Business & Finance
With its own chairman saying, "This is the last chance for Mitsubishi Motors to survive as an automaker," the struggling company announced it will sell controlling interest to a buyout specialist and has pledges of new investment from other sources. They will pump a combined $4 billion into Japan's No. 4 car builder, which posted the second-biggest loss in its history for the year ending March 31. Phoenix Capital Co. of Tokyo will pay as much as $900,000 to acquire a controlling stake of 40 percent, as DaimlerChrysler's share of the company drops from 37 percent to 23 percent. Most of the rest of the new capital will come from other divisions in the Mitsubishi Group. DaimlerChrysler announced last month it would invest no more money in Mitsubishi although it plans to continue collaboration on joint projects.
Morgan Stanley won the almost year-old bidding war for Canary Wharf PLC, London's second financial district. The US banking giant and its partners will pay $3 billion for the prime 86-acre retail/professional complex and will assume almost double that amount in debt, although they may not keep all of the buildings. The losing bidder, Toronto real estate and energy conglomerate Brascan Corp., has until year's end to decide whether to sell its stake in Canary Wharf to the winners.
Bankrupt Enron Corp. agreed to sell one of its most prized remaining assets, CrossCountry Energy Corp., a system of natural gas pipelines, to NuCoastal LLC for $1.8 billion. The deal, which was announced Friday and is subject to court approval, also involves the assumption of $430 million in debt. NuCoastal is jointly owned by Texas energy tycoon Oscar Wyatt Jr., Citigroup, and ArcLight Capital Partners LLC, a private equity firm that invests in energy-related projects.
The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm, announced late last week it will pay $1.65 billion for Verizon Communications' land-line, Internet, and yellow pages business in Hawaii. The deal does not include Verizon's wireless service. The communications giant also is trying to sell its phone operations in New York, which are valued at up to $7 billion.
MCI, which emerged from bankruptcy last month, announced it will close its Albuquerque, N.M., call center at the end of July. The center employs 800 workers. The decision is part of an overall 12,000-job downsizing aimed at saving $600 million annually. Fourteen call centers will remain. MCI expects a return to profitability during the second half of this year.