Business news in brief

A handler parades a Highland in the auction ring as farmers gather for the 122d Highland Cattle Society spring sale at Oban Livestock center in Oban, Scotland. The show and sale, held over two days, are open to all highland breed enthusiasts, attracting many buyers from across Europe and North America.
A handler parades a Highland in the auction ring as farmers gather for the 122d Highland Cattle Society spring sale at Oban Livestock center in Oban, Scotland. The show and sale, held over two days, are open to all highland breed enthusiasts, attracting many buyers from across Europe and North America. (JEFF J MITCHELL / Getty Images)
Posted: February 12, 2013

In the Region

$125M for economic development

Gov. Corbett announced $125 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program awards for 54 projects, including 14 in Southeastern Pennsylvania that received $38.8 million. The Philadelphia region received three of seven $5 million awards, the largest possible. Those awards went to Braskem America Inc. in Marcus Hook, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Corbett said in a news release that the awards, which he called Economic Growth Initiative Awards, would create or retain 56,000 jobs in 28 counties. - Harold Brubaker

MGM seeks new N.J. casino license

MGM Resorts International, the Las Vegas-based casino operator that agreed to leave New Jersey in 2010, formally petitioned the state's regulators to re-establish its casino license there. MGM agreed to leave New Jersey in March 2010 amid questions about the company's Macau business partner Pansy Ho. The casino operator now has a 51 percent stake in MGM Macau's parent company MGM China Holdings Ltd., reducing Ho's stake to 27 percent, according to a filing Feb. 8. New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement had recommended that Ho be deemed unsuitable to hold a license based on her family's historical ties to organized crime. - Bloomberg News

PUC: Two million have switched

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, which has been aggressively promoting electric competition, said the number of customers who have switched to competitive electric suppliers has now surpassed two million. The number represents about 35 percent of the state's electric customers, who consume about 60 percent of the power. Retail power markets opened up to competition in 2010.   - Andrew Maykuth

A.C. casino revenue sags, again

Revenue at Atlantic City's 12 casinos fell by 13.2 percent, to $205.6 million, in January, compared with a year ago. And Revel, the city's newest casino, had its second-worst month ever. It was an inauspicious start to what could be a seventh straight year of falling casino revenues. Revel, which opened last April, took in just less than $8 million. Only its November's $6.2 million total, affected by Superstorm Sandy, was worse. - AP

Airgas prices $600M in notes

Airgas Inc., of Radnor, said it priced $325 million in 1.65 percent senior notes due Feb. 15, 2018, and $275 million in 2.375 notes due Feb. 15, 2020. The offering is expected to close Thursday, Airgas said. The company said its long-term debt is rated Baa2 by Moody's Investors Service and BBB by Standard & Poor's Corp. The company will use net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes. - Reid Kanaley

Quarterly loss widens at Radian

Mortgage insurer Radian Group Inc.'s fourth-quarter loss widened, hindered in part by a smaller gain on investments and lower revenue. Radian lost $177.3 million, or $1.34 per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $121.5 million, or 92 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts predicted a loss of 51 cents per share, according to a FactSet poll. Radian's gain on investments was $6.4 million in the current quarter, compared with $38.9 million in the prior-year period. Revenue fell 38 percent to $226.1 million from $364.6 million. Shares fell 3.1 percent, to $6.51. - AP

Triumph prices $375M in notes

Aircraft parts maker Triumph Group Inc., of Berwyn, said it priced of $375 million in senior notes due in 2021 at an interest rate of 4.875 percent. The company will use the proceeds to repay debt and for general corporate purposes, it said. The notes were offered in a private placement to institutional buyers. Shares rose 30 cents to close at $72.70. - Reid Kanaley

Twinkies-maker brand auctions set

Hostess Brands Inc. won bankruptcy court approval to hold auctions for brands including Wonder bread, Twinkies and Drake's. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain today in White Plains, New York, approved Tastykake-owner Flowers Foods Inc., McKee Foods Corp., United States Bakery Inc., Apollo Global Management L.L.C. and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. as the so-called stalking-horse, or lead, bidders for most of Hostess's cake and bread brands, setting the thresholds that other suitors will have to exceed. A sale hearing is set for March 19. - Bloomberg News

Italian firm shopping for HQ here

ISARail, an Italian railroad-safety firm, is seeking assistance to locate a U.S. headquarters in the Philadelphia area. The facility could employ 30 to 50 full-time employees. ISARail representatives met last week with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to discuss options, a state official confirmed. - Bob Fernandez

Elsewhere

FTC: One in 20 credit reports faulty

About 1 in every 20 consumers have significant errors on their credit reports that could cause them to pay more for loans and other financial products, according to a Federal Trade Commission report. And 4 out of 5 people who took steps to fix errors with one of the three major credit reporting companies - Experian Information Solutions Inc., Equifax Inc. and TransUnion - got their credit report changed. - Los Angeles Times

Mills to step down at SBA

Karen Mills is leaving her post as head of the Small Business Administration, opening yet another Cabinet-rank job for President Obama to fill at the start of his second term. Obama said Mills played a leading role supporting start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. Mills has served as SBA administrator since 2009. - AP

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