is hunting acquisitions priced between $5 billion and $20 billion, CEO Buffett said in Berkshire's 40th annual report, released Saturday.

Buffett expressed dismay that he failed to buy more companies last year, but Berkshire Hathaway posted a gain in net worth of $8.3 billion in 2004, which increased the per-share book value, assets minus liabilities, by 10.5 percent.

Berkshire Hathaway shares rose $800 to close at $90,100 yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bank of America names presidents of 2 units

Bank of America Corp., the third-biggest U.S. bank, named Jane Farley Magpiong president of the company's private bank and Timothy Maloney as president and chief executive officer of the brokerage business yesterday.

Both executives will be based in Boston, the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said. Maloney replaces Michael Santo, who is leaving the company "to pursue other interests," the bank said.

Maytag to increase outsourced production

Maytag Corp. will continue cutting manufacturing costs by outsourcing more of its production to foreign companies, the appliance manufacturer's chief executive said yesterday.

About 12 percent of Maytag's products are made overseas, CEO Ralph Hake said in a presentation at the 26th annual Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference in Orlando, Fla.

"We have sourced very little historically as a company and we will continue to source more," Hake said. "The percentage will go up."

Ex-Tyco treasurer testifies on Swartz improprieties

A former treasurer at Tyco International Ltd. testified yesterday that Mark H. Swartz altered the company's New York relocation program without authorization from its compensation committee, including making changes that allowed certain employees to buy a second home.

Barbara S. Miller, the Bermuda conglomerate's treasurer from 1993 to 1998, said Swartz, the company's ex-chief financial officer, also added language so that the company would pay for the private schooling of the children of a small group of executives, including Swartz, who would spend part of their time in New York.

As a result, Swartz received about $15,000 a year per child for his three children over a one- to two-year period, Miller said.

Prosecutors say Swartz and L. Dennis Kozlowski, Tyco's former chief executive, improperly used internal loan programs for their own benefit. They are on trial in New York on fraud and other charges.

Circuit City directors reject Highfields takeover offer

Circuit City Stores Inc.'s board rejected a $3.25 billion takeover offer by Highfields Capital Management LP yesterday.

"Among factors the board considered were the company's existing strengths, business opportunities and financial prospects," Chief Executive Officer Alan McCollough said.

The board of Richmond, Va.-based Circuit City, the No. 2 U.S. electronics chain, put its support behind the company's strategy to boost profit by cutting costs and relocating and remodeling stores. Highfields is Circuit City's third-largest shareholder with a 6.8 percent stake.

This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.

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