New offer for ContinentalGermany's Lufthansa airlines and...

BUSINESS DIGEST

September 17, 1992

New offer for Continental

Germany's Lufthansa airlines and American billionaire Marvin Davis offered $400 million yesterday for Continental Airlines Inc., becoming the fourth group to enter the bidding war for the troubled carrier.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Los Angeles-based Davis Cos. proposed investing $100 million in cash in a reorganized Continental and purchasing $300 million in its corporate bonds. Mr. Davis, 67, a Denver oil tycoon active in entertainment and real estate, previously made unsuccessful runs at United and Northwest airlines.

dTC Houston-based Continental Airlines Holdings Inc. has been operating in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since December 1990.

Industrial output down 0.5%

U.S. industrial production declined 0.5 percent in August, offering new evidence that the locomotive once pulling the economy out of recession has lost its steam. The Federal Reserve, which released the production report yesterday, attributed part of the decline to the effects of Hurricane Andrew and a strike at a General Motors parts plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

The Commerce Department said business inventories rose 0.1 percent in July, to a seasonally adjusted $832.9 billion, the highest level since they reached $838.5 billion in February 1991. It was the fifth increase in six months. At the same time, business sales rose 0.8 percent in July, to a record level of $558.5 billion.

British Airways' offer weighed

Transportation Secretary Andrew H. Card Jr. acknowledged yesterday that an approval of British Airways' proposed $750 million investment in USAir could be a strong lever to extract more liberal terms for the United States in its aviation agreement with Britain.

But Mr. Card said that he had not made up his mind on the approval. He added that in his coming meeting with British Transportation Secretary John McGregor to discuss the bilateral aviation agreement he would not link formal approval of what he called a private corporate transaction to the overall discussions on how the bilateral agreement should be relaxed.

OPEC seeks price system

OPEC ministers searched yesterday for a formula that would allow crude prices to rise as much as $2 a barrel during winter.

Ministers of the 13-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries formally opened their fall strategy session, then quickly adjourned to bargain privately over a new production agreement.

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