Supervalu to Buy Richfood; EU Probes Exxon-Mobil Merger

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Supervalu

(SVU)

, the nation's largest food distributor, agreed to buy

Richfood Holdings

(RFH)

in a deal valued at $1.5 billion, including the assumption of $642 million in debt.

The

European Union's

antitrust authority, citing concerns about reduced competition, said it launched an in-depth probe into the proposed merger between

Exxon

(XON) - Get Report

and

Mobil

(MOB)

. The latter has two joint ventures in Europe.

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from

First Call

; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Department 56

(DFS) - Get Report

warned that problems using a new order collection and processing systems probably would cause the company to miss its goal of 1999 earnings growth in the mid-teens. The four-analyst view called for full-year 1999 earnings of $2.78 a share vs. the year-ago $2.45.

Norrell

(NRL)

reported second-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, 2 cents above the nine-analyst forecast but below the year-ago 35 cents.

Wallace Computer Services

(WCS)

posted third-quarter earnings of 49 cents a share, in line with the three-analyst outlook and higher than the year-ago 41 cents. The company also said it sees fourth-quarter earnings of 43 cents to 48 cents. Analysts are calling for 46 cents vs. the year-ago 43 cents.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

BOC Group

(BOX) - Get Report

said its

BOC Edwards

business unit agreed to buy

FSI's

(FSII)

Chemical Management

division for about $38 million.

Scios

(SCIO)

said it dissolved its 1998 alliance with

Bayer

regarding its

Natrecor

product.

Offerings and stock actions

USEC

(USU)

said it will repurchase up to 10 million shares over the next 24 months. The company also said it suspended further development of its Avlis technology, and that the move will result in a 1999 charge of 25 cents a share. USEC said its full-year 2000 operating earnings should be similar to 1999's $1.20 a share.

Miscellany

Telecom analyst Frank Governali has left

Credit Suisse First Boston

for

Goldman Sachs

. The Portland, Maine-based Governali, an

Institutional Investor

All-Star analyst since 1989, brings two other analysts with him.

MedPartners

(MDM)

said it reached an agreement to end litigation with California over the company's California physician management assets, including operations of its

MedPartners Provider Network

.