COMPANIES

Burger King is poised to trim up to 400 people from its staff nationwide, including regional vice presidents and franchise operations managers, the Miami Herald reported.

GM began shipping the first truckloads of its highly touted, import-fighting Saturn cars from Tennessee as Saturn Corp. President Richard "Skip" LeFauve promised no rebates would be used to spur sales.

Metallized Paper Corp. of America officially opened in the sprawling, 140-acre former USX National Steel Works plant in McKeesport, Pa. Metallized Paper is the first major business to take space at the plant, which is being developed to accommodate new industry.

Mercedes-Benz will produce lightweight and middleweight trucks with the former East German state-owned firm Ifa. Initial production of the Mercedes LN 2 truck will be at existing Ifa factories in Ludwigsfelde, near Berlin.

Miller Brewing is expected to announce today whether it will open a seven-year-old brewery near Trenton, Ohio, that had received tax abatement and state assistance. Politicians, irked that Miller has never delivered promised jobs, have threatened to revoke the tax benefits.

Rhone-Poulenc, the French chemical and pharmaceutical giant, said it will slash 3,500 jobs from its Brazilian work force due to government austerity measures that are crimping business activity there.

Swissair plans to resume flights to Berlin. Service was halted at the outbreak of World War II.

United's three main unions said UAL Corp. is proposing to allow airline employees to buy up to 20 percent of the company's stock at a 15 percent discount. The unions, which have unsuccessfully been trying to buy the airline, said the stock offer should be addressed in contract negotiations.

ACQUISITIONS Comdial Corp. of Charlottesville, a manufacturer of telephone terminal equipment, signed a letter of intent in which Eagle Telephonics Inc. of Hauppauge, N.Y., would merge with a Comdial unit.

COURTS

Egghead will settle a shareholder lawsuit for $2.9 million to avoid further court costs, Chairman Stuart Sloan said. The complaint contended that in Egghead's initial stock-offering statement in 1988 and in subsequent statements, the company was portrayed as one with tight controls, making a sudden $13 million 1989 quarterly loss unforgivable.

Three former Bank of Boston employees pleaded guilty to embezzlement. The government charged the three with electronically transferring $104,342 in unclaimed securities to a private account.

INTERNATIONAL

Mexico will be allowed a series of debt-for-equity swaps that will cancel $1.8 billion of the country's $92 billion foreign debt over the next 18 months. Treasury officials have approved 29 private bidders for the swaps.

EARNINGS

CPC International said its third-quarter net income rose by 13 percent.

Chemical Banking reported a loss of $43.7 million in the third quarter. Chemical said the quarterly dividend paid on its common stock would be cut to 25 cents a share from 68 cents.

Hilton Hotels Corp. said its third-quarter profit fell 49 percent.

Kimberly-Clark reported third-quarter earnings of $123.3 million.

PEOPLE

Theodore Forstmann, a buyout strategist, is seeking investors for a $1.5 billion fund that would finance acquisitions of companies by using debt, according to a source. Since the collapse of the junk bond market a year ago, many investors have shunned the idea of funding acquisitions primarily with debt.

James M. McConnell, chief management analyst for the Securities and Exchange Commission, has been appointed the agency's executive director, replacing George Kundahl, who left the SEC earlier this year.

Robert C. Williams, currently president and chief operating officer, was named CEO of James River Corp. Brenton Halsey will relinquish the post of chief executive officer but remain as chairman until his retirement in April 1992 as part of a management transition plan, the Richmond-based company said.

Charles H. Keating Jr.'s lawyers, rejected three times in state courts, asked a federal court judge to reduce the jailed financier's $5 million bail. Keating's attorneys said the bail set by Superior Court Judge Gary Klausner was excessive and unconstitutional, and argued Keating couldn't adequately defend himself against fraud charges as long as he was in jail.

Donald Trump may be struggling to survive at the top, but his second book seems to have lost the fight. The New York Times reported that the book, "Surviving at the Top," has tumbled off its best-seller list after only seven weeks.

ODD LOTS

The value of commercial real estate sales in the Washington area declined to $2.4 billion in the first six months of the year from $2.8 billion during the first half of 1989, a drop of 13 percent, according to Rufus S. Lusk & Son Inc., a Silver Spring real estate information service. The number of sales declined by 30 percent, to 2,271 from 3,246.

The cost of operating a new car has risen 3.4 cents a mile in the past year, the American Automobile Association said.