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NEWS
October 25, 2011 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Alphabuyer Inc., a year-old Paoli e-commerce company that enlists customers for "group buying for your bills," probably could have picked something a little sexier to start with than the humble electric bill. But since launching last year with discount offers for Peco Energy Co. electricity customers, the group-buying service has expanded into three other states including New Jersey, and other commodities like natural gas. Cofounder Kevin Johnson imagines that eventually every savvy, penny-pinching customer would go through Alphabuyer to join groups to buy anything from discounted Internet and cellphone service to gasoline, heating oil or antivirus software subscriptions.
BUSINESS
January 25, 2013
In the Region Philadelphia lawyers stay put   Drinker Biddle & Reath L.L.P. said it agreed to extend its lease at One Logan Square through 2029. As part of the agreement, the law firm will reduce the size of its offices from 206,000 square feet to 155,000 square feet. The firm anticipates that the number of employees there will remain about the same. It has 456 employees at One Logan, including 205 lawyers. - Chris Mondics   Deal to ship ethane via Marcus Hook   A European petrochemical producer entered into a 15-year agreement to ship Marcellus Shale ethane to Norway from a Sunoco Logistics terminal in Marcus Hook.
BUSINESS
November 30, 2010 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
From her headquarters office at online retail operator GSI Commerce Inc. , Fiona Dias can see the paved parking that makes possible the King of Prussia shopping complex. "The mall was packed Black Friday," said Dias, "but I didn't see tons of shopping bags. " The National Retail Federation , in a survey of 4,300 Americans, said the number of people shopping online has grown by a third so far this Christmas-shopping season compared with last year. Actual online sales were up a more modest 9 percent, estimated analyst Marianne R. Wolk , who covers Amazon.
BUSINESS
April 26, 2012 | Joe DiStefano
Harleysville Group Inc. shareholders voted to accept $60 a share to sell the company to Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., chief executive Michael L. Browne said in a statement Wednesday. That price is a lot fatter than the stock's previous high, in the mid-$30s. Half a dozen policyholders, who sued to change the terms, say some cash should go to the company's nominal owners, policyholders of affiliated Harleysville Mutual Insurance Co., as happened in previous mutual sales like Nationwide's purchase of the former Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co., Berwyn, 10 years ago (also after a court fight)
BUSINESS
April 19, 2012 | Joe DiStefano
Five Below Inc., the Center City-based chain of 192 kid-oriented dollar stores in 16 Eastern and Midwestern states, has hired Goldman Sachs and other brokers to lure investors for a $150 million initial public stock offering. The chain, founded in 2003 by former Zany Brainy toy-store owners David Schlessinger and Tom Vellios, has grown quickly, especially since investors led by Advent International Corp. of Boston pumped in $194 million in 2010. Five Below more than doubled its sales of cheap sports gear, snacks, party goods, and other middle-school accessories to $297 million in the year ended Jan. 11, from $125 million two years earlier, according to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2011 | By Mike Armstrong, Inquirer Columnist
I received some interesting reactions from readers to Friday's column about the legacy of two pioneers of the region's biotechnology sector. I'd wondered aloud who might follow in the footsteps of Frank Baldino Jr. , the founder of Cephalon Inc. who died in December, and Hubert J.P. Schoemaker , the founder of Centocor Inc. who died in 2006. Both built large enterprises that continue to employ hundreds locally. In a comment posted online, Pennsylvania Bio president Christopher P. Molineaux listed seven local life-sciences entrepreneurs whom he suggested were walking that same path, including Steven Nichtberger , CEO of East Norriton-based Tengion Inc. , and Maxine Gowen , founder and CEO of King of Prussia-based Trevena Inc. In e-mails, readers in the biotech business mentioned how difficult it is to get from the point of drug discovery to putting actual product in consumers' hands.
SPORTS
October 19, 2011 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, benderw@phillynews.com
YOU WON'T believe this, Occupy Philly: A bunch of rich guys bought the 76ers! Oh well. Get over it. Go to a game once in a while, will ya? Here are the investors, who include four Philadelphia-area natives and two Indonesians. Six of them are graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, where they presumably took an advanced course in rejuvenating ailing NBA teams: Joshua Harris: Billionaire lead investor who will serve as the 76ers' managing owner and governor on the NBA Board of Governors.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2012 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Columnist
It is a problem so obvious you wonder why it hasn't already been solved: how to deliver online orders in a way that cuts the odds of missing a delivery or having a package stolen after drop-off to an apartment lobby, stoop, or an unsecured porch. One way Americans have worked around this, as their love affair with online shopping has grown in recent years, is to have deliveries sent to the office, which requires discretion and an indulgent boss. Or they suck up the status quo, unglue missed-delivery slips from the front door, and hope that, the next time, the truck comes when someone is home.
BUSINESS
July 25, 2012 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
What if solvent Germany stops bailing out Europe and goes back to its own, stronger money? That would make German products cost more. But privately owned German industrial-sensor and controls maker IFM Electronic GmbH won't have that problem. The company dedicated its new factory and labs in Malvern on Monday, and is adding more abroad. "We make eight million sensors a year," said Roger Varma , head of the $700 million (in yearly sales) company's IFM Prover USA Inc.me off the line at IFM's factory in Tettnang, Germany.
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