Business & Finance

McDonald's Corp. could not immediately say who would succeed its chairman and chief executive, James Cantalupo, who died Monday while attending the company's franchisee convention in Orlando, Fla. Cantalupo had retired from McDonald's after 27 years but agreed to return in January 2003 to take the post in a management overhaul. He was credited with turning around a global operation that had struggled to cope with falling profits, a saturated fast-food market, and the impact of mad-cow disease scares in Europe and Japan. Two months ago, McDonald's sales growth in the US - for restaurants open more than a year - was the highest in three decades.

Royal Dutch/Shell, hoping to put to rest the controversy over its oil and gas reserves, said another senior manager has stepped down and that a "final" review showed an overestimate of 4.35 billion barrels. The company dismayed shareholders and industry analysts in January by announcing a downgrade of 20 percent, or 3.9 billion barrels. In March, that figure was restated again, to 4.15 billion. The disclosures led to the resignation of much of the company's senior management, led by Sir Philip Watts, its chairman. The latest, chief financial officer Judith Boynton, was the first woman and first American to hold that post at Shell.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) leads a consortium of takeover specialists agreeing to pay $2.75 billion for most of Dynamit Nobel, the specialty chemicals unit of Germany's MG Technologies AG, the seller announced. Dynamit produces lubricants, coatings, pigments, and ceramics, although it no longer makes the explosive for which it is named. A statement said the Dynamit operations would be combined with those of KKR's Rockwood Specialties Group of Princeton, N.J. Its partner in the deal is Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity, the statement said.

Adecco, the world's largest temporary-staffing company, again postponed the release of its financial report for 2003 and hinted it might have to reschedule its May 26 annual meeting. Without offering details, Adecco said no evidence of "major misappropriations or irregularities" has been found in its North American operations but "e-mail correspondence by senior professionals in the company" was being reviewed. The 2003 posting originally was due Feb 6. Adecco is based in a suburb of Geneva.

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