Business digest 05/10/05

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Deal between energy firms worth $9 billion

CINCINNATI -- Duke Energy Corp. has agreed to buy rival power company Cinergy Corp. in a stock deal worth $9 billion that will create one of the nation's largest power generators. The deal, announced Monday after being unanimously approved by both companies' boards, would create an energy company with 5.4 million retail customers, more than $70 billion in assets and about $1.9 billion in annual profit on $27 billion in annual revenue. The combined company will own or operate 54,000 megawatts of electric generation with operations in two-thirds of the United States, Canada and internationally.

McDonald's sees moderate rise in sales

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- McDonald's Corp. on Monday posted a moderate rise in sales at its namesake fast-food restaurants last month, lifted by improved domestic business while European demand lagged. Same-store sales at worldwide McDonald's locations open at least a year grew 2.8 percent in April, but slowed from an increase of 10.5 percent in the prior-year period. Total systemwide sales were 6.7 percent higher, the company said. Monthly same-store sales jumped 4.7 percent at U.S. sites and 1.6 percent in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. A year ago, U.S. sales rose 13.5 percent.

MCI to cover WorldCom's back taxes in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. -- MCI Inc. will pay $100 million in cash to cover back taxes that its predecessor WorldCom Inc. owed Mississippi, state Attorney General Jim Hood announced Monday. WorldCom collapsed in 2002 amid revelations of an $11 billion accounting fraud to inflate earnings and hide expenses. WorldCom, which got its start in Mississippi, was once headquartered in Jackson and later moved to nearby Clinton. WorldCom emerged from bankruptcy protection as MCI, which is based in Ashburn, Va., and recently accepted an $8.54 billion buyout offer from Verizon Communications Inc.

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