Those of you glued to the baseball playoffs all weekend may have missed the news of a utility bid, a wireless startup and a few Asian Internet ventures. Take your pick, but we think we had a more exciting time.
Of course, as this goes to press, we have no idea how the
actually fared, so please excuse us while we catch up on the weekend's sporting news. Here's what happened back in the business world.
Utility holding company
is raising the stakes in its attempted hostile takeover of
Columbia Energy Group
. On Sunday, NiSource offered an all-cash bid of $6.1 billion, a 7% increase over its earlier offer, rejected by Columbia. If shareholders approve the deal, Indiana-based NiSource would become the largest distributor of natural gas east of the Rocky Mountains.
Instant messaging, one of the Internet's hottest features, could soon be coming to a cell phone or pager near you.
, a startup based in Santa Clara, Calif., has received more than $8 million in funding to bring the technology to wireless devices,
reports. Investors include
and software entrepreneur
will shut down assembly lines at its four main auto plants Monday, Japanese news media reported. The move is part of an internal overhaul.
in Japan is signing onto an Internet investment firm.
reported Sunday that the bank plans to buy a 10% stake in
Wit Capital Japan
, a joint venture between U.S. online investment firm
Wit Capital Group
announced Sunday it had joined with Seattle's
Madrona Investment Group
to explore Internet investments in Asia.
In the Papers
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts'
next target could be in the ATM industry. The
in London reports the New York-based leveraged buyout group is on the verge of buying
retail and banking systems division. The deal would be worth 460 million pounds, or $767 million.
Massive conglomerates that offer many different product lines might seem outdated, but
reports that beleaguered
could be poised for a stock-price rebound. Analysts call the Connecticut-based company undervalued, citing its popular products that include Titleist golf balls, Moen faucets and Jim Beam bourbon.
Harman International Industries
is taking the focus off the price of its products -- hi-fi audio and video equipment -- to concentrate on improving its stock price. After three years of stagnant earnings, the company is streamlining its product lines and changing its distribution tactics.
performance last week for a moment. In an interview with
, Tom Galvin, chief investment officer at brokerage
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
, predicts the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
will reach 13,000 by the end of 2000. He believes excess global capacity, the euro and the deflationary impact of the Internet will keep inflation in check. Galvin sees growth potential in technology, financial and advertising stocks.
Another promoter of the euro is Nick Scheele, who heads
European operations. He told the
newspaper in London that the U.K. should adopt the currency.
David Rheingold is a New York-based freelance writer. At the time of publication he had no positions in any of the securities mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.
As originally published this story contained an error. Please see
Corrections and Clarifications.