Business & Finance

The trustee overseeing United Airlines' employee stock- ownership plan was barred by a bankruptcy court in Chicago Friday from selling a remaining 29 percent stake in the company, the Dow Jones news service reported. The carrier's parent, UAL Corp., sought the injunction, arguing that continued sales by trustee State Street Bank & Trust Co. would trigger a change of ownership at the airline, costing it billions in lost tax benefits.

Warning it faces liquidation otherwise, US Airways argued in bankruptcy court in Alexandria, Va., that it must be allowed to terminate the pension plan for its 6,000 pilots. Pilots, who have agreed to wage cuts and furloughs, balked at the latest request, noting other unions aren't losing their pensions. Testimony is continuing this week on the issue, considered the final hurdle to the carrier's bid to emerge from bankruptcy next month.

Enron Corp. asked a bankruptcy court to require that $957 million in payments to one of its largest affiliates, Whitewing Associates, be shared equally by all of its creditors. In the motion filed Friday in New York, the failed energy trader argued that Whitewing investors were being treated differently from other creditors.

Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Corp. will share a $2 billion, seven-year contract to build laser-guided bomb kits for Air Force and Navy jets, the defense contractors said Friday. The bomb kits, known as Paveway II, were used extensively in the 1991 Gulf War and could play a role in a potential conflict with Iraq.

In a deal valued at $1.6 billion, 80 percent control of Deutsche Bank's private equity unit was bought by its managers, the company announced Friday. DB Capital Partners has extensive investments in such US businesses as Prestige Brands and weight-control chain Jenny Craig Inc. The deal is part of a Deutsche Bank strategy to return the focus to its core operations.

In layoff news:

• Another 4,000 job cuts were announced Friday by test- and measurement-equipment maker Agilent Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif. The company, a 1999 Hewlett-Packard spin-off, let 8,000 workers go last year.

• Ethan Allen Inc., a leading maker of home furniture, said it will consolidate operations by closing plants in Pennsylvania, New York State, and Massachusetts. The move will affect about 600 workers, although some will be offered jobs in the company's 14 other plants.

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