Business news in brief

UGI Corp. CEO Lon R. Greenberg is retiring April 1. (Photo: UGI Corporation)
UGI Corp. CEO Lon R. Greenberg is retiring April 1. (Photo: UGI Corporation)
Posted: March 06, 2013

In the Region

UGI's Greenberg retires as CEO

It's official: Lon R. Greenberg, 62, who has led UGI Corp. since 1995, will retire as chief executive officer of the Valley Forge energy company on April 1. He will be succeeded by John L. Walsh, president and chief operating officer. Greenberg will remain as nonexecutive chairman on the boards of UGI and its related AmeriGas Propane Inc. and UGI Utilities Inc. The UGI board outlined the succession plan in September. - Andrew Maykuth

Pa. 4th in Medicaid expenditures

Pennsylvania ranked fourth last year among states in the amount of Medicaid expenditures, but 41st in the amount of fraud recoveries relative to expenditures, according to federal data. Pennsylvania's overall Medicaid fraud recoveries jumped to $44 million in fiscal 2012 from $24 million the year before. The state's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit conducted 321 investigations last year, up from 272. In New Jersey, recoveries were $84 million. New Jersey, which conducted 358 investigations, ranked 11th in Medicaid expenditures and 11th in the amount of money recovered from fraud. The Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services published the data. - Harold Brubaker

Utility seeks charge increase

Atlantic City Electric Co. has asked the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to approve an increase in its distribution charge on June 1 to pass through higher charges. The adjustment would increase a typical residential customer's monthly bill by 1.86 percent, or about $3.37 for a customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours. The adjustments would pay for the increased cost of mandated long-term power purchase contracts with nonutility generators and increases in the costs of several statewide societal benefits programs, said Frank Tedesco, a company spokesman. The costs are included in the utility's distribution charge, paid by all customers, including those who have switched to competitive power suppliers. - Andrew Maykuth

Gamesa to build 12 turbines

Gamesa Wind US L.L.C., of Trevose, will build and export 12 two-megawatt wind turbines for a wind farm in Santa Ana, Honduras, as part of a project made possible by a $28.6 million loan to a Honduran power company by the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the bank said. "Two hundred Pennsylvania workers will assemble" the turbines, the bank said. Gamesa, which was struggling to win new orders, has factories in Fairless Hills and Ebensburg, Pa., near Johnstown. - Reid Kanaley

Utilities urged to centralize data

A report by the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) in the Navy Yard recommends that utilities provide a one-stop outlet for energy consumption data for building owners to comply with Philadelphia's new benchmarking law. The city's biggest utility, Peco, has already initiated plans to create an automated data transfer service aimed at easing compliance with the benchmarking law, which requires owners of large commercial buildings to report energy consumption to the city. The city will use the data to rank buildings for energy efficiency. Philadelphia's new law will go into effect Oct. 31. - Andrew Maykuth

Drugmaker agrees to pay $45M

A North Jersey-based generic drug maker has agreed to pay $45 million to resolve criminal and civil liability charges for improperly marketing its weight-gain drug to frail seniors. Officials from Woodcliff Lake-based Par Pharmaceutical Cos. pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal misbranding in federal court in Newark. Par officials admitted they improperly marketed their Megace ES drug for treating anorexia and malnutrition in geriatric patients who did not have AIDS. It's approved for helping AIDS patients gain weight. The company has also agreed to enter into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with federal health officials and to drop a lawsuit it filed against the U.S. government. - AP


Penney shares slide

J.C. Penney Co. shares slid 11 percent after Vornado Realty Trust, once its second-biggest shareholder, sold almost half of its stake in the struggling department-store chain, according to two people familiar with the offering. Vornado sold a 10-million-share block of Penney stock at $16.40 each through Deutsche Bank AG, said the people, who asked not to be identified, citing lack of authorization to speak publicly. Shares fell to $14.96, the lowest price since March 2009. The department-store company, led by former Apple Inc. retail chief Ron Johnson, last week reported a 25 percent decline in annual revenue to $13 billion, the lowest since at least 1987. - Bloomberg News

Amtrak asks for more federal money

The federal subsidy for Amtrak has dropped to 12 percent of operating costs - about $466 million a year, said Amtrak president Joseph Boardman. But Amtrak needs more federal money for capital costs, such as new vehicles, bridges, signals, and other equipment, he said. Boardman also told a House subcommittee Tuesday that Amtrak's biggest money-losers, its long-distance routes, are important to rural and elderly populations who are losing bus and air service. Amtrak carried a record 31.2 million passengers in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. - Paul Nussbaum

Buffett: 'Puff out your chest a bit'

Billionaire Warren Buffett said his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will benefit from rising U.S. oil production as the company's trains and tank cars made by Union Tank Car move fuel around the country. The company, with its UTLX logo, traces its roots to John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust. "As a Berkshire shareholder, you own the cars with that insignia," Buffett wrote. "When you spot a UTLX car, puff out your chest a bit and enjoy the same satisfaction that John D. Rockefeller undoubtedly experienced as he viewed his fleet a century ago." - Bloomberg News



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