In the Region Outdoor chain, Sunny's, emerges from...

BUSINESS DIGEST

March 03, 2001

In the Region

Outdoor chain, Sunny's, emerges from bankruptcy

Sunny's Great Outdoors Inc., a 52-year-old camping and clothing retailer with 18 stores, has emerged from Chapter 11 status after a recent judgment in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore.

The chain is to pay its unsecured, non-related creditors about $4.1 million - 25 percent of the money due them. The retailer's related equity holders agreed to receive no money now and to provide up to $1.5 million to help Sunny's pay its creditors within 10 or 11 days.

Sunny's president and CEO, Steve Blake, attributed the chain's turnaround to a renewed focus on selling camping gear and rugged outdoor apparel.

Another one-day strike set at Hopkins, GBMC, Sinai

District 1199E-DC of the Service Employees International Union said yesterday that it will stage another one-day strike March 15 at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Sinai Hospital and Greater Baltimore Medical Center. The union, which had a one-day walkout Jan. 31, represents 2,500 workers at the three hospitals in housekeeping, maintenance, food service and related departments.

Robert Moore, union president, said that, while there had been some progress in bargaining since the last walkout, things are "pretty much the same." The key issues are wages, pensions and conditions for union organizing in nonunion departments.

The hospitals remained open last time with other workers filling in for the strikers. Hopkins and Sinai said they would do the same. A GBMC spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Funds from operations rise to $1.35 a share at REIT

Humphrey Hospitality Trust Inc. of Columbia reported yesterday that funds from operations in 2000 increased to $16.3 million, or $1.35 a diluted share, compared with $8.6 million, or $1.29 a diluted share, in 1999.

Funds from operations, a key measure of performance of real estate investment trusts, went to $4 million, or 33 cents a diluted share, in the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31. That compares with $3.6 million, or 35 cents a diluted share, in the corresponding quarter of 1999. The increase was largely due to the limited-service hotel REIT's merger with Supertel Hospitality on Oct. 26, 1999.

Elsewhere

Millions at stake for Daft if he can turn around Coke

Coca-Cola Co. last year gave new Chief Executive Douglas Daft a $91.7 million pay package, plus a challenge: turn around the world's biggest soft-drink maker if you want to see the bulk of the money anytime soon.

Daft, 57, became chairman and chief executive in February 2000 as the Atlanta company grappled with falling earnings and image problems. The stock is down 41 percent from a July 1998 peak through yesterday.

Most of Daft's pay in 2000 came in the form of restricted stock, valued at $87.3 million. But he can't touch any of that stock before retirement unless he boosts earnings-per-share growth to at least 15 percent over the next five years.

Long-sought U.S. financier flies home for arraignment

Financier Martin Frankel left a German prison yesterday for the United States, where he faces dozens of state and federal charges for defrauding insurance companies in five states.

Frankel, 46, departed on a flight from Frankfurt's international airport after being transported from the northern port city of Hamburg, said border patrol spokesman Klaus Ludwig. He was headed to New York.

A scheduled earlier departure was scuttled by snow in Hamburg, where Frankel had been jailed since his 1999 arrest in a waterfront hotel. Because of the delay, authorities in New Haven, Conn., where Frankel is to be tried first, said he will not be arraigned before Monday.

This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Reuters.

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