Business & Finance

Bankruptcy appeared closer than ever for Yukos, the Russian oil industry giant, as it acknowledged receiving legal notification from creditor banks over the weekend that it's in default on $1 billion in loan repayments. The move means the banks may, if they choose, seize its export earnings to satisfy the claim. Meanwhile, the government's Tax Service served the company with a bill for another $3 billion in back taxes - on top of the $3.4 billion back-taxes claim against it that was upheld last week by the courts. Yukos says it can't pay without selling its assets, an option currently blocked by court order.

The Carlyle Group and a partner agreed to pay $1.4 billion to acquire Britain's Dunlop Standard Aerospace Group, which they'll divide between them, Bloomberg.com reported. The Washington buyout specialist will take Dunlop's engine-maintenance business; its partner, Meggitt PLC of Wimborne, England, wants Dunlop's component design and manufacturing unit. Meggitt and Dunlop are suppliers for the 555-seat Airbus A380, which is expected to debut as the world's largest commercial jet in 2006.

Union employes at Maytag Corp.'s flagship operations in Newton, Iowa, are scheduled to return to work Tuesday after agreeing to accept a new four-year contract. The 1,500 people who make Atlantis, Neptune, and Dependable Care washers and dryers walked off the job June 10, when negotiations broke down. Wages, which average about $19 an hour, will remain unchanged until 2007, but cost-of- living increases and production-incentive bonuses will kick in before that.

Four thousand employees will be laid off by the No. 1 department store chain in Germany, its spokesman announced Saturday. Karstadt does not plan to close any of its 212 stores, however, he said. While the long-stagnant German economy has showed signs of new vitality lately, analysts note that it is driven mostly by exports, with consumers at home apparently still reluctant to spend.

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