Business & Finance

Intelsat Ltd. became the latest operator of communications satellites to agree to be bought by a private equity partnership. The 40-year-old Bermuda company said Monday it would be acquired by Zeus Holdings Ltd., a consortium of four buyout specialists, for $3 billion, plus the assumption of $2 billion in debt. Intelsat put itself up for sale in May after dropping plans for an initial public offering. It operates 28 satellites and leases capacity on two others. In June, the Blackstone Group announced a deal to buy New Skies Satellites of the Netherlands for just under $1 billion. Two months earlier, DirecTV Group agreed to sell its PanAmSat division for $3.4 billion to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the Carlyle Group, and Providence Equity Partners.

Mills Corp., a real estate investment trust, agreed to pay $1.3 billion for a 50 percent stake in nine shopping malls owned by General Motors Asset Management Corp. The deal is being financed with cash on hand, plus the assumption of $170 million in debt and about $377 in new mortgages. It will give the Arlington, Va., buyer a major hand in malls scattered from the Midwest to Florida and California - all but one anchored by a JCPenney store.

In the largest deal of its type in six years, Lone Star Funds of Dallas outbid two US rivals for a package of prime real estate in Tokyo. The properties, all office towers, are in the city's financial district. Lone Star will pay $1.06 billion, reported. The seller: Kokusai Motorcars Co., an operator of taxis and buses, which wants to refocus on its main business. Morgan Stanley and American International Group Inc., the insurance industry giant, also bid on the buildings. A year ago, Lone Star bought $670 million worth of real estate in Tokyo.

Struggling 7-Up launched a new product at its annual bottlers meeting Monday that the company claims is the soft-drink industry's first fortified carbonated beverage from a major brand. Pink 7-Up Plus, scheduled to be in stores Aug. 28, contains calcium, vitamin C, and real fruit juice and will have a berry flavor. The company, a unit of Britain's Cadbury Schweppes PLC, said the product is aimed at women buyers and will attempt to counter competition from bottled waters and juices.

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