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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Week in Review

The Spokesman-Review

MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR DEFENSE contractor General Dynamics Corp. announced Wednesday it is buying Spokane-based Itronix Corp.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

General Dynamics, based in Falls Church, Va., said the acquisition will strengthen its ability to provide solutions to its military customers.

Itronix, which was bought in 2003 by Golden Gate Capital of San Francisco, makes durable handheld and laptop computers. The company recently announced plans to consolidate its 450 area workers in a building under construction at Mirabeau Point in the City of Spokane Valley. That building will be ready in December.


Spokane’s airport served 9 percent more passengers last year than it did in 2004, mirroring national trends. The most common destinations from Spokane continue to be Seattle, Portland and Boise, but its fastest-growing air markets are Phoenix, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

Oil prices jumped $1 a barrel to a new high after the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd. Saudi Arabia, however, said its oil policy won’t change with power formally shifting to Fahd’s 81-year-old brother.


CNOOC Ltd., China’s third-largest oil company, withdrew its bid to buy Unocal Corp., citing political unwillingness in the U.S. for the deal to go through. CNOOC had tendered an $18.4 billion all-cash bid for Unocal. The retreat cleared the way for Chevron Corp. to acquire Unocal, even though its cash-and-stock offer was worth some $700 million less than CNOOC’s.

The Big Three automakers said they would extend programs that let customers buy vehicles at employee prices after seeing sales leap in July. General Motors Corp. reversed an earlier decision to end its program, matching moves by Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG.

“ A study said banks could be allowing millions of U.S. consumers to become victims of ATM and debit-card fraud by not scanning security codes in the cards’ magnetic strips. Such fraud costs consumers several billion dollars each year.


ISR, a Liberty Lake company that produces spray-cooling systems used by the U.S. military, has launched a new division focused on selling products to large commercial customers. ISR CEO Jeff Severs said the new division should grow from a handful of employees now to 30 by early 2006. The privately held company, founded in 1988, develops and manufactures cooling products using its patented SprayCool technology.

“ By combining Adidas’ popularity in Europe among soccer and athletics fans with Reebok’s appeal to U.S. fans of basketball and football, the architects of the $3.8 billion sportswear and athletic gear deal hope to create a more muscular rival to world leader Nike. Adidas-Salomon AG said Wednesday it has agreed to buy Reebok International Ltd. for $59 a share that combines two major brands with links to both athletics and lifestyle. That was a healthy 34 percent premium over Reebok’s closing price Tuesday.


The region’s area landscapers and concrete providers have been hard hit by the international cement shortage that hit the nation this spring. The Portland Cement Association reported that demand for cement in the United States increased nearly 7 percent in 2004; the association’s June report said demand increased another 7 percent in the first quarter of 2005. Strong residential and commercial construction and increases in the prices of lumber and steel are behind the record demand, the report said.

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