Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Business Summary

Combs president, CEO of Belcan

        C. Phillip Combs, a retired GE Aircraft Engines executive, has been named president and CEO of Belcan Corp., the private engineering and technical services supplier in Blue Ash. He succeeds Ralph Anderson, Belcan's founder, who will continue as chairman. Belcan is the largest provider of engineering services and direct technical support to the gas turbine industry.

        Mr. Combs retired in July 2001 from GEAE, where he was general manager of the JSF-F120 projects and advanced military programs department.

        Bondholder plan: control of firm

        Bondholders would take full ownership of Carmel, Ind.-based Conseco Inc. under a proposal submitted in talks to restructure the insurance and finance company's $6.5 billion in debt, the bondholders' legal adviser said Monday.

        A committee formed to represent holders of the majority of Conseco's bond debt has presented proposed terms that would give bondholders as much as all the company's stock in exchange for their bonds, said Brad Eric Scheler, chairman of bankruptcy consulting for the New York-based law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.

        The talks began in August after Conseco abandoned a plan to gradually shed debt from 1990s acquisitions that eventually soured.

        Big Lots Sept., Oct. sales slower

        Columbus-based Big Lots Inc., the largest U.S. retailer of discontinued and overstocked goods, said Monday that sales slowed in the last 10 days of September and are lower than expected so far this month.

        Big Lots' forecast of a third-quarter loss of 3 cents to 6 cents a share might be at risk if October sales don't increase by a low- to mid-single-digit percentage, the company said. Same-store sales were less than expected in the first week of the month as consumer spending slows. The company still anticipates October sales to rise 7 percent to 9 percent, Treasurer Joe Cooper said.

        From staff and wire reports


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