KMART’S FAST TRACK: Bankrupt Kmart Corp. on Wednesday received Chicago bankruptcy court approval of its $2 billion financing arrangement to use after exiting bankruptcy. The loan will be secured by inventory. The retailer, which filed its reorganization plan on Jan. 24, plans to exit Chapter 11 proceedings by April 30. As reported, the Troy, Mich.-based company received bankruptcy court approval Tuesday to close 316 stores. Going-out-of-business sales at the affected locations are expected to begin today and last 10 to 12 weeks.

BIG LOSSES AT AOL TIME WARNER: AOL Time Warner said Wednesday the company recorded a net loss of $98.7 billion in 2002, after a $45.54 billion asset writedown. It is the largest reported net loss in U.S. corporate history. Additionally, chairman Ted Turner will be stepping down in May. Turner’s resignation is only the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the company, following the departures of chairman Steve Case, chief operating officer Robert Pittman and chief executive officer Gerald Levin. The company made its disclosures after the market had closed. Its stock had closed Wednesday at $13.96, well off its 52-week New York Stock Exchange high of $28.54.

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