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GE Capital Corp. upped the ante in a bailout offer to creditors of Finova Group Inc. to $7.25 billion from the $7 billion previously offered, The Wall Street Journal reported. The latest bid signals GE Capital's increasing effort to gain control of the commercial loan provider, which is under bankruptcy protection. GE Capital also reportedly was challenging in court Finova's backing of a rival reorganization plan from New York-based Berkadia LLC, a financial-services holding company. Berkadia proposed combining a $6 billion loan with cash already on hand to pay $7.35 billion to holders of bank and public debt, the report said. GE Capital argues, among other points, that Finova proceeded without "any auction process."

In layoff news:

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* Ingram Micro, the world's No. 1 distributor of computer products, announced plans to cut up to 1,000 US jobs and close a distribution hub in Newark, Calif., and two facilities in Rancho Cucamonga and Santa Ana.

* ON Semiconductor Corp. said it will lay off about 1,000 employees and cut the salaries of others by 10 percent. The Phoenix-based company, spun off from Motorola two years ago, said reductions were necessary because of a continuing slump in chip sales. Cuts will include senior executives as well as factory workers and will be spread evenly over all company operations.

* Reuters, the international news-service rival of The Associated Press, will cut another 500 jobs from its payroll, the Financial Times reported. Last week, the London-based media giant reportedly "earmarked" 50 senior managers for layoffs.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor


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