Business & Finance

Kmart will close another 326 stores and cut 37,000 more jobs under a plan to emerge from bankruptcy by April 30, the discount retailer said. The closings, which will occur in 44 states and Puerto Rico, are the second round in less than a year and will leave Kmart with 1,500 outlets.

Pledging to act with "an outrageous sense of urgency" to revive bankrupt WorldCom, new chief executive Michael Capellas said he'll file a three-year reorganization plan March 1. In an address Tuesday, he also told employees to expect some dismissals after an internal inquiry into the company's $9 billion in accounting irregularities. Some analysts expect WorldCom to adopt the name of its long-distance unit, MCI, to help shake off the scandal.

Banking giant Goldman Sachs will invest $1.27 billion to help Japanese business partner Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) cover - and in some cases dispose of - nonperforming loans in its portfolio, the companies announced. In return, the deal calls for Goldman Sachs to receive preferred securities that can be converted into shares in SMFG after two years and an inside track on access to tens of thousands of the latter's corporate clients. SMFG is Japan's second-largest bank in terms of capitalization.

Nine subsidiaries of Kaiser Aluminum Corp., many of them in Canada and Jamaica, filed to join their Houston-based parent in bankruptcy. Tuesday's move at a court in Delaware was designed to avoid possible liens related to pension liabilities that would have violated emergency funding agreements with creditors.

Claiming losses of more than $3 million a month, the US arm of Regus PLC filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code. The company, which rents fully equipped office space to clients, has been hit hard by the collapse of the dotcom boom on the West Coast. Its headquarters are in Chertsey, England.

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