Mack Signs Merger Plan with Renault

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Mack Signs Merger Plan with Renault ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Financially troubled Mack Trucks Inc. announced Thursday it has approved an $81 million buyout by Renault Vehicules Industriels SA.

Mack said the agreement, which calls for the Paris-based Renault to pay $6.25 a share, was reached earlier in the week.

Renault started the week with 44.5 percent of Mack's 29 million shares. On Wednesday, the French firm purchased 4.5 percent more.

The French firm hopes to buy the rest of the stock by Sept. 20, said Renault spokesman Bill Catacosinos.

The car company has been trying to buy out the Allentown-based firm for several months, saying it was making the offer ``because of the continuing deterioration of the financial condition of Mack'' and the need to restructure the company's debt.

Mack lost a record $185.4 million last year and lost $97.2 million in the six months ending June 30.

Net sales for the first half of 1990 were $793.9 million, a 22 percent decrease from the $1 billion in sales in the 1989 period.

Polaroid Announces Joint Chinese Venture CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Polaroid Corp. said Thursday it would form a joint venture to produce instant cameras, package film and market imaging products in the People's Republic of China.

A Polaroid division, Polaroid of Shanghai Ltd., will initially employ 130 people in the joint venture with SMPIC, formerly the Shanghai Motion Picture Co., Polaroid said. SMPIC is a corporation of the Shanghai Light Industry bureau, a branch of the Chinese Ministry of Light Industry.

The venture is part of Polaroid's long-term growth strategy to expand the market for instant photography, said I. MacAllister Booth, Polaroid's president and chief executive officer.

During this past year, Polaroid opened manufacturing facilities and a retail store in Moscow, founded Polaroid India Inc. and activated Polaroid Oy in Finland, Booth said.

``Now, with the establishment of Polaroid in Shanghai, Polaroid is continuing to develop new market potential,'' he said in a statement.

Judge Extends Asbestos Trust Payment Freeze NEW YORK - A federal judge Thursday extended a freeze on payments to asbestos victims by the Manville trust for one month to complete a restructuring plan for the fund.

U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein said more time was needed to ``work out the details'' of a court order to rehabilitate the finances of the trust, which has run out of money to pay tens of thousands of new asbestos health claims.

It was the second month-long extension by Weinstein. The freeze applies to paying all claims or court judgments made since the first order in August or until the new Oct. 6 expiration date.

The trust was created in 1988 as part of Manville Corp.'s bankruptcy court reorganization, which was forced by mounting liability for lung cancer and other serious and fatal diseases caused by asbestos.

Leon Silverman, a New York attorney appointed by Weinstein as a special adviser to restructure the trust, said negotiations were continuing on completing a reorganization plan. …