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Tyco Purchase Of Valve Maker Clears Antitrust Hurdle

From Wire Reports

Tyco International Ltd. got U.S. antitrust approval for its $1.3 billion acquisition of industrial valve maker Keystone International Inc. by agreeing to sell Keystone’s waterworks butterfly valve business.

The agreement with the U.S. Justice Department clears the way for Tyco, a maker of industrial and medical products, to complete its purchase of the smaller Houston-based company.

The new company will sell the valve business to a unit of United Dominion Industries Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. The Justice Department charged that, without the sale, Tyco would have the ability to thwart competition in the market for butterfly valves.

Tyco shares were unchanged today, closing at 76-11/16. Keystone shares were unchanged at 37-1/16. The Justice Department announced its approval of the combination after the market closed this afternoon.

Houston-based Keystone, which had net income of $41.9 million on revenue of $677.9 million in 1996, sells its products to the food, beverage, water and sewage, petroleum production and refining industries, among others.

Tyco, which makes valves, fire safety equipment and disposable medical products, had net income of $310.1 million on revenue of $5.1 billion in fiscal 1996, which ended June 30.

Exeter, N.H.-based Tyco has aggressively pursued a series of acquisitions in the past year in an effort to boost sales and profit.

Some stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Friday:

NYSE

Clear Channel Communications, up 2-3/16 at 62

Standard & Poor’s announced plans to add the Texas broadcasting company to the S&P 500 Index after the close of trading Friday. Clear Channel will replace Tandem Computers, which is being acquired by Compaq Computer.

British Telecommunications, up 1-13/16 at 68-3/16

MCI Communications (Nasdaq), down 5/8 at 29-15/16

The companies agreed to a 20 percent lower purchase price in British Telecom’s merger with MCI. The companies confirmed Thursday that they were reviewing the original $22 billion deal in the aftermath of MCI’s announcement in July that its U.S. telephone unit would lose $800 million this year.

General Motors, up 1-1/2 at 64-13/16

Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities raised its rating on GM to “buy” from “market performer,” the Dow Jones News Service reported, citing a contact at the investment firm.

NASDAQ

Intel, down 2i-3/16 at 96-3/16

Texas Instruments (NYSE), down 6-1/4 at 118-3/4

Merrill Lynch lowered its intermediate-term rating on the two semiconductor giants to “neutral.” Separately, a new technology analyst at Morgan Stanley initiated coverage of Intel with an “outperform” rating.

Peerless Group, down 1-1/8 at 5-1/8 The designer of check and statement processing systems warned that its third-quarter earnings will not meet analyst projections. Peerless, based in Richardson, Texas, blamed poor sales results.

SystemSoft, down 3-1/8 at 9-1/16 Oppenheimer & Co. downgraded the stock from “buy” to “market perform,” the Dow Jones News Service reported.

Smart Modular Technologies, up 9-5/16 at 59 The maker of computer memory products reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings. Smart Modular, based in Fremont, Calif., reported its results after Thursday’s close.

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