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In brief

By Times Staff
Published June 16, 2006

Pickup mentality keeps Ford on top

Executives at the top seller of pickups immerse themselves in the ways of drivers to better connect with them.

Checkers shareholders approve chain's sale

Say goodbye to another publicly traded company, Tampa Bay. Shareholders of Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc. on Thursday approved the Tampa burger chain's sale to an affiliate of privately held Wellspring Capital Management LLC of New York. Checkers investors will receive $15 for each share of stock they own; the company's top executives will receive an equity stake in the new entity and remain in their current positions. The merger is expected to close within several days.

Creditors' accord lets Winn-Dixie proceed

A stare-down between warring creditors' committees ended Thursday, removing a major roadblock to Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. filing a plan to reorganize its finances this month. Two committees representing different types of unsecured creditors agreed in principal on a compromise to consolidate the shrunken Jacksonville grocer's debts. Winn-Dixie lawyers said the company can meet a June 29 deadline to file a plan to emerge from bankruptcy in late October.

CAT Fund's $2.8B loan is approved

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund received approval Thursday to borrow $2.8-billion in cash to bolster its account heading into the hurricane season. The so-called CAT Fund provides reinsurance, or insurance for insurance companies. A lack of available and affordable reinsurance is one of the main complaints within the insurance industry. The fund already has received approval to sell $1.5-billion in bonds to cover a shortfall after last year's hurricanes. Floridians will pay a 1 percent assessment on insurance policies for a decade to repay the bond sale. Initially, the bond issue approved Thursday won't require new assessments. The CAT fund had about $7-billion before the 2004 hurricane season, but eight storms in two years left it empty.

Airlines raise some one-way fares $50

Last-minute business travelers and some first-class fliers will pay more this summer for domestic tickets on some of the major airlines. Some fares at the major airlines have been creeping up in recent months largely because of fuel prices. Delta Air Lines Inc., the nation's third-largest carrier, raised one-way domestic fares on unrestricted first-class and walk-up coach tickets by $50. Other first-class tickets were not affected. Wednesday's move by Delta was matched by United Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines and US Airways, according to spokespeople at the carriers. Delta's most expensive one-way domestic and first-class fares have increased $200 since Delta began its SimpliFares program in January 2005.

[Last modified June 16, 2006, 07:14:44]

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