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Rosemarie Greco: Corestates Loses A Key Asset


In Business This Week: HEADLINER

ROSEMARIE GRECO: CORESTATES LOSES A KEY ASSET

Rosemarie Greco traveled a long way from the convent she left in 1968 to the No.2 spot at CoreStates Financial. But on Aug. 4, the president of the Philadelphia bank startled Wall Street by announcing she was resigning for "personal reasons."

Greco, also a former teacher, had been named president of $47 billion CoreStates, the 21st-largest bank, just over a year ago by CEO Terrence Larsen. She began in banking as a secretary at Fidelity Bank in 1968, moving up the ranks to join CoreStates in 1991.

As president of CoreStates' holding company, Greco was one of the highest-ranking women in banking. She helped Larsen manage a flurry of successful acquisitions, but CoreStates has been criticized for the less-than-stellar performance of its latest, Meridian Bancorp.

Greco declined comment. But analysts say her departure leaves a void in CoreStates management and increases the odds it will be sold or merge. Bank execs were already in the midst of a strategic review of CoreStates' direction when Greco's departure was announced.By Amy Barrett EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top

HILTON PLAYS LIKE A HIGH ROLLER

STEPHEN BOLLENBACH WANTS more casinos--badly. In a surprise move, the Hilton Hotels chief executive has upped his hostile offer for ITT to a heady $70 a share--or $8.3 billion. Earlier this year, ITT rebuffed Bollenbach's $6.5 billion offer for the company and embarked on a series of defensive moves, including a $2 billion debt and stock buyback program. Most recently, ITT announced plans to split in three, and many analysts thought that would finally put an end to Hilton's bid. But now Bollenbach is making clear he's still gunning for ITT's prized Caesar's World casinos so he can add them to Hilton's own casino holdings. Is $70 a share too high? Not for Bollenbach, who has wasted little time energizing the once sleepily run Hilton chain since taking charge 18 months ago.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top

MGM: WE'RE OFF TO SEE THE BANKER

LIGHTS, CAMERA, OFFERING: Hoping to capitalize on the hot stock market and the buzz surrounding its expected December release of Tomorrow Never Dies, a James Bond thriller, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer said on Aug. 5 that it would launch an initial public offering for 12% of the company "as soon as possible." The studio, one of the only pure plays in movie production, hopes that it can raise about $250 million. A group led by financier Kirk Kerkorian that bought MGM last year for $1.3 billion from French bank Credit Lyonnais.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top

PAGING NETWORK FACES SOME STATIC

NOW HEAR THIS: TROUBLED by poor acceptance of its new voice pagers, Paging Network's chairman and chief executive both resigned Aug. 5. They were replaced by board member and former Sprint President John Frazee. In July, Paging Network officials said they would soon halt expansion of Voice Now, a $10-a-month pager service that sends and plays voice messages on a handheld pager. Costs of that service helped push second-quarter losses to $50.4 million, up from $18.5 million a year earlier.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLANDReturn to top


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