News In Brief

Bankruptcy appeared only days away for deeply indebted Daewoo Motor Co. as major creditors threatened to cut off loans unless the planned layoffs of 3,500 workers were accepted by the South Korean company's union. Daewoo will be held to a $149.7 million debt payment due not later than Nov. 15, a Korean Development Bank (KDB) official said. Moreover, without the union's OK in written form, Daewoo would be placed in court receivership, KDB said. But the union has rejected Daewoo's cost-cutting plan, and a spokesman threatened "a riot" by workers if it pushed ahead with the layoffs.

The US owners of a water and wastewater company serving all of Wales have sold the enterprise to a newly formed consortium for $2.6 billion, reports said. But the purchase from Western Power Distribution, announced Friday, could encounter regulatory obstacles, the reports suggested. The buyer, Glas Cymru Cyfyngedig, is composed of large-volume - but not-for-profit - Welsh water users such as local utilities and hospitals. Western Power Distribution is jointly owned by the Southern Company of Atlanta and PPL Corp. of Allentown, Pa.

Confirming earlier reports, Viacom announced Friday it would buy BET Holdings Inc., which includes the cable channel Black Entertainment Television as well as a jazz cable channel, BET Books, and an interest in online media network BET.com. The deal was valued at between $2.3 billion and $2.5 billion in stock, plus $570 million in debt.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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