December 17, 2007 / 6:56 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Dec 17

Dec 17 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Monday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Ingersoll-Rand Co (IR.N) is to buy Trane Inc TT.N in a $10.2 billion cash-and-stock transaction that would create one of the world’s largest makers of air conditioners and rank as one of the biggest such deals in years.

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), the investment arm of Abu Dhabi and others have agreed to inject a combined $1.4 billion into Related Cos, the closely held real-estate developer behind New York’s Time Warner Center, executives at Related Cos said.

* Ford Motor Co (F.N) is close to a decision on the fate of its Jaguar and Land Rover brands, and Tata Motors Ltd (TAMO.BO), a unit of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, is thought to have an edge over others, people familiar with the process said.

* Tired of seeing their bond investments decline in value when the underlying companies undertake leveraged buyouts or large stock buybacks, around 50 large debt investors are banding together to lobby for more and stronger protections to be written into bond contracts.

* Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIAL.SI) executives could have an unusually high degree of authority to revamp operations at China Eastern Airlines Corp (0670.HK) (600115.SS) if the Chinese carrier wins shareholder approval next month for a strategic investment by the Singaporean company.

* The battered dollar is getting a reprieve as investors temper their pessimism about the state of the economy. While other markets continue to gyrate, the dollar has steadied since late last month and against many currencies has even strengthened somewhat.

* The two sides in United Rentals Inc’s (URI.N) suit against Cerberus Capital Management LP [CBS.UL] for bailing on a $4 billion deal to acquire the equipment-rental company agreed to postpone the trial’s start by one day to pursue a settlement, people familiar with the matter said.

* The lead researcher of a long-delayed drug study says he regrets not standing up to Merck & Co (MRK.N) and Schering-Plough Corp SGP.N when they first told him last month that they planned to alter the statistical analysis of their jointly sponsored trial.

* In moves that are likely to complicate the writers’ strike as it enters its seventh week, most late-night shows are plotting to return to the airwaves and television companies are considering whether to cancel some of their costly production deals.

* South Korea’s policy toward North Korea, which swung from hostility to generosity over the past 10 years, is likely to turn cooler after its presidential election Wednesday.

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