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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, November 8, 2000

AT&T to cut debt to maintain rating

NEW YORK -- AT&T Corp., which plans to split into four companies by 2002, will cut its debt by about $16 billion through asset sales and stock offerings in an effort to keep its credit ratings stable, a spokesman said.

AT&T will fund the repayment "through the continued divestiture of nonstrategic assets, as well as from the proceeds of the expected IPO of Broadband next year," AT&T spokesman David Caouette said. Broadband is AT&T's cable-TV unit. Standard & Poor's said that to maintain its "A" credit rating, the largest U.S. long-distance phone and cable-TV firm would have to lower its total debt by the end of 2001. S&P's move revived speculation that AT&T may be planning to sell its 25 percent stake in Time Warner Entertainment, a venture that controls some of Time Warner Inc.'s cable TV systems and some of its other operations.

Daewoo talks fail; bankruptcy declared

SEOUL -- Daewoo Motor Co. was declared bankrupt by creditors after its union rejected wage and job cuts demanded by banks in return for new loans to keep South Korea's No. 2. automaker solvent. The firm may file for a court to administer its assets within two or three days, said Uhm Rak Yong, governor of Korea Development Bank, Daewoo's top creditor. The firm could operate under court protection until a sale with the most likely buyer, General Motors Corp.

In other news . . .

Bullet LONDON -- British travel concern Thomas Cook Group Ltd. said today it agreed to sell its financial services unit to The Travelex Group for $631 million.

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