MORE TIME FOR TAUBMAN: Simon Property Group Inc. and Westfield America Inc. on Monday extended their $1.7 billion, or $20 per share, all-cash offer for Taubman Centers Inc. until midnight on May 30. As of March 28, when the most recent offer expired, Taubman shareholders had tendered 40.3 million shares, according to Simon. Taubman said in a statement that the amount tendered was less than 50 percent of the total shares, common and preferred, outstanding and that the share count was insufficient to meet Simon’s own minimum tender offer condition. The two have been battling for control of Taubman since last November.

SECRET PROMOTION: Victoria’s Secret Beauty promoted Michael J. Nicholson to chief financial officer. He joined VS Beauty in March 2000 as controller. VS Beauty is a division of Intimate Beauty Corp., which also operates aura science LLC and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Limited Brands. Nicholson reports to Jill Granoff, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Intimate Beauty and VS Beauty.

FREIGHT IN CRISIS: The U.S. freight transportation system is facing a "capacity crisis" and needs restructuring to keep pace with the expected doubling of imports in the next 13 years, concluded a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study released Monday. While U.S. ports are modernizing, the report said rail, trucking and inland freight hubs are already plagued by "key choke points" of congestion and contended that the whole system is vulnerable to sabotage. The chamber hopes to use the study to lobby Congress for funding and creation of a national freight plan.

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