BUSINESS

MISERY AT THE MALLS

BARBARA WICKENS March 23 1992
BUSINESS

MISERY AT THE MALLS

BARBARA WICKENS March 23 1992

Business Notes

REICHMANNS ON THE DEFENSIVE

A London court ruled that Olympia & York Developments Ltd., the giant real estate company controlled by Toronto’s billionaire Reichmann family, is overdue on $288 million that it should have paid to the U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley & Co. last December. O&Y agreed to buy an office building in its struggling Canary Wharf development from the bank in 1990, but argued that it did not have to pay until next June. Meanwhile, in New York City, the private bond-rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc. downgraded for the second time in a year the debt on $657 million worth of secured notes issued against a Manhattan office tower owned by O&Y.

A CAPITALIST HOMECOMING

Thomas Bata, who fled Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia for Canada more than 50 years ago, finally reopened his family’s flagship shoe store in Prague. The store is part of a joint retail venture between Bata and the newly democratic Czechoslovakian government that took months of negotiations to arrange. The previous Communist regime had nationalized Bata’s Czech shoemaking empire in 1946.

TALKS TAKE FLIGHT

Robert Crandall, chairman of AMR Corp., the Fort Worth, Texas-based parent of American Airlines, said that his company is talking to Canadian Airlines about providing management services. Such services would include accounting, reservations, flight planning and dispatching. A spokesman for Calgary-based Canadian Airlines confirmed that talks about a possible alliance are under way, but denied that discussions had moved beyond the preliminary stage.

THINNER WALLETS

Income for Canadian workers increased by 2.6 per cent in 1991, when the annual inflation rate was 5.6 per cent. According to Statistics Canada, that was the lowest annual growth rate in income since the federal agency began its current method of tracking wages and salaries in 1962.

PAYING THE PRICE

Disgraced former junk-bond dealer Michael Milken and several of his associates at the now-bankrupt investment firm Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. will pay $1.6 billion to settle all lawsuits outstanding against them. A New York City judge approved the settlement, which several U.S. politicians had criticized as too lenient, after the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. agreed to it.