Business news in brief

The new Rinspeed microMAX, a short-distance commuter vehicle, is being shown at the 83d Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland. A new seatbelt concept on the vehicle has a "webbing catcher" that enables semi-automatic buckling and unbuckling. The show will be open from Thursday to March 17, and have more than 260 exhibitors.
The new Rinspeed microMAX, a short-distance commuter vehicle, is being shown at the 83d Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland. A new seatbelt concept on the vehicle has a "webbing catcher" that enables semi-automatic buckling and unbuckling. The show will be open from Thursday to March 17, and have more than 260 exhibitors. (SANDRO CAMPARDO / Keystone)
Posted: March 07, 2013

In the Region

Sequester furloughs at Pa. depot

The Tobyhanna Army Depot in northeastern Pennsylvania said it was moving forward with a plan to furlough all 5,136 civilian employees in the face of automatic federal spending cuts. The military base in Monroe County said it faces a $309 million budget shortfall as a result of the across-the-board cuts, known as the sequester. Without a budget deal, it said, it will furlough its civilian employees for 22 nonconsecutive days between late April and Sept. 30. The depot's commander, Col. Gerhard Schroter, said in a message to workers that even though the sequester has been weighing on them, they should remain focused on their mission. Tobyhanna is the military's largest electronics maintenance facility. - AP

SEPTA gets $1.2M for Sandy relief

SEPTA will get $1.2 million from federal hurricane relief funds to reimburse it for costs related to Hurricane Sandy, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. The money will reimburse SEPTA for costs of moving and securing vehicles, sandbagging vents above the Broad Street subway, manning pump rooms, and paying overtime to workers to staff the control center and customer service center around the clock, as well as to remove trees and repair downed wires after the storm, chief financial officer Richard Burnfield said. Also, an additional $390 million will go to the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. for expenses for preparing for and recovering from Sandy. - Paul Nussbaum

PolyMedix plans reverse stock split

PolyMedix Inc., a struggling Radnor biotech firm that has been considering strategic alternatives that may include a sale of the company, announced a plan for a reverse stock split to increase the price of its common stock. Shares are traded over the counter, and the company said its goal would be to list on the Nasdaq. The company called a shareholder meeting for March 15 to vote on the proposal. PolyMedix, which is developing a treatment for skin infections, in January replaced then-CEO Nicholas Landekic with CFO Edward F. Smith as interim chief executive. Shares have traded in a range of six cents to $1.39 during the last year. They closed down one cent, to 10 cents. - Reid Kanaley

Hospital operator gets subpoenas

Universal Health Services Inc., a King of Prussia operator of hospitals and behavioral health facilities, said 10 of its locations, in Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, and Virginia, received subpoenas last month from the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The subpoenas requested documents from January 2008 to the present, UHS said in its annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week. The company, which did not respond to a request for comment, said in the filing that it did not know what the government was examining. Two UHS facilities in North Carolina were notified last year that the Department of Justice was pursuing an investigation following ar request for documents. One of the North Carolina facilities was closed and sold in January, UHS said. - Harold Brubaker

Met-Pro wins $2M in orders

Met-Pro Corp., of Harleysville, Pa., says it got $2 million in two large orders for air-pollution-control equipment for municipal sewer plants. The company did not name the customers for its Duall brand chemical scrubber systems. Met-Pro employs about 350 and has about $111 million in annual revenue. - Reid Kanaley

Quaker Chemical net up 25%

Quaker Chemical Corp., of Conshohocken, said net income for the fourth quarter was $13 million, or 99 cents per share, on revenue of $172.9 million, compared with profit of $10.4 million, or 80 cents per share, on $173.3 million in revenue in the last quarter of 2011. Results were issued after markets closed. Shares were up 1.63 percent, at $59.21. - Inquirer staff

Elsewhere

Dell committee defends $24.4B sale

The Dell Inc. committee that negotiated the slumping PC maker's $24.4 billion buyout is standing behind the deal despite the misgivings of major shareholders who believe the price is too low. In a four-paragraph statement, the four directors who oversaw the discussions to sell Dell provided their most extensive defense of the deal since it was announced a month ago. CEO Michael Dell, backed by other investors led by investment firm Silver Lake, is trying to buy out the company he founded for $13.65 per share. - AP

Ex-GM executive on Toyota board

Toyota Motor Corp. has permitted a former executive at U.S. rival General Motors Co. to join its board, the first time in the Japanese automaker's 76-year history it appointed directors from outside the company. The appointment of Mark Hogan, effective April 1, underlines efforts at Toyota to become more internationally minded, transparent, and nimble in regional markets as it recovers from difficult years, including a massive recall fiasco in the United States. - AP

Time Warner to spin off Time Inc.

Time Warner Inc. said it would split off its Time Inc. magazine unit into a separate publicly traded company by the end of the year. CEO Jeff Bewkes said the decision to split off the magazine company would enable the parent company to focus on its TV networks, movies, and TV production businesses. He said the move would create value for shareholders, similar to the prior spin-offs of Time Warner Cable and AOL. Meredith Corp., which had been talking with Time Warner about combining their magazines into one company, said it respected Time Warner's decision. - AP

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