BUSINESS BRIEFING

Saturday, August 23, 2008

CONTRACTING

Northrop Blasts Boeing's Request

Northrop Grumman President Wes Bush criticized Boeing's request for more time to complete its new proposal for an Air Force contract worth up to $40 billion.

Bush said Boeing's request to extend a deadline by four months for the disputed aerial refueling tanker contract will only cause further delays and higher costs for taxpayers.

"By coming out and saying, 'We need another six months,' Boeing seems to be openly admitting that their tanker does not measure up to what the Air Force needs," Bush said.

Boeing spokesman Daniel Beck said the previous aircraft doesn't match the Air Force's new requirements.

Bush declined to say whether Northrop had formally objected to Boeing's request.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Severstal to Buy Pa. Mining Firm

Russian steelmaking giant OAO Severstal announced plans to buy Pennsylvania's PBS Coals for about $1.3 billion in cash.

Severstal will buy PBS by purchasing a public company, PBS Coals Ltd., that will be created when Penfold Capital Acquisition Corp. buys PBS, the steelmaker said. The boards of PBS and Penfold support the deal.

PBS mines, processes and sells coal in Somerset County, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. It operates six underground and six surface mines near Severstal's North American production centers. The mines have the capacity to produce more than 4 million tons of metallurgical coal per year, Severstal said.

AUTOMOTIVE

Car Makers to Press for Loans

Automakers plan to urge Congress to support funding up to $50 billion in low-interest loans over three years to help them modernize their assembly plants and develop next-generation fuel-efficient vehicles.


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