Thursday, November 15, 2001

Business Digest

Firm plans $3.3B IPO

        Prudential Financial Inc. plans to raise as much as $3.3 billion in its December initial public offering, the third-largest U.S. IPO of the year.

        Prudential Financial is proceeding with the sale as the worst year for IPOs in more than a decade comes to a close. It follows the success of other U.S. life insurers such as Principal Financial Inc., which has risen 17 percent since it went public last month. The shares will trade under the symbol PRU on the New York Stock Exchange.

Gold miners to merge

        Newmont Mining Corp. has agreed to acquire Australia's Normandy Mining Ltd. and Canada's Franco-Nevada Mining Corp. for $4.4 billion in cash and stock in a bid to create the world's largest gold producer.

        The combined company, which would surpass South Africa's AngloGold Ltd. for the top spot, would have 22 mines on five continents, interests in eight other gold operations and 12,500 employees.

        Headquartered in Denver, the combined company would produce 8 million ounces of gold a year.

A&P closing 39 stores

        Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. said Wednesday it plans to close 39 stores to dispose of underperforming assets.

        The majority of the stores will close before the end of the fiscal year on Feb. 23, the supermarket chain said.

        The asset-disposition program concludes the firm's previously-disclosed review of underperforming stores.

        A&P said it expects to incur costs and accrue charges in the range of $115 to $125 million.

SEC looks at Xerox

        Another division of the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Xerox Corp.'s accounting practices, the company disclosed in its latest filing with the federal agency.

        The Stamford-based maker of copiers and printers reported Tuesday in a filing with the SEC that the agency's Division of Corporate Finance and its Office of Chief Accountant were reviewing how the company accounts for sales-type leases.

        At issue is when Xerox accounts for revenue for selling and leasing its equipment. The SEC is investigating whether Xerox booked too much revenue up front rather than over the life of leases.

Ford matches GM

        Ford Motor Co. matched General Motors Corp.'s extension of no-interest financing Wednesday, even as its top official questioned the sustainability of such a program.

        The No. 2 automaker announced it was extending zero-percent financing on 36-month contracts for most 2001 and 2002 Ford cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles and minivans through Jan. 14. Low-interest rates also were being offered on longer-term contracts.

        Effective Nov. 21, interest rates on 2001 cars and trucks will be offered at zero to 3.9 percent interest, depending on the length of the contract. Interest rates on 2002 vehicles will range from zero to 5.9 percent.

Japan glum on economy

       The Japanese economic situation has worsened, the government said Wednesday, downgrading its view for the seventh time this year on a nation struggling against falling production, weakening consumption and rising unemployment.


Delta upbeat about Comair
Delta's Mullin: Show off security
Airline industry courting travel agents
Gibson Guitar completes purchase of Baldwin
Retail sales smash expectations
Sales decline at Federated
Oil prices surprise Ashland Inc. chairman
OPEC output cut hinges on others
Jeans-maker to cut 13,000 jobs
- Business Digest
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