Business News in Brief

Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Apple Developers Conference in San Francisco. Apple says it's introducing a laptop with a super-high resolution "Retina" display, setting a new standard for screen sharpness. The new MacBook Pro will have a 15-inch screen and four times the resolution of previous models. It will cost $2,199 or $2,799, depending on the configuration, and all models will begin shipping Monday. PAUL SAKUMA / Associated Press
Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Apple Developers Conference in San Francisco. Apple says it's introducing a laptop with a super-high resolution "Retina" display, setting a new standard for screen sharpness. The new MacBook Pro will have a 15-inch screen and four times the resolution of previous models. It will cost $2,199 or $2,799, depending on the configuration, and all models will begin shipping Monday. PAUL SAKUMA / Associated Press
Posted: June 12, 2012

IN THE REGION

FTC OKs purchase of Synthes

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday approved Johnson & Johnson's $21.3 billion purchase of medical device maker Synthes Inc., assuming that J&J sells certain trauma products from its DePuy device division to Biomet, as J&J had said it would. Clearance from the FTC, which is supposed to guard consumers against companies' creating monopolies, was thought to be the last step before J&J closes on the deal. J&J is based in New Brunswick, N.J., and has operations in the Philadelphia region. Synthes has headquarters in Switzerland and in West Chester. J&J and Synthes announced in April 2011 that J&J would acquire Synthes for $21.3 billion in cash and J&J stock. Synthes is traded on the Swiss stock exchange, so the payments will be in Swiss francs. Synthes said last week in a filing that its stock listing could be dropped from the Swiss stock exchange as early as June 14. — David Sell

J&J may pay $2.2B in settlement

Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay as much as $2.2 billion to settle federal probes of the marketing of its Risperdal antipsychotic drug and other medications, two people familiar with the negotiations said. The settlement, which has not been announced yet but may be this week, will include a misdemeanor plea and criminal penalty of as much as $600 million, said the people, who didn't want to be identified because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the agreement. The accord also would resolve civil claims that J&J paid kickbacks to Omnicare Inc., a company that dispenses drugs at nursing homes, the people said. — Bloomberg News

Metro Bank (U.K.) raises $200M

Metro Bank (U.K.) has raised another $200 million, doubling its 2010 capitalization, reports founder Vernon Hill, late of the former Commerce Bancorp of Marlton (now part of TD Bank). Metro Bank wants to open seven additional branches this year after raising the nearly $200 million in capital, Britain's City AM reported. CEO Craig Donaldson confirmed that Metro is still planning a public stock offering in 2014. Metro projects a total of 200 branches in Greater London by 2020. Though UK lending is slow, the bank claims 80,000 accounts and expects to employ 700 by year's end. — Joseph N. DiStefano

VantaCore buys W.Pa. quarry

VantaCore Partners L.P., Philadelphia, said it had purchased Laurel Aggregates L.L.C., a Pittsburgh-area limestone quarry serving Marcellus Shale drillers and road-builders in the northern Appalachians, for an undisclosed sum. The deal includes Laurel's surface and underground limestone quarry and an estimated 197 million tons of limestone reserves at Lake Lynn, 65 miles south of Pittsburgh. Laurel also buys stone from other quarries. Laurel executive Barry Fink, who joined Laurel in 2007 and has handled sales to Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale drillers, will join VantaCore as vice president and general manager, bringing with him other Laurel employees. VantaCore said. — Joseph N. DiStefano

Berkshire makes ResCap bid

Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the holding company run by Warren Buffett, offered to buy Residential Capital L.L.C.'s mortgage unit. Berkshire seeks to replace Fortress Investment Group L.L.C. as the initial bidder at an auction for the bankrupt company's most valuable asset. ResCap has operations in Fort Washington. Berkshire is also willing to become the stalking horse bidder for the part ResCap's loan portfolio that Ally Financial Inc. wants to buy. Berkshire said in court papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan that it would offer better terms than Fortress and Ally. — Bloomberg News

Continental raises funds

Continental Bank owner Continental Bank Holdings Inc., Plymouth Meeting, says it has raised $16.5 million in a private sale of common and "perpetual preferred" shares sales to specialty bank investor Castle Creek Capital Partners IV L.P. and Greenhill Capital Partners III L.P. Investment bankers at Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc. helped with the the sale. "Net proceeds from the offering will be used to further increase the bank's capital position and for other general corporate purposes," bank CEO H. Wayne Greist said in a statement. — Joseph N. DiStefano

ELSEWHERE

Apple introduces new software

Apple Inc. unveiled the next version of its mobile software, adding maps and integration with Facebook Inc. Apple's iOS 6 will have more than 200 new features, including turn-by-turn navigation and tools that make it easier to access Facebook from iPhones and iPads, Apple said. The company also upgraded its MacBook computers, adding faster chips and sharper displays to the high-end Pro model. Chief executive officer Tim Cook is using new software, unveiled at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, to widen Apple's user base and woo developers. — Bloomberg News

N.Y. pension funds sue Wal-Mart

A group of New York City pension funds is suing current and former Wal-Mart executives, saying they mishandled an alleged bribery scheme at the retailer. The group filed a lawsuit on behalf of the company itself against the executives. The goal in such cases, known as "derivative actions," is to change the way a company is run. — AP

Rates rise on 3-, 6-month T-bills

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday's auction. The Treasury Department auctioned $30 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.085 percent, up from 0.075 percent last week. Another $27 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.140 percent, up from 0.130 percent last week. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,997.85 while a six-month bill sold for $9,992.92. — AP

Yield on 1-years falls

The Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, edged down to 0.18 percent last week from 0.19 percent the previous week. — AP

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