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Monday, January 01, 2007

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The proposed $2.3 billion deal for Russian Evraz Group S.A. to acquire Oregon Steel Mills made for riveting headlines: It was the biggest yet international acquisition by a Russian company, it capped a dramatic corporate turnaround by the 80-year-old Portland-based steel business, and it raised questions about the future for Oregon Steel’s 1,900 nationwide employees. But the acquisition, if it passes federal regulatory muster, is another in a string of similar deals for a quickly consolidating global steel industry. Evraz officials were attracted to Oregon Steel Mills for the company’s strength in making rails and pipes.

When five big companies announced in December that they would back a project to give employees their own, portable electronic health care records, it made headlines for the potential future benefit for health care costs. The Omnimedix Institute in Portland is the nonprofit group that is developing Dossia, the web-based framework for health records with the help of Applied Materials, BP America, Intel Corp, Pitney Bowes and Wal-Mart. Omnimedix will start to deploy Dossia later this year.

Under a two-year, $28 million contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Defense agency, Portland-based AVI BioPharma will develop treatments for Ebola, Marburg and Junin hemorrhagic viruses, which are considered potential bioterrorism agents.

 

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