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October 22, 1998

* Ascend Communications Inc. and senior managers of Stratus Computer Inc., which Ascend acquired this week, hired Salomon Smith Barney Inc. to find buyers for three Stratus units. Ascend, a maker of computer-networking equipment, hopes to find a buyer for Stratus' computer division that will issue stock options so employees of the unit can own a stake in the new company.

* Alaska Communications Systems Inc., a closely held company run by investment fund Fox Paine & Co. and Alaska telecommunications industry veteran Charles Robinson, agreed to buy Anchorage Telephone Utility for $295 million in cash. In April, the city of Anchorage voted to sell its local carrier and hired investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. to find a buyer for the company's operations, which needed renovations that taxpayers didn't want to support. Foster City-based Fox Paine is a $500-million investment fund run by Saul Fox and Dexter Paine, former associates of buyout billionaire Jerome Kohlberg.

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