Line of credit eased for USAirUSAir's banks have agreed to...

BUSINESS DIGEST

November 13, 1992

Line of credit eased for USAir

USAir's banks have agreed to make it easier for the airline to draw on a $600 million line of credit by relaxing financial tests the company has to pass before borrowing the money.

USAir, which has $450 million available under the credit line, can currently meet the requirements, a spokeswoman said. But USAir wanted to renegotiate the terms in case it had trouble with the requirements next year, she said.

The credit line was worth $1.5 billion when it was issued in 1989, but is reduced by $300 million each year under the original agreement with the banks. USAir is trying to get government approval for British Airways to invest $750 million in the company.

Beltsville biotech firm sells plant

A small Beltsville biotechnology company which opened its manufacturing facility in July sold it off yesterday for $14 million to a West Chester, Pa., company. Bio Science Contract Production Corp., founded in 1991, sold all of its assets and transferred most of its 40 employees to a former client, Cephalon Inc.

Bio Science plans to start over and build a 20,000-square-foot contract manufacturing facility, perhaps in Baltimore, it said. The company provided contract manufacturing for biotechnology companies.

BioWhittaker's earnings drop

BioWhittaker Inc. said yesterday that its fourth-quarter earnings would be about 9 cents a share, below analysts' expectations that the company would earn more than the 12 cents a share it earned in the same quarter a year ago.

The weak earnings were a result of several factors, company officials said, including a decline in sales of its diagnostic product line, which includes test kits for allergies and infectious diseases.

MasterCard plans phone entry

MasterCard International said yesterday that it's pursuing a move into the telephone calling card business, a venture that would create a partnership between the credit card company and major long-distance carriers.

Under the plan, a MasterCard holder could use a credit card number to bill calls made on long-distance carriers such as American Telephone & Telegraph Co., MCI Communications Corp. and U.S. Sprint Corp.

Campbell enters Chinese market

The Campbell Soup Co. said yesterday that it began !c marketing soup and broth in the People's Republic of China.

The country's 1.2 billion people eat more soup every few weeks than is consumed in the United States in a year, Campbell said.

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