Nutri-System hearing todayFranchise operators of...

BUSINESS DIGEST

May 11, 1993

Nutri-System hearing today

Franchise operators of Nutri-System Inc. diet centers are scheduled to appear in a Philadelphia bankruptcy court today to ask a judge to rescind his order of last week appointing a trustee to oversee management of the troubled company.

If the judge agrees, a new ownership group -- led by Heico Acquisitions Co. of Chicago -- has promised to provide money to supply dietary food to the 857 franchised Nutri-System centers and to as many of the 283 company-owned stores as can reopen after two weeks of financial chaos.

NAFTA critics tone down remarks

Under intense pressure from the White House, some leading congressional critics of the North American Free Trade Agreement are toning down their oratory. A few of them are even saying they might support the pact after all.

House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., said late yesterday that he was urging Democrats to avoid taking positions now on the pact, which would eliminate trade barriers dTC among Canada, Mexico and the United States. He said lawmakers should give the Clinton administration time to complete its negotiations with Canada and Mexico on three side agreements.

American Home to boost generics

Amid growing price competition in pharmaceuticals, American Home Products Corp. said yesterday that it would expand its generic drug business. It intends to make lower-cost copies of drugs whose patents have expired in an appeal to large purchasers for managed-care organizations.

Apple sounds challenge to Intel

Sounding a direct challenge to Intel Corp.'s chips, Apple Computer Chairman John Sculley predicted yesterday that in 1994 Apple would sell more than a million of a new generation of personal computers based on a chip Apple has developed in an alliance with International Business Machines and Motorola.

More bankruptcy judges wanted

Bankruptcy filings dropped 12.7 percent in the first quarter of this year, but the need for more federal bankruptcy judges remains as great as ever, participants said yesterday at a Washington conference sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Consumer debt up 5.5% in March

Consumers boosted their outstanding debt by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.5 percent in March, the government said.

Consumer installment credit grew $3.44 billion, to $752.2 billion, in March, according to the Federal Reserve report. It was the eighth straight increase.

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