local EMS sells Montreal division

NORCROSS - Wireless communications company EMS Technologies said it has sold its Space and Technology/Montreal division.

The buyer is MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates of Vancouver, British Columbia, which purchased the division for an undisclosed amount, EMS announced on Tuesday. EMS, based in Norcross, is one of Gwinnett's largest employers with nearly 1,000 area workers. Its Space and Technology/Montreal division employs about 350. EMS Technologies CEO Alfred Hansen said his company is also trying to sell its SatNet division.

"While discussions continue, at this stage of negotiation, it is difficult to predict the timing, final terms or certainty of the SatNet sale transaction," Hansen said in a press release. EMS shares fell about 25 cents in trading Tuesday to close at $16.76

national

Judge approves Delta request to sell planes

NEW YORK - A U.S. bankruptcy court judge on Tuesday approved Delta

Air Lines Inc.'s request to sell some of its airplanes.

Judge Prudence Carter Beatty said she would allow Delta to sell an undisclosed number of aircraft including Boeing 737, Embraer 120 and Boeing 767 models. It was not evident whether Delta already has a buyer for the aircraft or how much it might get for them. No details were disclosed on the office lease.

Vioxx trial gets under way

HOUSTON - A lawyer representing the widow of a man who claims that Merck & Co.'s Vioxx caused her husband's death argued on Tuesday that taking the pain reliever for one month was enough to cause the 53-year old man's heart attack.

But Merck countered in opening statements at the first federal Vioxx trial that its extensive studies of the painkiller before introducing it in 1999 showed no evidence it caused heart attacks with short-term use, and that heart disease, not Vioxx, led to Richard ''Dicky'' Irvin's death.

state Merck to close Albany plant

ALBANY - Merck & Co. has announced plans to close its Albany plant in about a year, a move which could claim 350 jobs in southwest Georgia.

The announcement is part of the pharmaceutical giant's plan to cut 7,000 jobs and close five manufacturing plants.

The plant's employees were told Monday that if the building is not sold before October, the plant would be closed by December 2006.

- From staff and wire reports