- - Sunday, April 8, 2012

NEW YORK — Water-park owner Great Wolf Resorts Inc. said Sunday that a private investment firm has sweetened its offer to acquire the company.

The company, which operates 11 Great Wolf Lodge indoor water parks in North America including one in Williamsburg, Va., said KSL Capital Partners is offering $7 per share in cash. That’s 75 cents per share higher than KSL’s earlier unsolicited offer that Great Wolf rejected. Based on Great Wolf’s 32.91 million outstanding shares, KSL’s bid is now worth about $230.4 million.

The offer also tops a bid by Apollo Global Management of $6.75 per share, or $222.1 million. Great Wolf’s board has already has accepted Apollo Global’s offer, but said Sunday that it would “consider and evaluate” KSL’s latest offer.


AT&T workers to stay on job despite lack of contract

NEW YORK — About 40,000 AT&T landline workers are staying on the job this week without a contract, their union said Sunday.

The workers’ contracts expired over the weekend, raising the possibility of a strike. But the Communications Workers of America and AT&T Inc. said that they’ll keep working on a new deal.

CWA spokeswoman Candice Johnson said union representatives met with AT&T on Sunday after talks ended late on Saturday. She doesn’t know how long it will take to reach an agreement.

“Everyone wants to get this done soon,” Ms. Johnson said.

The employees, meanwhile, will continue to receive the same wages and benefits as before. AT&T spokesman Marty Richter said managers and vendors will step in to keep service running if there is one.

At issue in the negotiations are job-protection clauses and health care premiums and co-payments. AT&T says it wants employees to shoulder more of their growing health care costs and more leeway to downsize its shrinking landline operations. Some of its workers have contracts that guarantee them job offers at different parts of the company if they’re laid off.

Union organizers point to the overall financial health of the company, which posted a profit of $4 billion for last year.


Hackers claim attack on Home Office website

LONDON — Britain’s Home Office said Sunday its website was temporarily unavailable overnight, and hackers are claiming responsibility for shutting it down.

The hackers also claim they attacked Britain’s Ministry of Justice website Saturday night and warned of further attacks every Saturday to come on U.K. government websites.

The purported hackers - who claim ties to Anonymous, the hacker collective - said on Twitter they launched Saturday’s denial-of-service attacks and brought down the websites to protest “proposed draconian surveillance measures,” Britain’s extradition policies and “derogation of civil liberties.”

The authenticity of their claims could not be verified. Denial-of-service attacks, which flood websites with too much traffic, are relatively easy to pull off and generally do no lasting damage.

From wire dispatches and staff reports