GE To Buy Wellstream, A&P Files Bankruptcy Plans

General Electric announced it's buying a British company that makes pipes for offshore drilling. It's buying Wellstream Holdings for $1.3 billion. Meanwhile, A&P has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A&P says despite the filing, stores are fully stocked and open for business.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with General Electric going offshore.

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INSKEEP: BP's disastrous oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico this year raised many questions about the future of offshore drilling. But General Electric sees a future and is making a new purchase. Today, GE says it is buying a British company that makes pipes for offshore drilling. The company is Wellstream Holdings, and GE is paying $1.3 billion. GE already has a substantial business in oil and gas drilling and says this deal will help the company capitalize on growth in Brazil, Africa and Asia.

DON GONYEA, host:

A company that was once a leading player in the supermarket industry has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company - you know it as A&P - has been struggling for years with a heavy debt load, and stiff competition from discount chains like Walmart. A&P owns several grocery chains, including Pathmark. A&P is not shutting down. Despite the bankruptcy filing, A&P says its stores are fully stocked, and are open for business.

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