Today in the Fortune 500: JPMorgan loans $20 billion to AT&T for T-Mobile purchase, plenty of heirs at Berkshire and UPS takes the lead on fire safety

April 1, 2011, 7:26 PM UTC
Boeing 767 of UPS Airlines
Image via Wikipedia

The Fortune 500 comes out just once a year, but the companies on it make headlines every day. Here then are today’s highlights of news and happenings coming from the biggest names in business.

By Shelley DuBois, reporter

JPMORGAN LOANS AT&T $20 BILLION to buy T-Mobile. Analysts had been worried that JPMorgan would take on a huge credit risk by offering AT&T (T) the loan, but  JPMorgan (JPM) dispersed pieces of it across 11 other banks, which should keep the bank financially in the clear. [New York Times]

STILL PLENTY OF TALENT AT BERKSHIRE even though David Sokol’s unexpected departure from Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) may have created a mini power vacuum. Many had assumed that Sokol would be a candidate for CEO Warren Buffett’s successor, but Berkshire still has a strong lineup of executives who could take over. [New York Times]

UPS PROTECTS ITS PILOTS by installing industry-leading fire-safety equipment on its planes. UPS (UPS) is equipping its cargo fleet with fire-suppression systems and smoke-protection devices that would allow the pilots to see their navigation equipment even if the cabin fills with smoke. Those safety measures aren’t yet required by industry regulators. [Wall Street Journal]

SHELL BANKS $614 MILLION on its sale of its downstream assets in Chile to Quineco. The sale is part of Shell’s (RDSA) larger strategy to focus less on downstream assets and instead hone in on fewer markets. [Wall Street Journal]

A ROUGH YEAR for Johnson & Johnson, which has issued over 50 voluntary recalls since the start of 2010. A breakdown of Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) long history, its recent recalls and the drug company’s possible denial about a systemic problem. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

GM KEEPS TIGHTENING ITS BALANCE SHEET General Motors says it had sold its stake in the auto parts maker Delphi Automotive back to the company, and that the deal has raised $3.8 billion for GM (GM). The sale falls in line with GM’s commitment to simplify its balance sheet, according to its incoming chief financial officer. [New York Times]