Bankruptcy filings post sharp decline

Published December 6, 2006

The number of bankruptcies filed in the first nine months of the year fell to a third of what they were last year, one result of a landmark law enacted in October 2005. From January through September, the total number of personal and business bankruptcies fell by 68.5 percent to 443,750 from the 1.41-million in the same period last year. This year's figure is the lowest since 1987. The data, from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, shows that personal bankruptcy filings fell most sharply, by 69 percent, while commercial bankruptcies fell 45.9 percent. The Bankruptcy Abuse Protection and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, enacted Oct. 17, 2005, was seen by many as being more friendly to creditors over debtors. In anticipation of the law, bankruptcy filings spiked ahead of its implementation.

Chrysler exec quits to sell Mercedes

Joe Eberhardt, Chrysler's top sales executive, will leave the company to run his own Mercedes-Benz dealership, DaimlerChrysler AG said Tuesday. Eberhardt, the Chrysler Group's executive vice president of global sales, marketing and service, made the decision to leave the company and is negotiating for his own dealership, Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines said. Eberhardt "brought a much-needed discipline to our sales, marketing and service organizations when he arrived in the summer of 2003," Chrysler Group Chief Executive Officer Tom LaSorda said in a statement.

First Advantage expands in Europe

First Advantage Corp., a global risk-mitigation and business-solutions provider, said Tuesday it has acquired DataSec UK Ltd., a computer forensics and electronic discovery services company, for an undisclosed amount. In addition, First Advantage is expanding its European operations by opening offices in central London and Brussels.

Bridgestone buys retread producer

Tiremaker Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. has agreed to buy Bandag Inc., a maker of retread tires, for $1.05-billion in cash, the companies announced Tuesday. Bridgestone Americas, a subsidiary of Japan-based Bridgestone Corp., will pay $50.75 per share for Bandag, a 13 percent premium to the company's closing stock price on Monday. Bandag of Muscatine, Iowa, Bandag has a global network of more than 900 franchised dealers that market retread tires and provide tire management services.

Group disputes Coke's tea claims

The group that helped pressure KFC to recently change its fry oil now is taking up arms against one of Coke's newest drinks, Enviga. The Center for Science in the Public Interest wants Coca-Cola and its partner, Nestle, to stop marketing the green tea drink "with fraudulent calorie-burning and weight-loss claims." Coke, which was careful about making weight-loss claims when it announced the product in October, claims the 5-calorie tea can burn calories, making it a "negative calorie" drink. Coke spokesman Ray Crockett called the center's claims "a meritless publicity stunt."