Business: A Name Acquired, Another Retired

Britons buy Howard Johnson, bury the MG

English companies provided a pair of bittersweet surprises for the U.S. last week, both involving venerable names, one American and one British.

The orange roofs and the Simple Simon weather vanes above them always seemed as American as, well, an 85¢ slice of Ho Jo's apple pie. But now the Boston-based Howard Johnson chain of restaurants and motor lodges is going British, at least in terms of ownership. Chairman Howard B. Johnson, 47, announced last week that an agreement in principle had been reached to sell the chain's 1,040 restaurants and 520 motor lodges to Imperial...

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