Business & Finance

United Parcel Service Inc., the world's largest package

delivery company, said Monday it would buy trucking company Overnite Corp. for about $1.25 billion to expand into the business of delivering heavier freight in North America. UPS now handles worldwide air and ground transport of packages weighing up to 150 pounds. UPS is based in Atlanta; Overnite Corp. in Richmond, Va.

United Airlines and its mechanics union struck a tentative deal Monday on a five-year pact, leaving machinists the last group of employees without at least a tentative agreement. United's pilots and flight attendants agreed earlier to contracts, although the flight attendants' is in arbitration. The machinists' contract was announced as a federal bankruptcy court trial on United's proposal to unilaterally impose lower wages and benefits moved into its final days.

Billionaire financier Ron Perelman won $604.3 million in compensatory damages Monday in a lawsuit accusing the investment bank Morgan Stanley of duping him about a takeover deal. The jury found that Perelman, the Revlon cosmetics chief, relied on false statements that Sunbeam Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001, was a turnaround success and could afford to acquire his camping equipment company, Coleman. Perelman is also seeking $2 billion in punitive damages, which the jury will consider over the next few days.

More than a quarter of MCI Inc.'s shares were withheld Monday in the reelection of the company's board of directors, a sizable protest against their decision to accept an $8.5 billion buyout from Verizon Communications Inc. rather than a higher-priced offer from Qwest. It was unclear if the vote would spur Qwest Communications International Inc., which angrily withdrew its $9.85 billion bid earlier this month, to reenter bidding against Verizon.

British phone book publisher Yell Group PLC said Tuesday that its American operation, Yellow Book USA Inc., has agreed to buy TransWestern Holdings LP, which is based in San Diego, for $1.53 billion. TransWestern publishes 332 directories in 25 states. The deal further consolidates the industry following Monday's announcement by a consortium led by Australia's Macquarie Capital Alliance Group Ltd. that it will pay $2.3 billion to acquire European directories business Yellow Brick Road Group.

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