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Washington Group International, one of the US's largest builders, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under a proposal already endorsed by the 97 banks to which it owes $560 million. Trading in the Boise, Idaho-based construction and engineering company's shares was suspended on the New York Stock Exchange. Under a debt-for-equity plan filed in bankruptcy court in Reno, Nev., lenders and unsecured creditors would be covered, but recovery for common-stock shareholders is unlikely. The company rescued construction giant Morrison Knudsen Corp. from bankruptcy in 1996, then changed its name to Washington Group. It has been on the verge of bankruptcy since March.

Silicon Valley Group said it will lay off 400 employees, or 10 percent of its workforce. The San Jose, Calif.-based semiconductor equipmentmaker also warned that third-quarter sales would be lower than previously expected. In addition to a previously announced five-day shutdown next month, the company said it will close for two weeks in July and September.

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor