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BUSINESS TODAY

Equity pays $4.7 billion for Spieker Properties

CHICAGO (AP) -- Equity Office Properties Trust, which owns more office buildings than any other publicly held U.S. company, is acquiring the top West Coast office building-owner -- Spieker Properties -- for about $4.7 billion in cash and stock plus debt.

The deal, expected to close in the second quarter of 2001, was announced today after gaining approval from the boards of Chicago-based Equity Office and Menlo Park, Calif.-based Spieker Properties.

The deal also includes the assumption of $2.1 billion in debt and $431 million in preferred stock, boosting the total value to $7.2 billion.

Once it becomes final, it will add an additional 25 million square feet of office space to the 99 million that Equity Office already holds in 24 states and the company will own and operate 616 office buildings nationwide.

GM anticipates a good quarter

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Corp. said Thursday it expects to meet earnings forecasts in the first-quarter and remains confident in its year-end target despite reduced expectations from Wall Street.

To achieve these goals, GM said it will maintain pressure on Japanese partner Isuzu Motors to turn around its flagging performance in Asia.

The world's largest automaker said it anticipates earnings of 25 cents a share in the first quarter and $4.25 a share for all of 2001. Industry analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial have lowered their forecasts for GM and expect GM to earn just 24 cents a share for the quarter and $3.06 for 2001.

GM is aiming for earnings of at least $2 billion in North America, and a "substantial improvement" in its European operations, where the company lost $882 million in the fourth-quarter, compared to profits of $30 million during the same period in 1999.

Motorola warns of loss

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (Bloomberg) -- Motorola Inc. the No. 2 maker of cellular phones, said it doesn't expect to achieve first quarter sales and earnings goals.

The company said it doesn't expect to meet its $8.8 billion first-quarter sales estimate and sees a loss in the quarter if inventory corrections in technology markets continue, the company said in a statement.

Motorola operates a plant in Elma.

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