Business & Finance

WorldCom changed its name to MCI, one in a series of steps as it gains distance from an estimated $11 billion accounting scandal and the biggest bankruptcy filing in US corporate history. In other moves, the telecommunications giant announced it had won creditor backing for a reorganization plan that would allow it to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of the year and that it will move its headquarters from Clinton, Miss., to Ashburn., Va.

Hewlett-Packard Co. edged out IBM for a $3 billion, 10-year contract to manage information-technology services for consumer products giant Procter & Gamble, The Wall Street Journal reported. The paper said H-P also reached similar, although less lucrative, deals with the Bank of Ireland and Ericsson Inc. The latter is the North American unit of the Swedish cellphone manufacturer.

An early leader in consumer electronics, Grundig AG, became the latest major German company to file for bankruptcy. Once Europe's largest manufacturer of radios, Grundig has struggled in recent years to remain viable despite a product line that includes flat-panel TV sets, DVD players, auto-navigation systems, and cordless telephones. A news release said production would continue while overseers determine whether the company can be restructured or whether its assets should be sold. It follows the Kirch media empire, aircraft builder Fairchild Dornier, construction giant Philipp Holzmann, engineering conglomerate Babcock Borsig, and other high-profile German businesses in seeking protection from creditors.

Cypress Gardens, one of the oldest and best-known tourist attractions in Florida, closed its gates for good Sunday. Operators of the 67-year-old Winter Haven theme park said the decision was "purely financial," citing a steep drop-off in visitors as a result of the uneven economy and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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