- The Washington Times - Friday, July 6, 2007

Regional

U SAC Capital Advisors, the hedge-fund firm run by Steven Cohen, increased its stake in Six Flags Inc., the second-largest U.S. theme-park operator, to 5.2 percent. SAC is now the sixth-largest Six Flags shareholder. Red Zone, a firm controlled by Six Flags Chairman and Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, is the largest investor, with a 12 percent stake.

U Bethesda’s Lockheed Martin Corp. successfully completed the first test flight of the new Marine One helicopter it is building to carry U.S. presidents. The 40-minute flight took place Tuesday at a facility in Yeovil, England, owned by partner Finmeccanica’s AgustaWestland unit.

U Richmond energy and utility company Dominion Resources said its agreement to sell its Pennsylvania and West Virginia natural gas utilities to Equitable Resources Inc. has been extended at least until Sept. 1 as the companies await regulatory approval.

U The Justice Department gave Mittal Steel Co. another 15 days to sell the Sparrows Point mill it acquired as part of its pending $41 billion merger with Arcelor of Luxembourg. The department ordered Mittal to sell the plant, near Baltimore, to preserve U.S. competition in production of tin-plated steel, which is used to make cans for food, aerosol sprays and paint.

National

U Democratic 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards embraced the idea of raising taxes on the managers of private-equity firms and hedge funds. Mr. Edwards said he would announce within 10 days his position on a House bill that would force fund managers to pay taxes as high as 35 percent on their share of profits instead of the 15 percent capital-gains rate most pay now.

U EBay Inc. began a free U.S. classified advertising site, Kijiji.com, an experiment the online auction company says could lead to new sources of revenue. The site covers 220 cities in 50 states. Topics include “apartments for rent,” “lost and found,” “pet adoption” and “garage sales.”

U Microsoft Corp. said it will book costs of as much as $1.15 billion before taxes to extend warranty coverage on its Xbox 360 video-game consoles after an “unacceptable” number required repairs.

U AirTran Holdings, a low-cost carrier that flies mainly on the East Coast, said it expects to report a second-quarter drop of as much as 5.5 percent in revenue per seat for each mile flown, more than AirTran stated in its June outlook. The company’s shares declined the most in five months.

U JetBlue Airways Corp., the first U.S. carrier to offer live in-flight television, will detail plans by year’s end to let passengers send free e-mail or text messages from wireless hand-held devices. No U.S. airline now offers such a service. JetBlue said it is developing the technology through its LiveTV subsidiary.

U Boeing Co. said it delivered 114 commercial airplanes in the second quarter, its highest total since 2001. The deliveries do not include the new 787 Dreamliner, which debuts Sunday and already has 642 orders. Boeing is on pace to overtake rival Airbus in deliveries by early next year, helped by the momentum generated by the 787.

U Hollinger Inc. sued three Canadian banks, accusing them of securing loan repayments while aware its former Chairman Conrad Black was improperly siphoning money to companies that he controlled.

U Delinquencies and defaults on U.S.subprime mortgages will keep rising as borrowers who received loans under relaxed underwriting standards miss payments, said Robert Parker, vice chairman of Credit Suisse Asset Management. The share of subprime mortgages entering default in the first quarter was the highest in almost five years, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, as the country saw the biggest decline in housing prices since the 1930s.

U Huntsman Corp. shares rose 13 percent after the U.S. chemical maker got a $6.35 billion takeover offer on Tuesday from Apollo Management, topping a bid from billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries. Apollo, a New York-based buyout firm, offered $27.25 a share, $2 more than Access’ bid on June 26.

U Champps Entertainment Inc., an operator of sports-themed restaurants, agreed to be bought by F&H; Acquisition Corp. for $74.8 million, two months after dropping a plan to sell the business for lack of acceptable offers. F&H;, owner of the Fox & Hound and Bailey’s Pub & Grille restaurants, will pay $5.60 a share in cash, 21 percent higher than Champps’ closing price on Tuesday.

U Samsonite agreed to be bought by CVC Capital Partners for about $1.1 billion, giving the 97-year-old luggage maker its fifth owner in 21 years. Samsonite, a unit of Beatrice Foods in the 1980s, is being sold by buyout firms including Bain Capital that own 85 percent of the company. The stock lost almost all its value in 2003 before rebounding on an increase in travel.

U Advanced Medical Optics Inc., a maker of eye-care and surgical products, bid $75 a share for rival Bausch & Lomb Inc., topping an offer from private-equity firm Warburg Pincus, a source said. Rochester, N.Y.-based Bausch & Lomb took its contact lens solution, Renu with MoistureLoc, off the shelves last year after the product was tied to a rare fungal infection.

U Thin trading on the spot cheese market makes it ripe for manipulation, and that could affect the price of milk and other dairy products, the investigative arm of Congress said. The warning from the Government Accountability Office comes as block cheddar cheese reached $1.95 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, up 67 percent from $1.17 a pound a year ago.

U A moviegoer caught secretly recording the sci-fi blockbuster “Transformers” has been charged with unauthorized use of a video camera in a theater in the first arrest under a new New York City law that stiffened penalties for pirating films. In May, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed legislation that upgraded film piracy from a violation with a $250 fine to a misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail and penalties of up to $5,000.

International

U Research In Motion shares rose to an all-time high after the Globe and Mail of Toronto reported that the company won permission to sell its BlackBerry e-mail phones in China, the world’s biggest mobile phone market by subscribers. The company may sell its handsets in Chinese shops by the end of next month.

U South Korea’s National Tax Tribunal rejected an appeal by U.S. private equity group Lone Star Funds and ordered it to pay $110 million in back taxes on profits from the sale of a Seoul office building. Lone Star filed complaints in March last year against the tax authority’s decision to impose back taxes on the fund’s $975.7 million sale of the building in 2004 via its Belgium-based affiliate Star Holdings.

U A young German entrepreneur won a legal battle against Internet behemoth Google on the use of its “Gmail” brand for free electronic mail service. A German court ruled that Google may not use the name in Germany, upholding 33-year-old businessman Daniel Giersch’s claim to have a copyright on the “G-Mail” name for an e-mail service he has been developing for seven years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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