American Airlines CEO takes heat from unions

Angry employees confronted the CEO of AMR Corp., American Airlines' parent company, Wednesday over management bonuses, underscoring troubled labor relations at the nation's biggest carrier. Shareholders, however, rejected a union-backed resolution to let shareholders vote on executive compensation. Union leaders said the bonuses broke a management promise to share gains as the company recovered from huge losses. But Chairman and Chief Executive Gerard Arpey declined to back down on the bonuses, which totaled about $160 million in stock for nearly 900 managers. Arpey moved to end the annual shareholders meeting abruptly after a pilot said executives were more focused on raising AMR's stock price than on growing the company. In 2006, AMR recorded its first profitable year since 2000. Arpey said he was cautiously optimistic about prospects this year, but he worried about a flood of new flights by upstart carriers and on international routes that could undercut prices. Bausch Lomb accepts $3.67B offer Warburg Pincus is buying Bausch Lomb Inc., the eye-care product maker beset by product recalls and accounting woes, for about $3.67 billion in cash. Warburg Pincus agreed to pay stockholders $65 per share, an amount Bausch said represents a 26 percent premium to the average price of the stock over the 30-day period when rumors began circulating about a possible buyout. Warburg Pincus also will take on about $830 million of debt in the deal. Bausch Lomb said it can solicit superior proposals from third parties during the next 50 calendar days. Should it find and accept such an offer, Bausch Lomb would be obligated to pay a $40 million breakup fee to affiliates of Warburg Pincus. A committee of Bausch Lomb's independent board members recommended that shareholders vote for the deal.Fidelity sells most holdings tied to Sudan Fidelity Investments has sold most of its U.S. holdings in a Chinese firm linked to Sudan's flourishing oil industry. Fidelity has been the target of activists seeking to curb investment in companies doing business in Sudan, the African nation accused by the U.S. government of complicity in genocide. A regulatory filing Tuesday shows the largest U.S. mutual fund company cut its stake in PetroChina Co. by 91 percent. Fidelity held 420,916 American depositary receipts in PetroChina on the New York Stock Exchange as of March 31, down from 4.5 million receipts three months earlier, according to a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Each American depositary receipt equals 100 shares, meaning Fidelity's U.S. investment in PetroChina was reduced from $634 million at the end of last year to $49 million at the end of March. Activists have targeted Boston-based Fidelity in recent months, saying it had been the largest owner of PetroChina stock on the NYSE as of the end of last year. BRIEFLY United Auto Workers leaders said Wednesday they have received assurances that Chrysler pensions will be protected when the company is sold to private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP later this year. ... Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has been hired as a special consultant by Pacific Investment Management Co., a Newport Beach, Calif.-based unit of Allianz AG. Greenspan will participate in Pimco's quarterly economic forums and speak privately with the bond manager about Fed interest-rate policy. ... United States Steel Corp. plans to offer $900 million in senior unsecured notes to refinance existing debt and help pay for the planned acquisition of pipe maker Lone Star Technologies Inc. - From wire reports


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