Business & Finance

Fast-growing Ispat International announced two acquisitions that will make it the world's largest steelmaker, CBS MarketWatch reported. The company, based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, said it will buy LNM Holdings, the leading steel producer in Central and Eastern Europe, for $13.3 billion in stock and will pay $4.5 billion for International Steel of Richfield, Ohio. They will be combined under the name Mittal Steel, CBS MarketWatch said. Ispat has operations in the US, Mexico, Germany, France, Canada, and Trinidad.

Talks between Delta Air Lines and its pilots' union were scheduled to resume Monday, amid speculation that the carrier could file for bankruptcy by midweek regardless of their outcome. Delta is seeking $1 billion in concessions, but said the union wants a stock-option program for its members that involves "substantially more equity" than has been proposed. The airline assured customers last week that it would honor its frequent-flier program even in the event of a bankruptcy filing.

DirecTV Group Inc., the No. 1 US satellite television provider, will take a noncash charge of up to $1.6 billion for three Spaceway satellites, The Wall Street Journal reported. The satellites were to be used for broadband and Internet connections as well as for high-definition TV. But in a revised plan they'll focus only on programming capacity, prompting the write-down.

Warner Chilcott PLC, a leading maker of oral contraceptives and other drugs specific to women's health, said it is reviewing an unsolicited takeover bid of $2.8 billion. It did not identify the source, but the Financial Times and the Independent (London) said the bidder is believed to be a consortium led by the US investment bank Goldman Sachs and including buyout specialists Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Texas Pacific Group. Warner Chilcott is based in Craigavon, Northern Ireland.

Royal Ahold, the global supermarket operator, said it has been forced to buy out one of its two partners in ICA, the No. 1 grocery chain in the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, for $1 billion. The move became necessary when Canica AB exercised its option to sell its 20 percent stake in the joint venture. Ahold is Dutch; Canica is Norwegian. Ahold now will control 60 percent of ICA, with Swedish retailing consortium Förbundnet owning the remaining 40 percent.

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