A month after a Swiss rival moved to buy US brokerage giant PaineWebber, Credit Suisse Group announced plans to pay $11.5 billion for New York-based Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. The Zurich company already controls Credit Suisse First Boston. If it meets stockholder and regulatory approval, the deal would make Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-largest banking group, a leading underwriter of high-yield bonds. PaineWebber was sold to UBS, the No. 1 Swiss bank, for a reported $11 billion.
Shares in Bridgestone Corp, the Japanese maker of Firestone tires, tumbled to a five-year low amid new speculation that the company knowingly sold defective tires in Venezuela, where they have been cited in as many as 400 accidents involving 100 deaths. Bridgestone acknowledged failing to include a third protective layer of nylon in some tires sold there, but has said another recall isn't necessary. Overall, its stock has dropped 40 percent since 6.5 million tires were recalled in the US in early August.
The maker of Dannon yogurt and LU biscuits was declining to comment on reports it had bid as much as $4.5 billion for Keebler Foods, the second-largest cookie and cracker producer in the US. Group Danone's move was not unexpected, analysts said, given the French company's goal of achieving global dominance in the manufacture of biscuits. Danone lost out to Philip Morris, owner of Kraft Foods, in its attempt in June to buy Nabisco.
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