Business & Finance

Cablevision Systems Corp., the sixth-largest US cable operator, would become a private company with a public component under a proposal by the Dolan family, its principal owners. The plan calls for establishing a separate public entity, Rainbow Media Holdings, to manage an array of assets such as New York's Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden and its tenants, the Knicks of the National Basketball Association and Rangers of the National Hockey League, and the American Movie Channel. Cablevision Systems is expected to announce a new committee to evaluate the $7.9 billion proposal. Removing the cable operations from public scrutiny would give the company more latitude in meeting the challenges of new technologies and competitors, chairman Charles Dolan and his son, James, Cablevision's chief executive, said in a letter to the board of directors.

Saying, "It is the right decision, given the circumstances," Air Canada's chief defended the cancellation of an order for $6 billion worth of new passenger jets from Boeing Co. The deal was agreed to back in April, but the carrier backed out after its unionized pilots over the weekend rejected cost-cutting terms attached to the purchase. Air Canada had planned to use the 32 new planes - 18 wide-body 777s and 14 of Boeing's newest plane, the 787 Dreamliner - for its Asian routes, but said it will try to buy used 777s instead. Both parties expressed disappointment at the announcement. Air Canada emerged from bankruptcy protection last year.

Walter Industries, a homebuilding and industrial products conglomerate based in Tampa, Fla., will buy fire hydrant manufacturer Mueller Water Products for $1.9 billion in cash and assumed debt, the St. Petersburg Times reported. The acquisition is Walter's largest in 60 years. Mueller is based in Decatur, Ill.

Ketchup king H.J. Heinz Co. will add several more condiments to its product line by buying the HP Foods and Lea & Perrins sauce divisions from the French food marketing company Groupe Danone for $852 million, the companies announced. Danone is based in Paris; Heinz in Pittsburgh.

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