Williams Communications Group "strongly" denied it would be the next major company in its field to declare bankruptcy. The struggling Tulsa, Okla.-based global broadband service provider reported a $372 million loss for the fourth quarter. But the company disputed an advisory from lender banks that it may default on its credit agreement and said a restructuring plan due to be submitted Feb. 25 would not include a Chapter 11 filing. Williams has a reported $5.6 billion in debt. Rivals Global Crossing and McLeodUSA sought bankruptcy protection Jan. 28 and Jan. 31, respectively.
The Limited Inc., a retail chain specializing in women's casual apparel, said it will offer $1.4 billion worth of stock for the 16 percent of Intimate Brands Inc. it does not already own. The latter operates the Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works chains. The headquarters of both companies are in Columbus, Ohio.
In layoff developments:
Mm02, a cellphone service provider with licenses in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands, announced it will cut 1,900 jobs. The company once was part of the giant British Telecom system.
BHP Billiton, one of the world's largest mining operators, said it is cutting 1,000 jobs. The newly merged company is based in Perth, Australia.
Another 900 workers will be laid off by TDK Corp., a leading maker of blank recording tape, compact discs, and electronics components. Tokyo-based TDK announced 6,380 layoffs last November.