Business & Finance

More than a year of battling for control of P&O Princess Cruises appeared to be over after the company's chief executive announced Friday it would accept a $5.4 billion buyout offer from rival Carnival Corp. In London, Peter Ratcliffe said the Carnival bid was "financially superior" to the "merger of equals" P&O Princess earlier agreed to with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The latter already has been paid a $62.5 million penalty for the breakoff of the merger deal, The Financial Times reported. Carnival is the world's largest operator of cruise ships, Royal Caribbean is second, and P&O Princess is third.

United Airlines flight attendants offered to take a 3.6 percent cut in pay in negotiations with UAL Corp., the troubled carrier's parent company, a spokesman for their union said. United says it needs to lower labor and other costs by $5.8 billion if it's to win a $2 billion federal loan guarantee that would help avoid possible bankruptcy.

US Airways will lay off another 471 pilots by May and 915 flight attendants by the end of this year, the bankrupt carrier announced, citing rising fuel costs and continued weakness in the industry. US Airways has laid off more than 4,000 workers since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Gillette Co., the personal-care products giant, is losing billionaire investor Warren Buffett as a board member. Citing greater demands on his time due to acquisitions by his own Berkshire Hathaway investment company, Buffett announced he'll step down from Gillette in May after 14 years on the executive board. Berkshire Hathaway owns about 9 percent of Gillette.

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