Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, November 22, 1999

Worker shortage seen continuing

MILWAUKEE -- Companies across the nation will have to make the most with the employees they have, as a worker shortage is expected to continue into next year, according to a survey of 16,000 U.S. businesses.

Milwaukee-based Manpower Inc. reported today that 24 percent of businesses said they would hire more workers in the first quarter 2000, while 10 percent planned to decrease employment and 61 percent did not intend to change their labor force. Five percent of businesses said they were uncertain of their hiring plans between January and March.

The study comes as the nation's unemployment rate stands at 4.1 percent, the lowest rate in three decades.

Flextronics to buy Colorado company

SAN JOSE -- Singapore's Flextronics International Ltd. said today it agreed to acquire Dii Group Inc. for $2.4 billion in stock, in a deal that unites two providers of contract electronics manufacturing.

Based on Flextronics' closing price Friday of $81.25 a share, the transaction values each Dii Group share at $65.41, a 26 percent premium over Dii's Friday closing price of $51.81 on the Nasdaq stock market.

Dii Group, based in Niwot, Colo., reported revenue of $893 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30. Flextronics had revenue of $1.48 billion in the six months ended Sept. 24.

Bacardi scraps plan to issue stock

NEW YORK -- Bacardi Ltd., maker of Bacardi rums and Bombay gin, has scrapped its plans to sell $1 billion worth of stock to the public. The Bermuda-based beverage company said yesterday it does not have the "desired consensus of our shareholders" to proceed with a stock offering. Bacardi is controlled by about 540 descendants of its founder, Don Facundo Bacardi. Bacardi's chief executive officer, Chip Reid, had planned to tap the stock market to help finance more acquisitions. Last year, Bacardi bought Dewar's whiskey and Bombay gin brands from Britain's Diageo Plc for $1.8 billion.

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