Air Canada and a group of investors led by Texas businessman David Bonderman offered $480 million for a 49-per-cent interest in Continental Airlines Inc., which has been operating under legal bankruptcy protection since 1990. Meanwhile, Canadian Airlines International Ltd. president Kevin Jenkins urged the airline’s 15,000 employees to invest $150 million in the company over the next three years through salary deductions. Jenkins said that would encourage American Airlines Inc. to invest in the airline and to help it obtain assistance from the British Columbia and Alberta governments.
DIAMOND STORES IN THE ROUGH
Peoples Jewellers Ltd., Canada’s largest jewelry retailer, reported a $159.2-million loss for the year ended March 31 after writing off its $ 149.6-million investment in Dallas-based Zale Corp., the largest jewelry store chain in the United States. Peoples purchased a 47-per-cent stake in the company in 1986, but Zale has lost money since then, and filed for bankruptcy protection in January.
A DEADLINE FOR WESTAR
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Macdonald announced that he would revoke bankruptcy protection for troubled Westar Mines Ltd., one of British Columbia’s largest coal producers, on Aug. 31. He added that “unless something pretty dramatic happens,” creditors will likely force Westar to shut down and sell its assets.
MULRONEY BEATS BUSH
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has been a more effective deficit-fighter than President George Bush since both were elected in 1988, according to a study by the Toronto-based investment dealer Bums Fry Ltd. Over the past four years, Canada’s federal budget deficit on a national accounts basis, which includes such nonbudgetary revenues as civil servants’ pension fund contributions, has increased by 11 per cent, to $18.2 billion, while the U.S. deficit has nearly doubled to $338.4 billion. But the study added that Mulroney’s superior record stems from tax increases, rather than spending restraints.
A PARTIAL BEER VICTORY
A Canadian-U.S. trade dispute resolution panel ruled that three U.S. brewers, Stroh Brewery Co., Pabst Brewery Co. and G. Heileman Brewery Co., dumped beer below cost into British Columbia in 1991. But the five-member panel also said that the dumping likely did not cause any financial harm to Canadian brewers.
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