Business & Finance
Bank of America agreed to pay $69 million to investors who incurred billions in losses when Enron collapsed in 2001, The Wall Street Journal reported. The settlement, the first by a bank accused of playing a role in fraudulent transactions by the energy trader, is viewed as a precursor to possible larger settlements with other banks, said an attorney for the University of California, a leader of the shareholder action. Bank of America denied violating any laws and indicated that it was paying the disgruntled investors "solely to eliminate the uncertainties, expense, and distraction of further protracted litigation."
Citing strategic differences with his board, Burger King chief executive Brad Blum announced his resignation over the weekend, AdAge.com reported. The chain will be run by senior managers until a successor is named, probably by Aug. 1. Although the chain's overall sales have improved recently, about 20 percent of its 7,900 units are losing money and Wendy's could overtake it as the second-largest hamburger chain, according to The Wall Street Journal. McDonald's is the industry leader.
Regulators set a noon Aug. 6 deadline for billionaire investor Philip Green to make good on his proposed third bid for Marks & Spencer, Britain's largest retailer, or abandon the effort. If he fails, he won't be permitted to bid again for six months, the Takeover Panel in London said. Executives of Marks & Spencer twice have rejected offers from the tycoon, the first reported at $12.8 billion and the second at $14.9 billion. Green has suggested he's prepared to up his bid to $15.4 billion as soon as Wednesday, provided he is given a complete picture of the department store chain's pension-plan liabilities - information the company so far has refused to share. Green owns three other prominent British retailers.
The world's fourth-largest financial-services company, Allianz Group, outbid two rivals Monday for nursing-home chain Four Seasons Health Care Ltd., the Financial Times reported. The deal was valued at $1.4 billion. Allianz is based in Munich, Germany. Four Seasons, which operates 300 nursing homes and a half-dozen mental health and rehabilitation centers in Britain, is based in Wilmslow, England.