The long-anticipated sale of Burger King to a partnership of US investors, which appeared to have fallen through less than a month ago, likely will be completed after all - perhaps as soon as today, The Wall Street Journal reported. Citing sources close to the parties, it said Diageo PLC, Burger King's British parent, and a consortium led by Texas Pacific Group had overcome "several major hurdles," among them the buyers' wish to cut the sale price from $2.26 billion to $1.5 billion.
Bankrupt US Airways won tentative approval from its pilots union on new pay concessions valued at $100 million a year for six years. The carrier already has pared annual costs by $1.2 billion, but is seeking a further $400 million to qualify for a federal loan guarantee it needs to emerge from Chapter 11 reorganization next year.
The National Football League and DirecTV agreed to a $2 billion, five-year renewal of their "Sunday Ticket" package. The deal, under which subscribers to the satellite TV service can access all regular-season NFL games, replaces the five-year contract that expires this year and more than triples its value. The league also has TV deals worth a combined $17.6 billion with CBS, ABC, Fox, and ESPN.
In corporate-staffing news:
• Sprint Corp. announced plans Wednesday to lay off 2,100 more workers in an ongoing bid to return to profitability. The US's No. 3 long-distance and fourth-largest cellphone service provider already has cut more than 15,000 jobs over the past 14 months.
• Pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly & Co. will shift hundreds of employees to new jobs as it restructures to gear up for the introduction of new drugs, its president told the Indianapolis Star newspaper. Some workers will be reassigned to posts that do not pay as well as their current jobs, but in such cases they'll continue to receive the higher salaries over a two-year phase-in period, he said.
• Another 690 jobs will be cut by Aetna, the group- and health-insurance giant said. The layoffs come on top of 2,750 announced in September and 6,000 last year.