Business & Finance
Wyndham International Inc., a leading hotel chain, agreed to be taken over by the Blackstone Group, the New York private investment firm, for $3.2 billion. In addition to its own upscale hotels, Wyndham operates others under the Hilton, Doubletree, Marriott, and Holiday Inn brands and owns, leases, or franchises properties in Europe, Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Wyndham is based in Dallas.
Banking giant BNP Paribas announced it will acquire Commercial Federal Corp. for $1.36 billion in cash. The latter, based in Omaha, Neb., is the nation's 12th-largest savings and loan institution. It will be absorbed into BNP's Bank of the West subsidiary, giving that unit 198 additional branches in seven states. Those branches will take on Bank of the West's name, but a spokesman said no closures are planned. BNP's headquarters are in Paris. Bank of the West is based in San Francisco.
At the Paris Air Show, Boeing landed its second big order in consecutive days: $3.9 billion worth of new planes for two customers, Jet Airways of India and GE Commercial Aviation Services. The latter, a unit of General Electric, will buy 20 narrow-body 737 jets. Jet Airways agreed to buy 10 Boeing 777-200s. Meanwhile, rival Airbus announced a deal with Jet Airways for 10 of its A330 planes, with an option for 10 more. Boeing, one industry analyst said, "is clearly taking a big lead this year" in its head-to-head competition with Airbus for new business. But Airbus chief Noel Forgeard predicted his company would close the Paris Air Show Sunday with firm orders for up to 120 of its new A350 jets and would deliver 360 planes to buyers by year's end - an increase of 40 over last year.
Hewlett-Packard said Monday it will separate its personal computer and printer groups - just five months after they were combined in the last major strategic move by former chief executive Carly Fiorina. HP ousted Fiorina in February and replaced her with Mark Hurd, who said that separating the units again would help the company "sharpen its competitiveness and improve ... cost structures."
Hertz, the rental-car giant, filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of stock, but didn't say when the sale might be held, how many shares would be involved, or what the price would be. Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co., Hertz's parent, said it intends to divest its remaining stake in the business after the IPO. Ford announced in April that it was "moving away from daily rental[s]" and was exploring options - such as a spinoff of Hertz - that would raise cash to invest in its struggling car-building operations.