General American Life Insurance Co. could be sold for about $1.5 billion as early as the end of the week, sources close to the company said. The Midwest insurer is experiencing a shortage of cash because of investor redemptions following the downgrading of General American's debt by several rating agencies earlier this month. One source said the list of insurers looking at General American's books included a number of foreign as well as US companies - among them Metropolitan Life of New York and Massachusetts Mutual Life.
Creditors applied enough pressure to win a promise from South Korea's giant Samsung Group that it will pay the full $2.04 billion in debt owed by its money-losing subsidiary, Samsung Motors. Reports from Seoul said the money would be paid by Dec. 31. The agreement came after efforts failed to negotiate a deal in which Samsung would trade its auto unit for the electronics subsidiary of another financially troubled conglomerate, Daewoo Group. They and other South Korean industrial giants are under government pressure to reform their heavily leveraged operations.
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