P.M. BRIEFING : Lorenzo Insists Eastern Isn’t for Sale

<i> From Times wire services </i>

Texas Air Corp. Chairman Frank Lorenzo insisted today that his strike-strapped Eastern Airlines subsidiary is not for sale and will be rebuilt as a smaller carrier.

There had been speculation that Texas Air’s refusal to sell Eastern, expressed by its board of directors Monday, was a negotiating ploy designed to elicit a higher price for the airline, which has been mired in a strike and bankruptcy court proceedings for more than a month.

Last week, after the collapse of Lorenzo’s $464-million deal to sell Eastern to former baseball Commissioner Peter V. Ueberroth, Eastern officials said the airline would be reduced to about 60% of its size before the strike.