Refco Bidder May Pull Its Offer

J.C. Flowers, one of the bidders for Refco's futures-trading business, said it would withdraw its offer unless a judge approved the sale by Nov. 11. Refco, which filed for Chapter 11 protection on Oct. 17, proposed that bidders submit their offers by Nov. 4, in a filing made today to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert D. Drain in Manhattan. Refco proposed that all bids must be made in cash and that an auction would proceed in increments of $2 million.


GMAC Has 'Short List' of Buyers

General Motors, trying to regain an investment-grade rating for its auto-loan debt, has a "short list" of possible buyers of a controlling stake in its auto finance unit, the automaker's top executive said. GM is already in discussions with several companies it identified as making the most sense for a "strategic partnership" to buy a stake in General Motors Acceptance Corp., chief executive G. Richard Wagoner Jr. said.


Disney to Provide Movies for AOL

Walt Disney Co. agreed to provide America Online Web sites with exclusive movie content as chief executive Robert A. Iger looks for fresh ways to reach audiences.

America Online's, for example, may offer a "first look" at images and scenes from films such as "The Chronicles of Narnia," a planned holiday release from Disney.

Yahoo to Raise Price on Music

Yahoo said Friday that it would raise prices for its Music Unlimited service, about five months after launching it. Subscribers who want to listen to downloaded songs on portable digital-music players will have to pay $11.99 a month or $119.88 a year, up from $6.99 a month or $59.98 a year.


Start-Up Sues Lockheed, Boeing

A start-up rocket manufacturer sued Lockheed Martin and Boeing, alleging that their proposed United Launch Alliance joint venture would form a monopoly.

Space Exploration Technologies, which was started by former PayPal chief executive and co-founder Elon Musk, told a California federal judge that it would be able to develop and produce less expensive rockets for the Air Force's satellite launch project.


US Airways Investors Raise Stake

US Airways Group investors that helped fund the carrier's exit from bankruptcy increased their holdings by purchasing 7.5 million additional shares for $112.5 million. A group including hedge funds Par Capital Management, Peninsula Investment and Tudor Investment exercised their stock options in two purchases, on Sept. 28 and Oct. 13, the airline said.

Northwest Union Calls Off Vote

Northwest Airlines continued to hire permanent replacements for striking mechanics after their union refused to put the company's latest offer to a vote. The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association called off the vote, saying Northwest inserted language in its written offer that had not been discussed before.

E.U.-U.S. Airport Talks Adjourn

The European Union and the United States ended five days of talks on possibly opening more U.S. airports to European airlines. Negotiators said they hoped to clinch a deal next month. The discussions aim to produce a single agreement to replace bilateral deals with E.U. members that the organization's high court ruled as illegal in 2002.


Housing-Finance Regulator Vote

Lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a House bill that would tighten regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Wednesday, Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said. The bill would create an independent regulator for the housing finance companies and require them to set aside a portion of their profits for low-income housing.

Flyi on Notice From Nasdaq

Dulles-based Flyi, parent of Independence Air, received notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market that it was in violation of a listing requirement. The stock market said the company has not maintained aggregate market value of $15 million in publicly held stock. The airline was given 90 days to comply.

NCI Raises $54.1 Million in IPO

NCI's initial public offering raised nearly $54.1 million as the Reston-based information technology company sold 5.15 million shares at $10.50. Nearly $46.9 million of the proceeds will go to NCI to repay debt and for use as working capital, NCI said.

Stock Market Warns Williams

Manassas-based Williams Industries received notification from the Nasdaq Stock Market that the company was not in compliance with listing criteria. The notice stated that the stockholder's equity on July 31 was less than the required $10 million.

Nasdaq asked Williams to submit a plan by Nov. 2 to return to compliance.

Xerox reported that third-quarter profit fell to $63 million, down 61 percent from $163 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 1.2 percent, to $3.76 billion.

Weyerhaeuser said third-quarter profit fell to $285 million, down 52 percent from $594 million a year earlier because of lower lumber prices.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.