Business International Corporation

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Business International Corporation (BI) was a publishing and advisory firm dedicated to assisting American companies in operating abroad. In 1986, Business International was acquired by The Economist Group in London, and eventually merged with The Economist Intelligence Unit.[1] BIC was reportedly used as a CIA front company.

According to a lengthy article in the New York Times in 1977, the co-founder of the company told the newspaper that "Eldridge Haynes [the other founder] had provided cover for four CIA employees in various countries between 1955 and 1960".[2]

In January 1978 Ken Gott resigned as editor of Business International on grounds that its management 'provided cover for four U.S. Central Intelligence Agency agents between 1955 and 1960.'

"I want to disassociate myself from any involvement in CIA activities," Gott, 54, said in an interview Monday. He said he wanted to make a public statement so his colleagues in Aisa, where he worked for many years, would realize that he had never been involved in intelligence activities. "This is a difficult position and I want to get things clear. I am not out to cause embarrassment to the management of Business International but I wanted to get the record straight as to where I stand."
Business International, a weekly business information service that prints several regional publications, was identified in a New York Times article of December 27th, 1977 as a company that had connections with the CIA. Gott said he had not been aware until the Times article was printed and the company acknowledged the report, that Business International ever had CIA connections.
Elliott Haynes, co-founder of Business International, said providing cover for the agents consisted of approving credentials on a stringer arrangement for four CIA operatives. "The CIA approached us and asked permission if the four agents could be correspondents," Haynes said. "They were not employees, but served us on a stringer basis."[3]



  1. 'The Supreme Court of the State of New York today denied the application of Macmillan Inc. which sought an injunction to prevent the Economist Newspaper Group Inc. from purchasing shares of Business International Corp.' PR Newswire July 14, 1986, Monday DATELINE: NEW YORK, July 14
  2. 'CIA Established Many Links To Journalists in US and Abroad', New York Times, 27.12.1977
  3. GORDON D. MOTT, Associated Press Writer, The Associated Press January 17, 1978, BC cycle DATELINE: NEW YORK