Procter & Gamble Co. appeared ready to announce a bid for the maker of Nivea skin cream even though the latter sold another 40 percent stake in its operations to European coffee giant Tchibo Holding AG, the Financial Times reported Thursday. Tchibo already owns 31 percent of Beiersdorf AG, Nivea's manufacturer. The deal, which requires regulator approval, was valued at $5.2 billion. It was announced a week after Beiersdorf reportedly was completing plans to buy back much of its own stock so it could remain German-owned. Tchibo and Beiersdorf both are based in Hamburg; Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati.
Airbus Industrie won a $2.16 billion contract to build as many as eight 555-seat superjumbo jets for Korean Air, the companies announced. The carrier, which has said it hopes to be among the world's 10 largest by the end of the decade, will begin taking delivery of the new planes in late 2007, the announcement said.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said accounting errors will force it to slice as much as $100 million from earnings dating back to 1998. The company will delay its quarterly report while the accounting program - which tracks spending on equipment for its factories - is corrected, a spokesman said. He said the mistakes would affect financial reports for the first half of 2003 but would not have a negative impact on cash flow or access to credit.
Adidas, the world's second-largest maker of athletic shoes and sportswear, lost a legal battle to protect its famous three-stripe logo. The European Court of Justice in Brussels rejected the company's complaint that a two-stripe decoration used by rival Fitnessworld Trading Ltd. infringes on its trademark and that the latter should be ordered to stop selling products carrying that design. Adidas is German-owned; Fitnessworld is Dutch.