Finance: Four in a Lifeboat for Three

Amid today's increasing pressure for business growth through merger, it is inevitable that some corporate marriages turn out unhappily. Yet divorce, which ends a quarter of the marriages among the nation's people, remains a comparative rarity among companies. Last week, in an unusual split-up intended to revitalize the fortunes of both companies, the oil-realty-finance combine of Sunasco Inc. formally dissolved its ties with subsidiary Sunset International Petroleum Corp.

It did so by selling Sunset Petroleum, which had $20 million worth of losses in California real estate last year and plunged Sunasco deeply into the red. The buyer: Manhattan's Commonwealth United...

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