Corporations and securities brief ~ Enron to pay $321 million to fund lost pension plans

In Monday's corporations and securities law news, Public Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) has announced that Enron has agreed to pay $321 million from the proceeds of its sale of its pipeline operations in CrossCountry Energy LLC to fund pension plans for thousands of former Enron employees. Following the settlement, a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of CrossCountry. As I reported last week, Enron had attempted to block a lawsuit brought by PBGC to control the company's pension plans. Reuters has more.

In other news...

  • Sony has agreed in principle to buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the last independent Hollywood studio, for $4.8 billion. TimeWarner, the world's largest media group, withdrew its bid of $4.6 billion earlier today saying the price was too high. Read the TimeWarner statement regarding the bidding here. The Financial Times has more.

  • Former Walt Disney directors Roy Disney and Stanley Gold are calling for a new chief executive for the company as soon as possible. Disney and Gold claim that Eisner's plan to retire in two years is a deliberate attempt to manage the appointment of his successor. Read the Disney and Gold open letter to the Board of Directors of Walt Disney here. Read Eisner's letter to the Board announcing his retirement here. The Financial Times has more.

  • The SEC has settled charges of defrauding investors in Pimco Funds with three companies: PA Fund Management LLC, PEA Capital LLC and PA Distributors. The companies which will pay $50 million, consisting of a $40 million penalty and a $10 million distribution to shareholders, did not have to admit or deny the SEC charges. Read the SEC press release here. Read the Pimco Funds press release announcing the deal here[PDF]. AP has more.

  • The SEC is considering bringing civil charges against Qwest Communications International Inc.'s former chief executive, Joseph P. Nacchiocould, related to the accounting scandal at the company. This follows the tentative agreement where Qwest has agreed to pay $250 million to settle fraud allegations brought by securities regulators. AP has more.

  • US Airways has asked a judge for permission to skip a $110 million pension payment due Wednesday in a bid to keep the company afloat. As reported earlier on JURIST's Paper Chase, a federal bankruptcy judge gave the airline permission to continue its normal operations using money from a loan it secured last year with the help of the government. Reuters has more.

  • The SEC is investigating former Wachovia Corp. Chief Financial Officer Robert McCoy regarding the bank's purchase of First Union Corp. stock prior to their merger. The Charlotte Business Journal has more.
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