Business & Finance
Most assets of bankrupt Bethlehem Steel Corp. are to be acquired by International Steel Group for up to $1.1 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. The agreement, expected as early as Monday, reportedly would involve Bethlehem's main plants in Indiana and Illinois, plus another near Baltimore and some smaller facilities. It also would result in an estimated 4,000 job cuts and fewer benefits for remaining workers, the Journal said. International Steel is based in Cleveland. Bethlehem Steel is based in Bethlehem, Pa.
Carnival Corp. plans to submit a sweetened $5.4 billion takeover offer for P&O Princess Cruises PLC to European Union regulators, six months after winning approval for its original bid for the British company. An EU spokeswoman said the companies informed the European Commission on Monday of their decision to seek clearance "to obtain legal certainty" on the revised agreement, which was accepted by P&O Princess's board in October. P&O Princess spent much of last year fending off Carnival's approaches after agreeing to a "merger of equals" with Royal Caribbean, Carnival's top US rival.
The chief executive of BHP Billiton unexpectedly resigned over what the British-Australian mining giant called "irreconcilable differences" with its board of directors. Brian Gilbertson was a key architect of the $38 billion merger that created BHP Billiton in 2001, and share prices fell more than 3 percent on news of his departure. Executive director Chip Goodyear was named Gilbertson's replacement.
In one of the clearest signs yet that hybrid cars may be going mainstream, General Motors Corp. announced it would offer a variety of gas-and-electric vehicles over the next four years. Detroit-based GM, the world's largest automaker, said it would introduce hybrid models for cars, pickups, and sport utility vehicles.