Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Tristate summary

Hillenbrand adds medical supplier

Staff/wire reports

In a move to expand its health-care business, Hillenbrand Industries Inc. said Monday that it agreed to acquire Advanced Respiratory Inc., a privately held maker of non-invasive airway clearing products.

Batesville, Ind.-based Hillenbrand said it agreed to pay $83 million, subject to adjustments, with additional payments of not more than $20 million based on the company achieving undisclosed revenue targets.

St. Paul, Minn.-based Advanced developed The Vest, used by cystic fibrosis patients at home. Last year, the company had revenues of $45 million, up 17 percent from the year before.

Suit against Ford is back in court

A federal appeals court Monday reinstated a wrongful firing lawsuit by a former Ford Motor Co. labor relations official who accused the automaker of showing improper favoritism to union officials.

Stephen B. Himmel, former labor relations supervisor at Ford's Sharonville transmission plant, said he was fired in October 1997 in retaliation for his complaints that Ford's agreement with a union violated federal labor law.

Himmel had contended the company improperly agreed with the United Auto Workers that 10 percent of the company's nationwide hires would be union referrals. Ford management denies Himmel's claims, company spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes said.

Chiquita updates reporting method

Cincinnati's Chiquita Brands International Inc. Monday said it has begun updating data on banana prices and volume after the second month of each quarter.

Information for the third quarter to date and the first two quarters of 2003 is now available on the "Investors" section of Chiquita's Web site at www.chiquita.com .

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