12 BCCI executives sentenced
Twelve former top executives of the collapsed Bank of Credit and Commerce International were convicted of fraud and mismanagement yesterday in an Abu Dhabi court and sentenced to as long as 14 years in prison.
They were also ordered to pay $9.13 billion to the Abu Dhabi government, the bank's major shareholder. Most of the defendants said they would be unable to pay because they are broke.
BCCI's elderly Pakistani founder, Agha Hasan Abedi, failed to appear at the trial but was sentenced in absentia to an eight-year jail term. Pakistan said in April that it would not extradite him.
Simon & Schuster chief fired
Richard E. Snyder was dismissed yesterday as chairman and chief executive of Simon & Schuster, the company he helped build into a publishing behemoth over the last 33 years.
The decision was made by Simon & Schuster's corporate parent, Viacom Inc., which acquired the publisher as part of its $9.7 billion takeover of Paramount Communications in February.
Viacom officials attributed the decision to a difference in styles.
The state telecommunications monopolies in Germany and France announced plans yesterday to invest $4.2 billion for a 20 percent stake in U.S. long-distance phone company Sprint Corp. and set up a global "megacarrier" alliance.
Deutsche Bundespost Telekom, France Telecom and Sprint will provide communications services for multinational corporations ranging from basic telephone to data transmission and multimedia services.
Times Mirror considers buyback
Times Mirror Co., planning to sell its cable TV operations to Cox Enterprises Inc., said yesterday that the company was considering a repurchase of its shares, but that any buyback would have to wait until one year after the close of the deal.
Times Mirror also said its proposal to cut its quarterly dividend to between one-fifth and one-third of its current level would be decided upon at the closing of the Cox deal.
Times Mirror, which publishes the Los Angeles Times, The Sun and The Evening Sun and other newspapers, was responding to shareholder lawsuits seeking to block the $2.3 billion sale.
Met Life, Travelers confirm deal
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and Travelers Inc. confirmed a merger deal yesterday that would create one of the nation's largest health care companies.
The merger was widely praised by analysts, who said the combination gave the companies a better chance of catching up with the leaders in managed health care.