Business & Finance
General Motors said it is cooperating in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into its accounting practices and relationship with bankrupt Delphi Corp. The SEC has subpoenaed documents involving transactions between the automaker and Delphi, the auto-parts giant that once was a subsidiary. The latter filed for protection from creditors Oct. 8 after failing to secure GM's agreement to bail it out of billions of dollars in pension obligations - a commitment the automaker made when Delphi was spun off six years ago. Other subpoenas involve GM's financing arm, General Motors Acceptance Corp., which is included in what the company said it understands is a probe of "practices in the insurance industry relating to loss mitigation." Since 2002, GM has made more money selling loans and insurance than from building vehicles, Bloomberg.com reported.
SBC Communications Inc. announced that it will adopt the name of the company it's paying $16 billion to acquire - AT&T Corp. AT&T is SBC's former parent and its 120-year-old brand is internationally recognized. By comparison, SBC is relatively little known outside the 13 states where it provides local telephone service. SBC is based in San Antonio.
Stora Enso, the world's largest manufacturer of paper, said it will eliminate 2,300 jobs, most of them in the Nordic countries. The company said it needs to reduce operating costs by $360 million a year because of overproduction in the European market. Stora Enso is based in Helsinki, Finland.
Yankee Candle Co., which has retail outlets in 42 states, said it will close up to 20 underperforming stores. Most of the closures, which will involve an unspecified number of layoffs, are expected by year's end and are a response to rising costs of energy and wax for the company's trademark scented candles. Yankee Candle is based in South Deerfield, Mass., where its flagship 90,000-sq.-ft. store is a popular tourist attraction.