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BIG HOME LENDER FORCED TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY

NEW YORK

American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, a sign that the worst housing crunch in decades could be widening. American Home Mortgage, based in Melville, N.Y., and once the nation's 10th-largest mortgage lender, said it fell victim to "extraordinary disruptions" that effectively cut off the funding it needed to make new loans. Falling home prices and a spike in payment defaults scared investors away from mortgage debt, including bonds and other securities backed by home loans. Its 40 biggest creditors include virtually all the major names of Wall Street. At the top of the list are Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. In a statement, American Home said it lined up $50-million in debtor-in-possession financing from WL Ross & Co. LLC.

CHICAGO

McDonald's to sell Boston Market

McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant company, said Monday it has agreed to sell its meat-and-potatoes Boston Market restaurant chain to private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners of Boca Raton for an undisclosed sum. McDonald's spokesman Walt Riker said the deal is expected to close in several weeks. He would not discuss details of the sale. The transaction was first announced in a regulatory filing made by McDonald's on Monday, seven months after McDonald's acknowledged it was studying strategic options for the chain.

MEMPHIS

FedEx Kinko's plans major expansion

FedEx Kinko's, a unit of package-delivery company FedEx Corp., announced Monday it plans to expand its operations throughout fiscal 2008 by adding 300 new U.S. office and print centers. The company also said it would redesign 110 existing centers and introduce 20 new locations internationally - primarily in the Asia-Pacific region.

WASHINGTON

T-bill rates fall

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell Monday. The Treasury Department auctioned $21-billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 4.770 percent, down from 4.825 last week. An additional $18-billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 4.730 percent, down from 4.800 percent last week.

ALLEN TO SELL DREAMWORKS SHARES, LEAVE BOARD

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., maker of the Shrek films, said billionaire Paul Allen, the company's largest investor, will sell more than half of his stake in the company, as many as 12-million shares for about $548-million, and leave the board.

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