Business news in brief

A logo on the grille of a Fiat 500L , produced by Fiat SpA, during the company's annual general meeting in Turin, Italy. Fiat SpA, the Italian carmaker that controls Chrysler Group L.L.C., said it has enough resources to buy the remaining stake in the unit from an employee group, and won't sell new shares to finance the transaction. BLOOMBERG
A logo on the grille of a Fiat 500L , produced by Fiat SpA, during the company's annual general meeting in Turin, Italy. Fiat SpA, the Italian carmaker that controls Chrysler Group L.L.C., said it has enough resources to buy the remaining stake in the unit from an employee group, and won't sell new shares to finance the transaction. BLOOMBERG
Posted: April 10, 2013

In the Region

Wharton fellow is Obama appointee

A senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School is one of three nominations made Tuesday by President Obama for appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. Philip A. Miscimarra, a Penn law school graduate, serves as managing director of the Wharton Center for Human Resources Research Advisory Group and is the employment law adviser to Wharton's Financial Services Group. Miscimarra is a partner in Morgan Lewis' labor and employment practice in Chicago, a cochair of the firm's Workforce Change practice and is one of two Republican nominees to the five-member board. The other nominees are Republican Harry I. Johnson 3d, a management-side lawyer from California, and current NLRB chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, a Democrat and union-side lawyer whose term expires on Aug. 27. - Jane M. Von Bergen

 

Temple creates health institute

Temple University Health System said it established an Institute for Population Health to put under one umbrella numerous existing efforts to move health care into the community. Among the programs being moved to the institute is the training of community health workers, who work to reduce readmissions and unnecessary visits to the emergency room, said Paula Stillman, Temple vice president of health care services and director of the institute. A second class of 30 community health workers is scheduled to start training in May. Another program is a Transition Center, which ensures that primary care physicians are notified when one of their patients comes to the ER or is admitted to the hospital, among other things, Stillman said. - Harold Brubaker

Hostess brand sales approved

Hostess Brands Inc. won bankruptcy court approval to sell off the last of its major cake and bread brands, bringing the total proceeds from its liquidation to about $860 million. Irving, Texas-based Hostess, which made Twinkies and Ding Dongs, filed for Chapter 11 protection in January 2012 after years of turmoil. Flower Foods Inc., owner of Philadelphia's Tasty Baking Co., earlier bought five Hostess bread brands, including Wonder and Nature's Pride, for $360 million. - AP

GE moving locomotive jobs to Texas

General Electric Co. plans to cut 950 jobs at an Erie locomotive plant, wiping out most of the site's recent employment growth, as it shifts some production to a lower-cost Texas factory. The reductions are slated to start in six months pending a 60-day period of talks with union leaders, said Lorenzo Simonelli, head of GE's transportation unit. The new plant in Fort Worth, Texas, also the headquarters for Warren Buffett's Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, is about 20 percent more efficient than the Erie facility, which is more than 100 years old. - Bloomberg News

CEDC bankruptcy hearing May 13

Central European Distribution Corp., the Mount Laurel-headquartered vodka seller headed by Russian billionaire Roustam Tariko, will seek court approval of its so-called prepackaged restructuring plan just over a month after filing for bankruptcy. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi granted the company's request to hold a May 13 hearing on the plan, saying "this is a true pre-pack plan with overwhelming creditor support," at a hearing in Wilmington. The plan, negotiated with and voted on by creditors before the April 7 bankruptcy filing, would eliminate about $665.2 million in debt from CEDC's and unit CEDC FinCo's balance sheets. - Bloomberg News

Elsewhere

Banks sending checks

The nation's largest banks will begin sending payments this week to millions of Americans who may have been wrongfully foreclosed on during the housing crisis. A total of $3.6 billion in cash will be distributed to 4.2 million borrowers who lost their homes or were at risk of foreclosure, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency said. The banks - Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, HSBC, MetLife Bank, PNC Financial Services, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, Aurora, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs - reached a settlement with the federal agencies in January. They agreed to pay a total $9.3 billion in cash and in reductions of mortgage balances. - AP

Hiring lags pace of job openings

The Labor Department said the number of job openings rose 8.7 percent in February from January to a seasonally adjusted 3.93 million. That was the most since May 2008. At the same time, companies hired a seasonally adjusted 4.4 million people, just 2.8 percent more than in January. And hiring remained lower than it was a year ago, when it was nearly 4.5 million. Economists say some unemployed workers lack the skills employers want. Some companies may not be offering enough pay. And staffing firms say that in a still-fragile economy, many businesses seem hesitant to commit to new hires. - AP

Fox stations on board against Aereo

The head of more than 200 TV stations that replay Fox programming says stations are "on board" with a threat to transition to pay TV if Internet upstart Aereo Inc. keeps reselling Fox's signal without paying for rights. Steve Pruett, the chairman of the Fox affiliate board of governors, said TV stations can send out two signals - one to cable and satellite companies and another out over the free airwaves. Premium Fox programs would be reserved for paying customers, while the free-to-air broadcasts would likely be of lesser quality. Chase Carey, the chief operating officer of Fox parent News Corp., raised the threat Monday amid a legal battle with Aereo. - AP

Chrysler recalls 247,000 vehicles

Chrysler Group L.L.C. is recalling more than 247,000 SUVs and cars for problems including faulty gas tank hoses, broken drive shafts and air bag warning lights that illuminate when there's no problem. The largest of the recalls posted on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website covers about 139,000 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger sedans from the 2011 and 2012 model years. The automaker says that faulty wiring can cause the air bag warning lights to illuminate. Chrysler says it will fix the vehicles for free and will start notifying owners about the problem this month. Among other recalls Chrysler also is recalling 78,500 two-wheel-drive Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro midsize SUVs because the drive shafts can break. The SUVs are from the 2007 and 2008 model years. - AP

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