COUNTERBID MADE FOR REYNOLDS: Days after aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. made an unsolicited offer for Reynolds Metals Co., a Chicago investment firm has made its own surprise bid. Michigan Avenue Partners, a privately held investment firm, said in a statement it has made an all-cash offer for Reynolds that surpasses Alcoa's $5.6-billion bid. Other details, including the offering price, were not disclosed. A Michigan Avenue spokesman would not comment. An Alcoa spokeswoman dismissed the bid. "We are the only ones who have a bona fide offer on the table for Reynolds to consider," Joyce Saltzman said. A Reynolds spokeswoman would not comment on the new offer.
TROPICANA REJECTS MOVE TO
SARASOTA: Tropicana Products has decided not to move its corporate headquarters to Sarasota and now is considering only two sites _ both in Manatee County. The Bradenton juicemaker did not give a reason for its decision. But Sarasota city officials had rebuffed demands including that county and city vending and fountain facilities serve Pepsi, Frito-Lay and Tropicana products exclusively. PepsiCo Inc. is Tropicana's parent company. Developers said office space costs significantly more in Sarasota than in Manatee. Tropicana wants to lease 75,000 square feet of office space initially to move 352 of 3,250 employees from older buildings on its sprawling east Bradenton campus but has set no time frame for its move. It is considering one site in Bradenton and one in the county. Manatee and Bradenton officials are drawing up separate incentive plans to try to keep Tropicana in the community that has been its home for a half century.
IRIDIUM DECLARES BANKRUPTCY: With a shove from its creditors and a reassuring nod from parental guardian Motorola, Iridium LLC said it would restructure a crushing $3-billion debt load under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code. The move hardly came as a surprise since there was no chance the ambitious satellite-based mobile phone network would meet the subscriber targets stipulated by its loan agreements. Many observers were expecting that Iridium would miss a $90-million interest payment due Sunday. Iridium's stock plunged $1.18} to $3.06\ Friday before the Nasdaq Stock Market halted trading.
OUTAGE UPSETS CHICAGO MARKET: The Chicago Board of Trade management decided to switch to a back-up system for after-hours trading due to continuing problems with the data network supplied by MCI WorldCom Inc. "This recurring MCI WorldCom failure is unacceptable," said Thomas Donovan, chief executive of the Board of Trade, in a letter to Bernard Ebbers, chief executive of MCI WorldCom. Electronic trading accounts for only about 5 percent of the CBOT's business, but it amounts to about 45,000 contracts a day, which is significant, a CBOT spokesman said. As many as 30 percent of the businesses that use MCI WorldCom's high-speed network to access the Internet and send e-mail have had trouble with these services since late last week. MCI WorldCom does not know when the network will be fixed, a spokeswoman said.
SEC ORDERS MORE DISCLOSURE: Companies will have to include more details in financial reports to investors under new federal accounting guidelines issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC said that businesses can't depend solely on a common rule of thumb that "material" developments requiring disclosure are only those that would affect a company's earnings by 5 percent or more. It is equally important to consider whether "in light of the surrounding circumstances, a reasonable investor would consider the item to be important," the SEC bulletin said.
CNBC anchors Maria Bartiromo and Tyler Mathisen will not be part of its Business Center show's move to Wall Street. A photo caption Friday was incorrect.