Column Eight: Return flight for Lorenzo?

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THE UNIONS and his former competitors might have hoped that they had seen the last of him. But Frank Lorenzo is reputedly planning a comeback.

The combative union buster and deal maker ousted from the US airline industry after Scandinavian Airlines System helped Continental Airlines buy him out in 1990 has reportedly been rounding up aircraft in readiness for a return.

Further evidence comes in US press reports suggesting that he could be settling litigation with creditors in return for the ending of his agreement not to compete for seven years.

TALKING of Lorenzo, the 22nd annual Mobius Advertising Awards ceremony that takes place in Chicago today features 'celebrity talent' Lorenzo Music, the voice of Garfield the Cat. Among the many UK organisations that will be sharing the limelight are BP, which picked up two prizes, and the Scottish Office, which received an award for its 'Cars Kill' public service announcement. However, top honours went to the television commercial 'Chevrolet Truck Rock Theme'.

KUNICK, the fruit machine hirer and nursing home operator, did not do too well last year. In the 12 months to 30 September 1992 it lost pounds 12.5m, compared with the previous year's profit of pounds 8.5m, which was itself well down on the 1990 figure.

So the directors have walked the plank? Well, not quite. Two have left the company - in return for combined compensation of pounds 173,000. But the wage bill for those remaining has risen from pounds 510,000 to pounds 657,000.

A spokeswoman pleads that salaries are unchanged and that the increase is due to higher pension contributions.

LLOYDS BANK's recent purchase of the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation has produced an unexpected asset: a pub called the White Swan.

The 'cosy little back street pub' in London's East End is next door to the old AMC head office and was bought when the company was in an expansionary mood. Bank staff wanted to change the name to the Black Horse, but there is already a pub of that name in the same street. Undeterred, a band of Lloyds employees last night arrived to carry out some 'due diligence on its liquid assets'.

SPOTTED in the window of a William Hill betting office opposite a branch of Allied Irish Banks: 'Do your punting here.'