Where's My Escape Hatch?

Ueberroth's deal stalls, leaving Eastern in limbo

The deal collapsed as if it had been hit by wind shear. Just five days after announcing his $464 million takeover of strikebound and bankrupt Eastern Air Lines, former Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth abruptly delivered a very different message last week. Said he: "Our agreement with Texas Air is terminated, it's finished, it's over."

When is a deal not a deal? Buyout agreements are getting trickier because they now bristle with escape hatches. Last month Donald Trump balked on his $365 million pact to buy Eastern's shuttle when the airline sought bankruptcy protections. Brandishing a clause that allowed him to dicker...

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