Business & Finance

Shipping titan FedEx agreed to buy the Kinko's copy chain from New York-based buyout firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice in a deal valued at $2.4 billion in cash and assumed debt. The acquisition, announced Tuesday, will make FedEx services available at 1,200 Kinko's stores in the US and abroad, ramping up competition for ground shipments with rival United Parcel Service, analysts said. FedEx is based in Memphis, Tenn. Kinko's is based in Dallas.

Italian police arrested eight more people as the Parmalat accounting scandal widened. Among those taken into custody Wednesday were two former financial officers at the bankrupt food giant and two senior officials at Parmalat's outside auditor, the Italian affiliate of Grant Thornton International. Grant Thornton has denied any involvement in the estimated $10 billion in false bookkeeping at the company, headquartered in Parma, Italy. A judge in Milan Tuesday ordered Parmalat founder Calisto Tanzi to remain jailed pending trial for bankruptcy fraud, citing a "concrete risk" that he might flee or tamper with evidence.

Spiegel Group plans to close 29 Eddie Bauer stores starting next week, pending approval by a bankruptcy court, the company announced Tuesday. The move is part of a restructuring following its filing for Chapter 11 protection in March. Spiegel is based in Downers Grove, Ill.,

Bar-code scanner manufacturer Symbol Technologies Inc. said Tuesday its chief executive and acting chairman, Richard Bravman, has stepped down amid a continuing investigation of its accounting. The firm, based in Holtsville, N.Y., also said it would restate financial results from 1998 through September, 2002. Federal prosecutors allege company executives manipulated earnings, revenue, and expenses to meet Wall Street expectations. Two former officials have pleaded guilty.

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