Italy's Stock Exchange suspended trading in Parmalat shares Sunday in the latest blow to the international dairy giant. Prices had plunged 90 percent, to 13 cents a share, since the scandal over an estimated $12 billion accounting shortfall erupted two weeks ago. Prosecutors in Milan were expected to formally charge Parmalat founder and former chief executive Calisto Tanzi with market rigging, fraudulent bankruptcy, and making false statements to auditors after taking him into custody over the weekend.
Tyco International is looking to cut $3 billion from its cost base over the next three years, the diverse conglomerate's chief financial officer, David FitzPatrick, told the Financial Times. FitzPatrick also said he wants to halve the company's $21.6 billion debt before making any acquisitions. FitzPatrick is part of a management team working to rebuild Tyco's reputation. Two former top executives are being tried for allegedly siphoning $600 million from the Bermuda-based firm in unapproved pay and share deals.
Giving a boost to the beleaguered airline industry, the US Defense Department paid commercial carriers and air-cargo firms $2.4 billion to transport troops and equipment to Iraq this year, the Wall Street Journal reported. Indianapolis-based ATA Airlines was the biggest beneficiary of the Pentagon program, earning about $123 million, the Journal said. The flights mostly took place between mid-February and early June and none entered war zones.
US footwear chain The Athlete's Foot is being sold by its parent company, French retail giant Rallye S.A., to store managers for an undisclosed sum, Dow Jones Business News service reported. The Athlete's Foot is based in Kennesaw, Ga., and has 800 outlets, many of them franchises, in some 50 countries.