Pacific Northwest Washington Mutual invited five U.S. and international banks to make offers to buy the Seattle-based thrift earlier this...

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Washington Mutual invited five U.S. and international banks to make offers to buy the Seattle-based thrift earlier this year, before settling on a $7.2 billion cash infusion from a private investor group.

WaMu disclosed details of its negotiations to raise capital in a regulatory filing Friday, without identifying any of the parties by name

The company said it also approached eight private-equity firms, eight sovereign wealth funds and two foreign banks about buying a smaller stake.

All the sovereign wealth funds and both foreign banks passed on the opportunity, WaMu said, but six private-equity firms and four of the potential buyers expressed interest. Eventually, four private-equity firms (two of them acting together) and one potential buyer — widely reported to be JPMorgan Chase — submitted proposals

WaMu chose TPG, one of the nation’s biggest and most prominent private-equity companies, to lead the infusion.


Firm appeals $1.4B EU antitrust fine

Microsoft said Friday that it has appealed a $1.39 billion fine imposed in February by the European Commission for the company’s failure to comply with a 2004 antitrust order.

Spokesman Jack Evans said Microsoft filed an application with the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg to annul the Commission’s decision.

“We are filing this appeal in a constructive effort to seek clarity from the court,” Evans said in an e-mailed statement. He declined to elaborate.

The fine had marked the tentative end to a long-running fight between the European Union and Microsoft, triggered by a 1998 complaint by Sun Microsystems.

Sun alleged that Microsoft was refusing to supply all the information servers need to work with its market-dominating Windows operating system. Microsoft later made the information available to rivals, but the EU said it charged “unreasonable prices” until last October.

Sonus Pharmaceuticals

Bothell firm faces Nasdaq delisting

Sonus Pharmaceuticals faces the prospect of its shares being delisted from the Nasdaq for trading below the market’s $1 minimum price.

Nasdaq formally notified the Bothell-based drug developer this week that its stock had failed to regain compliance with the minimum-price requirement. It had warned Sonus on Nov. 5 that the stock was subject to delisting and gave the company 180 days to get the price back above $1.

In a statement, Sonus said it will appeal Nasdaq’s determination to the market’s qualifications panel. That will delay, but is unlikely to forestall, a delisting.

Sonus shares plunged from $4.35 to 70 cents on Sept. 24, the day the company announced its leading cancer-drug candidate had failed a key clinical test. The shares have remained below $1 ever since. They closed down 5 cents, or 13 percent, at 32 cents Friday.

Compiled from Seattle Times staff and The Associated Press