Business & Finance
The planned breakup of Georgia-Pacific Inc. was put on hold, with the forest-products giant acknowledging it would fall short of the $1 billion it hoped to raise in an initial purchase offering. A spokesman said it will postpone the splitoff of its consumer products division "until the market recovers" and will focus instead on other ways of lowering its $12.1 billion debt. After the announcement late last Thursday, Standard & Poor's said it may cut Georgia-Pacific's debt rating to junk-bond status.
A strike by unionized Boeing Co. machinists was narrowly averted when the vote on a walkout Friday fell 5 percent short of a two-thirds majority. Meanwhile, about 1,400 production workers at Boeing's Ridley Township, Pa., facility walked off the job amid a deadlock in contract talks. The suburban Philadelphia plant builds CH-47 Chinook helicopters and V-22 Osprey aircraft. Boeing is the world's top commercial jetmaker and second-leading US defense contractor.
Buyout specialist Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and a partner will acquire the telephone directory business of BCE Inc., Canada's largest telecommunications company, for $1.9 billion, the latter announced. The deal will give KKR 60 percent ownership of the unit, which issues 209 directories in Ontario and Quebec and operates the yellowpages.ca website. BCE will keep a 10 percent stake, with the rest going to the Ontario Teachers' Merchant Bank, the private equity arm of the teachers' association in the province.
DaimlerChrysler announced a one-week closure of assembly plants in Newark, Del., and Brampton, Ontario, idling 4,700 workers. The factories build Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles, and Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler Concorde, and Chrysler 300M sedans, respectively. The automaker said the shutdown was due to reduced demand and to try to trim inventories before the arrival of 2003 models.
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding" was expected to pass the $100 million mark in gross revenues Sunday, making it one of the most successful independently produced films in history. The surprise hit, released almost five months ago, cost only $5 million to produce and less than $20 million to market.