Business & Finance

Despite its deep financial troubles, Enron won a promise of $1.5 billion in emergency loans from two major creditors, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase. But the Houston energy trader's future hung in the balance as it announced the layoffs of 4,000 more employees and became the object of tender offer that a small, privately owned Illinois utility, Standard Power & Light, said it was preparing to file - although for less than $1 a share. Through several subsidiaries, Enron also was countersued by rival Dynegy, which backed out of an $8.4 billion acquisition agreement last week but is claiming it should be awarded control of the bankrupt company's prized Northern Natural Gas Pipeline division. A $1.5 billion emergency loan by Dynegy was secured against the pipeline, the suit alleges.

Sales of commercial time for the Feb. 3 telecast of the Super Bowl are behind the pace of last year, largely because of the current recession, the Fox network said. Although the National Football League championship game typically draws the year's largest TV audience, 30 percent of the available advertising minutes remain unfilled, compared with 20 percent a year ago when CBS carried it. Fox also said it would carry five hours' worth of pregame programming, down from the 6-1/2 hours for the telecast of Super Bowl XXXV last Jan. 28.

Twenty percent of its staff, or 13,000 jobs, will be cut over the next three years, deeply indebted British Telecom (BT) announced. The company said as many of the layoffs as possible would be achieved through attrition in an effort to reduce costs by $1.26 billion. BT, whose debt was reported at just under $40 billion as recently as June, also has been selling off noncore assets to help bring its finances back into line.

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