Thursday, June 5, 2003

Tristate summary

From staff and wire reports

Cincinnati Bell chief will resign

Cincinnati Bell Inc. Wednesday said Daniel J. Meyer, 67, was stepping down as chairman, effective June 15, to be succeeded by board member Phillip R. Cox.

Meyer, who became chairman in September, will remain on the board of directors.

Meyer, who helped lead the company's decision to sell its money-losing broadband business, renegotiate its credit agreements and concentrate on its core local telephone business, said he would devote more time to other business interests.

"I am very proud of what we have accomplished through these turbulent times, and look forward to building on the foundation we have put in place,'' he said in a statement.

Cox, 55, who is president and CEO of Cox Financial Corp., has served on the board since 1993.

Kroger gives SEC discount details

Kroger Co., the largest U.S. grocery-store chain, said it provided the Securities and Exchange Commission with information on how the company accounts for promotional discounts from suppliers.

The review covered Cincinnati-based Kroger's results for 2001 and the second and third quarters of fiscal 2002. No changes to company filings were required, and the review is likely part of the agency's regular activities, the company said.

So-called vendor allowances have received increased scrutiny from regulators since Royal Ahold NV, the world's third-largest retailer, said in February that it used the discounts to overstate profit for several years.

Convergys expects to lose customer

Shares of Cincinnati's Convergys Corp. slipped almost 8 percent Wednesday after the supplier of call center and data processing services said it expects Sprint PCS, one of its largest customers, to move to its own billing system.

Convergys shares closed down $1.34 to $16.14 in heavier-than-average volume.

The company said late Tuesday that it has signed an agreement with Sprint to support the move to an internal billing setup. The current Sprint contract runs through 2004. Sprint has until March 31, 2004, to exercise an option to extend the agreement.

Last year, Sprint PCS generated about $150 million in revenues for Convergys' billing business, which had total revenues of $889 million.

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Erpenbeck buyers off the hook
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