Robins Says IUD Fund
Hurt Merger PlansRICHMOND, Va. - A.H. Robins Co. told a federal judge Monday its decision to set $2.475 billion in compensation for Dalkon Shield victims helped kill a pending buyout of the pharmaceutical company.
But a lawyer for Rorer Group Inc., which planned to acquire Robins, told U.S. District Judge Robert R. Merhige Jr. the judge's ruling did not automatically destroy Robins' pact with Rorer.
Judge Merhige and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Blackwell N. Shelley listened to arguments on whether Robins should pay a $25 million break-up fee to Rorer plus $9 million in expenses associated with the failed merger.
The Rorer-Robins pact, negotiated last November, included the $25 million fee to Rorer if the deal fell through. Its key provision called for paying $1.75 billion to women who suffered injuries from using the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device, which Robins sold in the early 1970s.
Pa. Lawmakers Vote
To Abolish CAT Fund
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Legislature voted to abolish the state- operated Catastrophic Loss Trust Fund, which pays medical expenses in excess of $100,000 up to $1 million for auto accident victims.
The House of Representatives passed the bill by a 190-5 vote after nearly five hours of debate.
The Senate version of the bill repeals the trust fund, often called the CAT fund, without making alternate provisions for catastrophic auto insurance.
The House bill would establish a pool to be operated by the industry and to offer the same benefits as the fund provides. The extended coverage would be optional for motorists who must now buy the trust fund coverage to be licensed in the state.
Insurance industry lobbyists said they will seek Senate rejection of the House program, under which the state Insurance Department would set the premium rate for the extended coverage.
Consumer Groups Hit
Audi 'Safe Car' Ads
WASHINGTON - Audi of America deceived the public when it advertised the Audi 5000 as among the safest cars in the U.S., three consumers groups alleged Tuesday in petitions asking 50 states to put the brakes on the ads.
The groups said that at least one out of every 145 Audi 5000s sold in the United States had experienced an incident of unintended acceleration, a figure hotly disputed by the automaker.
Audi has irresponsibly misled consumers about the safety of its Audi 5000 model in advertisements published in March and April. We ask that you put an end to this deceptive advertising by Audi, the Washington-based Center for Auto Safety, Audi Victims Network of Plainview, N.Y., and the New York Public Interest Research Group said in petitions to the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia consumer protection office.
Belgian Insurer Posts
Increase in Profit
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Groupe AG, Belgium's largest insurance company, announced Monday that its consolidated profit totaled 2.35 billion Belgian francs (US$67.1 million) in 1987, up 34 percent from 1.75 billion francs (US$50 million) in 1986.
Aegon Reports Increase
In 1987 Net Income
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Aegon Insurance Group reported net income of $167 million, or 337.5 million Danish kroner, for 1987, up from net income of 327.1 million kroner for 1986.
Earnings a share were $4.62, or 9.35 kroner for 1987, compared with 9.12 kroner a share for 1986.
In a prepared release, officials for the Dutch insurer said net income was affected by higher policy acquisition costs and the U.S. dollar's decline in value. If the dollar had not declined so significantly, the insurer's net income would have increased by 10 percent, rather than 3 percent.
The company used the 1987 average exchange rate of 2.022 kroner for its income statement and the Dec. 31 closing rate of 1.7775 kroner for balance sheet items.
Revenue in 1987 totaled $4.5 million, or 9.5 million kroner, compared with 7.96 million kroner in 1986.