Business news in brief

A public-health worker in Madrid holds a sign reading "With less staff, worse quality" during a protest against cuts in service. The city wants to sell off the management of six of 20 hospitals and 27 of 268 health centers. Spain's regions are struggling with debt of as the country's economy contracts into a double-dip recession.
A public-health worker in Madrid holds a sign reading "With less staff, worse quality" during a protest against cuts in service. The city wants to sell off the management of six of 20 hospitals and 27 of 268 health centers. Spain's regions are struggling with debt of as the country's economy contracts into a double-dip recession. (PAUL WHITE / AP)
Posted: December 28, 2012

In the Region

J&J, Sanofi in McNeil-focused deal

Drugmakers Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi have a pending deal involving an element of J&J's consumer-products subsidiary McNeil PPC Inc., according to a posting on the Federal Trade Commission website. But the deal will not include selling the McNeil Consumer Healthcare facility in Fort Washington, according to McNeil spokeswoman Barbara Montresor. McNeil PPC has several units and products, such as Band-Aid, Tylenol, and Listerine. Montresor declined to comment on the specifics of the deal or whether there would be any effect on employment at the plant, which is undergoing repairs after production was halted in April 2010. "We continue to develop our manufacturing facility in Fort Washington, we have met all of our consent-decree milestones, and expect to be ready for FDA certification at the end of 2013," she said. On which brands might go to Sanofi, she said, "We regularly evaluate our brand portfolio and consider growth options for all of the brands." A Sanofi spokesman declined to comment on a pending transaction. - David Sell

Revel completes $150M financing

Atlantic City's financially struggling Revel casino completed $150 million in financing, including a $125 million term loan, through its lending group led by JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. Revel AC Inc. said it used part of the proceeds from the term loan to reduce what it owes under an existing revolving-credit line. Some of the money will be used to build out additional gaming, restaurant, and entertainment areas. Revel, which opened April 2, has been among Atlantic City's worst performers in terms of gambling revenue. "We appreciate the continued support and confidence of our investors, who have demonstrated a strong belief in our business model," said Kevin DeSanctis, Revel CEO. - Inquirer staff

Report: Jobless applications down

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped last week by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000, the Labor Department said. The four-week average, a less-volatile measure, fell to a nearly five-year low of 356,750. State-level data for the week ended Dec. 15, one week behind the national data, showed New Jersey's numbers were down 5,101, with fewer layoffs in transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, hotels and restaurants, and health care. Pennsylvania's were down 3,412, with fewer layoffs in construction, transportation, and technology. - AP

Center City's Krispy Kreme to close

Sunday will be the finale for the Center City location of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, which opened in spring 2011. Franchisee Brian Zaslow said the location, on 16th Street just north of Chestnut, was "nontraditional. . . . It didn't work." He said the decision had no effect on his franchise group's growth. A forthcoming Krispy Kreme in the Manoa Shopping Center will use 16th Street's equipment, he said. - Michael Klein

IPO for Sesame Place owner

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. - owner of Sesame Place in Bucks County, three SeaWorld water theme parks, and two Busch Gardens resorts - on Thursday filed for an initial public offering that could raise $100 million. Private-equity firm Blackstone Group L.P., which owns SeaWorld, will likely sell some of its stake, but will still own a majority of the voting power after the IPO, SeaWorld said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Blackstone bought SeaWorld from Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2009 in a deal worth at least $2.3 billion. - AP

Airgas subsidiary buys D&D Power

Specialty-gas supplier Airgas Inc., of Radnor, said a subsidiary bought D&D Power L.L.C., a Decatur, Texas, company that rents generators and light towers to oil and gas exploration and production companies. D&D, which also provides maintenance services, has 53 employees and had about $25 million in revenue this year, Airgas said. D&D will become part of Airgas's Red-D-Arc Inc. The price was not disclosed. - Harold Brubaker

Elsewhere

Cook paid $4.2M in fiscal 2012

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook got $4.2 million in pay for the latest fiscal year, a modest sum compared with last year, when the company's board set him up with stock now worth $510 million for taking the reins in 2011. Cook's pay for fiscal 2012, which ended in September, consisted of $1.4 million in salary, a bonus of $2.8 million, and $17,000 in company contributions to his 401(k) account and life insurance premiums, according to a filing. Apple's board saw no need to give Cook additional shares in 2012 after the sign-on grant of one million shares in 2011. - AP

Five firms settle regulatory claims

Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp.'s Merrill Lynch unit, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley will pay $4.48 million to settle regulatory claims that they used funds from municipal and state bond deals to pay lobbyists from 2006 through 2010. Local authorities were unfairly asked to reimburse payments made to a California lobbying group to help the firms influence the state, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said. The companies did not admit or deny wrongdoing. - Bloomberg News

Rajaratnam to pay $1.45 million

Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group hedge-fund founder now serving an 11-year prison term for insider trading, also will pay nearly $1.45 million to settle a civil case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. A federal judge Thursday approved the deal, which includes $1.29 million representing profits gained and losses avoided by trading on tips from former Goldman Sachs Group director Rajat Gupta, convicted in June. - AP

German sees hope for eurozone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says the worst of the euro area's debt crisis appears to be over. Schaeuble told the newspaper Bild that Greece and other struggling eurozone members recognize that they can only overcome the crisis through reforms, and that the Greek government, which has received two bailouts, "knows that it cannot financially overburden the other euro states." - AP

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