SAS to join bid for ContinentalScandinavian Air Systems...

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 06, 1992

SAS to join bid for Continental

Scandinavian Air Systems announced yesterday that it would join efforts with a Houston businessman who is among five bidders for Continental Airlines. SAS, which already owns nearly 18 percent of Continental's stock, said it will work with Houston Air Inc. to acquire the carrier, which is in the midst of bankruptcy reorganization.

Four other competing bids also have been submitted, with Houston Air's $385 million offer being the second lowest.

Billions spent on Canadian dollar

Canada's central bank spent close to $4.26 billion in September defending the Canadian dollar as it weakened sharply over worries about the unity of the country, the government said yesterday.

The country's foreign reserves fell to $12.78 billion at the end of September from $15.68 billion a month earlier, as the Bank of Canada repeatedly intervened in foreign-exchange markets to support the value of the currency. The run on the dollar could continue if fresh polls and negative comments fuel political uncertainty, analysts said.

Moody's upgrades MNC rating

Moody's Investors Service Inc. said it upgraded the senior debt rating of MNC Financial Inc. to Ba3 from single-B1. At the same time, the long- and short-term deposit ratings of MNC's subsidiary banks were confirmed at Ba1 and not prime, respectively. MNC owns Maryland National Bank and American Security Bank in Washington. Although MNC's "asset quality remains very poor," Moody's said the upgrade was based on better financial fundamentals and on NationsBank Corp.'s $200 million investment in the Baltimore company.

General Dynamics unit bought

The Carlyle Group, a privately held merchant bank, announced it was buying the San Diego-based Electronics Division of General Dynamics Corp. Carlyle, which is based in Washington, said yesterday that the new company, to be named GDE Systems, will remain in San Diego.

The Electronics Division, which employs 2,300 workers, applies digital technology to design, develop and manufacture defense electronics. Its 1992 earnings are expected to be $300 million.

Kmart sued over pumpkin kit

A couple who transformed a family pumpkin carving tradition into a $1 million business sued Kmart Corp. yesterday, alleging the retail giant has infringed on its patent by marketing a similar product. Pumpkin Ltd. produces Carve-O-Lantern kits, offering a set of tools and designs for creating intricate Halloween faces that have gained national attention.

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