Short Takes on High Yields


Qwest Communications and U.S. West Inc. announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission decided not to review their merger, which could expedite the process by as much as three months. Shareholders will vote on the deal Nov. 2. Analysts had said at the time the deal was announced, in July, that regulators would be very hard pressed to block the merger with an antitrust argument because of previous mergers in the telecom world, namely those by SBC Corp. and Bell Atlantic...

Meanwhile, Qwest Communications will sell shares in its joint venture with Royal KPN NV, Europe's sixth-biggest phone company, to help finance the 8,100 mile European network owned by KPNQwest, which was formed in January...

In a move that could save troubled high yield issuer Trans World Airlines about $800,000 a month in cash flow, it decided to let its lease lapse on a terminal at New York's Kennedy International Airport. The building had that much in negative cash flow, the company said...

Iridium LLC said it has hired turnaround firm Alverez & Marsal Inc. as part of its reorganization efforts. Two executives from Alverez will report to Iridium chief executive John Richardson. Joseph Bondi will act as chief restructuring officer and David Gibson will be the interim chief financial officer...

AT&T may be forced to sell part of its cable holdings to proceed with its planned merger with MediaOne Group. A Federal Communications Commission proposal reportedly being circulated to its board seeks to maintain certain language in its rules that would mean the newly merged AT&T/MediaOne has more cable customers than is allowed. Regulations dictate no one cable company can own more than 30% of the cable customers in the country and at issue is just how the government calculates ownership. Currently, it is any company in which AT&T has a 5% voting stake, plus companies in which it has 10% non voting interest...

In yet another move in the maturing radio sector, AMFM Inc. and Cox Radio said they plan to swap stations in six markets. Terms were not disclosed and the total cash flow being exchanged in the swap is roughly the same, an analyst said. But clustering, which analysts have said is a sign of a mature market, is the primary goal for both companies as they can realize greater efficiencies by owning more than one station in a city.