Boeing landed another order for passenger jets Monday, when Korean Air confirmed that it will buy 20 new fuel- efficient 787 Dreamliners with a book value of $2.6 billion. Meanwhile, The Times of India reported that Air India appears on the verge of giving Boeing the nod over European rival Airbus for a $6 billion mix of planes, possibly including more than two dozen 787s. Since the beginning of the year, Boeing has signed a succession of billion-dollar deals with airlines in China, Thailand, Singapore, and the Indian startup budget carrier SpiceJet. Still, according to Luchtzak Aviation, which tracks industry developments, Airbus topped Boeing in commercial jet deliveries and new orders during the first quarter.
Deeply troubled MG Rover was granted a large enough loan by the British government to keep going for another week, but its long-term prospects appeared grim. The $12.3 million bailout prevents mass layoffs while a task force appointed by the government seeks to reopen negotiations with China's Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC) on a joint venture that would rescue the company. SAIC, however, told news organizations that resuming talks "is not something we are considering at this moment." MG Rover filed for bankruptcy late last week, and a subsequent examination of its books by auditing giant PricewaterhouseCoopers showed losses of between $37 million and $42 million a month. Meanwhile, the government also offered upwards of $75 million to suppliers of parts and materials to Rover's Birmingham, England, assembly plant that are owed money. But that did not stop the layoffs of hundreds of their employees over the weekend. As for Rover's 6,000 employees, officials of the Transport and General Workers' Union vowed they would not accept job cuts at the Birmingham plant as long as the slightest hope of rescuing the company remained.
San Miguel Corp., a leading brewer and marketer of foods in Asia, claimed victory in the takeover battle for Austral-ian dairy giant National Foods Ltd. San Miguel will pay $1.5 billion, a record by a Philippine company. Fronterra Cooperative Group of New Zealand, which had been bidding against San Miguel for three months, announced it would not match the latter's latest offer, saying, "We have other opportunities" for growth. San Miguel is based in Manila; National Foods in Melbourne.