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LIN Television Corp. -- which owns WIVB-TV, Channel 4, in Buffalo -- today said it received a takeover offer from an undisclosed company that is worth more than LIN's previous $1.7 billion agreement with buyout firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc.

LIN, which owns or operates 12 television stations, would not disclose the value of the latest bid. The company said it will begin talks with the new suitor, but said there is no guarantee it will accept the offer.

Deb Jacobsen, LIN's vice president and treasurer, would not disclose what type of company made the offer, citing a confidentiality agreement. She said she expects the review to move quickly.

Dallas-based Hicks agreed in August to purchase LIN, which was formed in 1994 as a spinoff of LIN Broadcasting Corp. AT&T Corp. owns about 45 percent of LIN Television, which is based in Providence, R.I.

Phone competition faces delay
DETROIT (Knight-Ridder) -- Long-distance companies say a federal appeals court ruling will delay competition in the local phone market and give consumers less choice in picking a telephone provider.

But regional Bell telephone companies say the move rights a wrong-headed decision by the Federal Communications Commission and puts them closer to becoming long-distance carriers.

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled that, while regional Bell companies must resell their services to competitors, they don't have to repackage them at discounted rates.

ITT to cut 1,900 jobs
NEW YORK (AP) -- ITT Industries said today it is eliminating about 1,900 jobs, mostly in its automotive supplies business, and that it is selling businesses at home and abroad to improve its financial performance.

The costs of the cut of 3 percent of its global work force of 60,000 was a major factor in the company's loss reported today of $91.1 million in the third quarter compared with a profit a year earlier. Excluding such one-time expenses, profit rose 25 percent from a year ago.

NCR to eliminate 1,000 jobs
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- NCR Corp. said Wednesday it will eliminate about 1,000 jobs as it gives its business units responsibility for sales as well as production to make them clearly responsible for their own profits and losses.

The 1,000 jobs, many of which are staff support positions, amount to about 2.5 percent of NCR's 38,500 employees. The job losses will be spread among NCR's operations in 130 countries.

Federal Mogul buying T&N
DETROIT (AP) -- Automobile parts maker Federal Mogul Corp. is buying British car-parts group T&N PLC for $2.4 billion in a deal creating one of the world's largest engines-systems producers.

Federal Mogul and T&N combined for more than $5 billion in sales in 1996 of items including engine and transmission products, sealing devices, brakes and other auto parts. Federal Mogul said the deal would give it added international business while making it more efficient.

Microsoft may invest $1 billion in TCI
NEW YORK (AP) -- Microsoft Corp. may invest as much as $1 billion in one of the country's largest cable-operating companies.

Microsoft executives are negotiating a possible deal with Tele-Communications Inc., people familiar with the negotiations told the newspapers.

In other business news
Syroco Inc., a leading casual furniture manufacturer, will use $600,000 in state assistance and $1 million of its own money to expand its plant in Baldwinsville, N.Y., outside Syracuse. The expansion will enable the plant to keep about 150 existing jobs and add another 150 new ones, the company said. Syroco had considered expanding at one of its plants in Arkansas, Michigan or Virginia.

General Motors Corp. said Wednesday it expects to begin production of its new GMC Envoy sport utility vehicle in January, with luxury compact models reaching dealer showrooms as early as February.

Zurich Insurance Co., Switzerland's biggest insurance company, today said it has agreed in principle to merge with the financial services division of the British tobacco giant B.A.T. Industries.

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