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May 03, 2003

* Wal-Mart Stores Inc. agreed to sell its McLane food distribution business to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for about $1.45 billion.

* AOL Time Warner Inc. has entered into exclusive talks to sell the Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers sports teams to Texas auto dealer David McDavid, a spokesman said.

* EBay Inc. hired former White House computer-security advisor Howard Schmidt to help combat fraud as law enforcement officials boost efforts to halt online scams.

* Sharper Image Corp. said Chief Executive Richard Thalheimer received a $1.04-million bonus last year after sales and profit rose.

* L.L. Bean is considering the purchase of all or part of rival outfitter Eddie Bauer, whose corporate parent Spiegel Inc. is going through bankruptcy reorganization.

* Cigna Corp. reported first-quarter net income of $236 million, or $1.68 a share, compared with $218 million, or $1.52, a year earlier. Excluding one-time gains from the sale of operations, net income dropped to $205 million, or $1.46 a share, from $275 million, or $1.92, a year earlier. Results were 4 cents better than analyst estimates.

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