Headlines

U.S. private equity firm MatlinPatterson Global Advisors confirmed on Monday that it plans to put forward a comprehensive proposal to reorganize the businesses of bankrupt Canadian telecom equipment maker Nortel Networks, Reuters reported. MatlinPatterson, a major bondholder and Nortel creditor, said it does not believe that the proposed sale of Nortel's key wireless technology unit to Nokia Siemens Networks maximizes value for Nortel stakeholders.
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Tales of the downwardly mobile have become common during the current financial crisis, and South Korea has had more than its share since the global downturn hammered this once fast-growing export economy, The New York Times reported. But they often have a distinctly Korean twist, with former white-collar workers going into more physically demanding work or traditional kinds of manual labor that are relatively well paid here — from farming and fishing to the professional back-scrubbers who clean patrons at the nation’s numerous public bathhouses.
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Queensland's only hospice for terminally ill children, Zoe's Place, will close next week, The Age reported. Zoe's Place went into voluntary administration last month, not long after an investigation was launched into alleged breaches of patient care and safety at the hospice in Brisbane's southwest. SV Partners director Terry Rose, who is leading the administration process, says the hospice will close on July 13 while he searches for a service provider to take over the running of Zoe's Place.
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Acting Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard has condemned the Fair Pay Commission's minimum wage freeze as a “disappointing” decision that will cut real wages for the nation's lowest-paid workers, The Australian reported. The minimum wage remains $564.78 a week, despite unions pushing for a $21 rise. Business groups successfully argued for no rise for 1.3 million low-paid workers, warning it would cost jobs. Ms Gillard said although the Government believed minimum wages should be set by an independent umpire, this time the commission had failed to strike the right balance.
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China's Beijing Automotive Industry Holding, or BAIC, made a concrete offer for General Motors Corp.'s Adam Opel GmbH unit, a GM spokeswoman said. A person familiar with the situation said Friday that BAIC handed in a nonbinding offer valued at €660 million ($924 million) for an equity stake in GM's Opel and Vauxhall businesses, The Wall Street Journal reported. Under the plan, BAIC would own 51% and GM would keep 49%, the person said. No plants would be closed in Germany, but jobs would be cut, including staff at Opel's headquarters.
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Bankrupt newsprint producer AbitibiBowater Inc said that it has appointed Bruce Robertson as its chief restructuring officer, Reuters reported. Robertson, who recently served as senior managing partner at Brookfield Asset Management, will work toward a negotiated settlement of claims and a comprehensive restructuring plan, the company said in a statement. The forestry firm, headquartered in Montreal but incorporated in the United States, crumpled under an overwhelming debt-load and filed for bankruptcy protection in April this year.
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Crabtree & Evelyn Ltd., which sells perfumed soaps, lotions and other personal care products at 126 stores across the U.S., sought bankruptcy protection with plans to shutter some of its underperforming locations, The Wall Street Journal reported. The retailer -- owned by Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd., a publicly traded Malaysian company -- said it has been suffering from a drop in sales over the past nine to 10 months, due to the downturn in consumer spending.
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Adaltis Inc, a Canadian medical device maker, said on Friday it was granted protection from its creditors by a Quebec court while it works on a reorganization plan, Reuters reported. Montreal-based Adaltis, which warned earlier this week that it was running out of money, said the Quebec Superior Court approved its application under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada). The court also approved debtor-in-possession financing of up to C$3 million ($2.6 million) through Victoria Square Ventures Inc to fund operations during the reorganization process.
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Global miner Rio Tinto agreed today to sell its Americas food-packaging assets for $1.2 billion to packaging group Bemis, raising yet more much-needed cash for the indebted miner, the Irish Times reported. Rio Tinto, which only last week raised $15.2 billion in one of the world's largest-ever rights issues, said it had sold the assets for $1 billion in cash with the rest potentially paid in the form of shares in US-listed Bemis. The deal moves Rio Tinto closer to the day when it can draw a line under its near-disastrous 2007 acquisition of aluminium and packaging firm Alcan.
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Three more bidders are interested in taking a stake in German sports car maker Porsche, rivaling investment plans by Qatar, German magazine Focus reported on Saturday. In an advance release of remarks due to be published on Monday, Focus said without citing sources that a Chinese and a Russian sovereign wealth fund as well as a hedge fund were interested. Porsche, which owns 51 percent in Volkswagen, is seeking an outside investor after amassing €9 billion ($12.6 billion) in debt during a bungled attempt to dominate VW.
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