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Red Lion selling Helena property

Red Lion Hotels Corp. has put its Helena property up for sale.

With debt on the Red Lion Colonial Hotel coming due this summer, the time was right to seek offers on what is the Montana capital’s largest inn, Red Lion President Jon Eliassen said.

“We believe prospective buyers will be interested in maintaining the Red Lion brand on this hotel and we look forward to continuing to operate it as a Red Lion,” he said.

The Helena hotel has 149 rooms and 15,500 square feet of meeting space. It was renovated in 2006.

Red lion has also put its Hotel Fifth Avenue in Seattle and Hotel Denver Southeast on the market.

Bert Caldwell

AT&T executive paid $20.2 million last year

NEW YORK – AT&T Inc. CEO Randall Stephenson received a pay package valued at $20.2 million for 2010, a sum that was unchanged from the previous year, according to Associated Press calculations of data filed with regulators on Thursday.

Dallas-based AT&T said Stephenson received a $1.53 million salary in 2009, a 6 percent increase over 2009. His cash incentive payment totaled $5.05 million, down 14 percent from the year before. Most of his 2010 compensation was in the form of options and performance-based stock awards valued at $13.2 million on the days they were granted, up 10 percent from 2009.

In total, Stephenson’s perks were worth $417,410 in 2010, less than half of the $864,632 worth that he received in the previous year. They include benefits such as financial counseling, auto use and personal use of company aircraft, insurance premiums, and home security, among others.

Associated Press

AIG offers to buy toxic mortgage bonds

WASHINGTON – American International Group Inc. is offering $15.7 billion for a heap of toxic mortgage bonds that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York took off its hands at the peak of the financial crisis in 2008.

The insurance conglomerate said in a letter to the New York Fed Thursday that the sale would reduce the amount of government money it holds to $26 billion, including an unused $2 billion line of credit, from $39 billion.

AIG received the largest bailout of the financial crisis. The New York Fed and Treasury Department extended lifelines worth a total of $182 billion.

Associated Press

Blockbuster deal may prevent liquidation

NEW YORK – Blockbuster, its creditors and potential buyers reached an agreement Thursday on a sale process that may prevent liquidation of the movie rental chain.

The deal ends demands from some creditors that the bankrupt movie-rental chain shut down and liquidate.

A judge from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District in New York on Thursday was set to rule on whether Blockbuster Inc., operating under Chapter 11 protection, can start the process to sell itself in an auction that would start with a bid of $290 million from a group of debtholders.

Some creditors want the chain to sell itself. But others, including a U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, said the Dallas company should shut down and liquidate.

Late Thursday Blockbuster, its creditors and prospective buyers agreed to allow the sale process to go forward, confirmed Jay Indyke of Cooley LLP, attorney for the committee of unsecured creditors. Blockbuster lawyers could not be reached.

Associated Press