News In Brief

Chrysler is planning an almost 40 percent reduction in capital spending over the next five years, the Financial Times reported. Citing "unpublished company figures," the newspaper said the move would not affect new-product launches but is being made because an investment program equal to 10 percent of sales cannot be justified when competing automakers average no more than 6 percent. The US division of DaimlerChrysler reported $3.9 billion in losses for the first quarter of the year. No company executive would comment for the report.

Cendant Corp., the worldwide franchising and marketing group, will add electronic travel reservation specialist Galileo International to its holdings, reports said. The deal was valued at $2.9 billion in cash and stock, plus the assumption of about $600 million in debt. Galileo, based in Rosemont, Ill., offers customers access to more than 500 airlines, 45,000 hotel properties, and 40 car rental companies. Cendant also owns the Days Inn, Ramada, Super 8, and Howard Johnson lodging chains and 4,400 Avis car rental locations. Its headquarters are in New York.

Bertelsmann, the international media giant, said it may go public as soon as 2003, a year earlier than previously planned, the Financial Times reported. In preparation for an initial public offering, the Frankfurt-based company also announced a cost-cutting plan to boost returns on sales from 6 percent to 10 percent, making it more appealing to potential investors.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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