Venture to acquire Westin hotelsStarwood Capital Group...


Venture to acquire Westin hotels

Starwood Capital Group LP and Goldman, Sachs & Co. said yesterday they will form a joint venture to acquire Westin Hotel Co. from Aoiki Corp. for $561 million in cash. The companies will also assume the hotel chain's debt. The purchase is backed by financing from Nomura Asset Capital Corp. Under the agreement, Aoki will retain interest in nine U.S. and Canadian hotels as well as the Westin trademark in Asia. Westin will continue to manage the nine hotels and control the Westin name worldwide.

PaineWebber sued by clients

PaineWebber Group Inc. has been sued by clients who accuse the brokerage of duping them into buying risky limited partnerships. The lawsuits, which seek class-action status, follow the disclosure early this week that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating PaineWebber as part of a broad review of Wall Street's limited partnerships sales. The suits, filed Wednesday and yesterday in U.S. District Court and in New York State Supreme Court, both in Manhattan, seek unspecified damages. PaineWebber officials weren't available for comment.

USAir, pilots stalled in talks

USAir and the union representing its 5,200 pilots have made no progress on financial elements of a concessions agreement, 10 days after they resumed talks and three weeks before their self-imposed deadline to have a pact, the union said. Furthermore, the Air Line Pilots Association said, USAir now is asking for more than the $500 million a year in concessions it has said it needs to end its financial hemorrhaging. The union did not give a specific figure. USAir officials could not be reached yesterday.

Kemper ponders sale of divisions

Kemper Corp. is considering the piecemeal sale of its insurance, mutual fund and brokerage divisions if it doesn't find a buyer for the entire company by the end of the year, investment bankers and analysts said. Kemper is looking for a suitor after Conseco Inc. scuttled its $2.96 billion offer for the Long Grove, Ill., company Sunday. The company's stock fell 18 percent this week and closed yesterday at $39.88, lower than in March, when Kemper became a takeover target.

Mayflower may sell moving business

Mayflower Group Inc. said yesterday it is considering an offer to sell its moving business to a subsidiary of United Van Lines. Mayflower said it would negotiate exclusively with privately held UniGroup of St. Louis until Dec. 2 to determine if the two companies can agree on terms for the sale. Mayflower's other business is passenger transportation for school districts and municipalities. The news sent Mayflower stock up $1.50, or 15 percent, to close at $11.25 a share in Nasdaq stock market trading.

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