Business Highlights

AP News
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Posted: Aug 06, 2012 6:01 PM
Business Highlights

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Best Buy founder offers to buy company, take it private

NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy's co-founder is looking to make a buy of his own, offering to take the electronics seller private only months after leaving as the company's chairman.

Best Buy said it would consider the offer but called it "highly conditional." And analysts are skeptical that former Chairman Richard Schulze's opening offer of $24 to $26 per share would get a deal done and that it could be tricky to line up investment firms to help pay for it.

It's the latest twist in the Minneapolis company's struggles to stay relevant as more people buy electronics online. Over the past year, Best Buy has announced a major restructuring plan and fired CEO Brian Dunn amid allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.

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Knight avoids collapse with $400 million lifeline

NEW YORK (AP) — Knight Capital Group survived a near-death experience on Monday, lining up Wall Street firms to lend it badly needed cash after the brokerage lost $440 million last week when a malfunction in its trading system flooded the market with erroneous trades.

But the rescue, which came down to the wire, had a steep price: control of the firm. And it's still not certain that Knight will make it through the episode intact.

Knight's new investors will gain a 73 percent stake in the company and three board seats. The value of current shareholders' stake will also be heavily diluted. And Knight, which has removed the problem software and is still completing its own investigation of what went wrong, faces a difficult task of rebuilding trust with clients and persuading regulators that Wednesday's screw-up was an anomaly. Its stock has plunged 70 percent since last Tuesday, before the glitch happened.

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US stocks rise; Knight Capital gets lifeline

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks edged higher on a day marked by uncharacteristic quiet following a turbulent week.

In the absence of major economic news, stocks were riding a tailwind of optimism from the most recent U.S. job numbers released last week and hope for more action by European authorities to address that region's debt crisis.

On Monday, beleaguered stock trading company Knight Capital Group said it lined up $400 million in financing that will allow the firm to continue to operate. Knight was fighting for survival after a disastrous software glitch in its systems sent dozens of stocks into out-of-control trades last week.

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UK bank accused of Iran money-laundering scheme

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A British bank schemed with the Iranian government to launder $250 billion from 2001 to 2007, leaving the United States' financial system "vulnerable to terrorists," New York's financial regulator charged Monday.

State Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky signed an order that requires London-based Standard Chartered Bank to answer his questions following an investigation into "wire stripping," the practice of removing crucial identifiers in financial transactions.

The bank conspired with its Iranian clients to route nearly 60,000 different U.S. dollar payments through Standard Chartered's New York branch "after first stripping information from wire transfer messages used to identify sanctioned countries, individuals and entities," according to the agency's order.

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USDA: Corn, soy crops slightly worse

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The Department of Agriculture says the condition of country's corn and soybean crops hasn't gotten much worse in the past week but large portions remain in poor shape amid widespread drought.

The USDA's weekly Crop Progress report said Monday that half of the nation's corn is in poor condition. A week earlier 48 percent was in poor shape.

Similarly, 39 percent of the soybean crop is in poor condition compared to 37 percent a week earlier.

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Airbus to double $12 billion it spends with US suppliers

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — European aerospace giant Airbus said Monday it plans to double the $12 billion it now spends with U.S. suppliers amid strong airplane sales, explaining that the company has a backlog that is "disturbingly healthy."

Airbus America Chairman Allan McArtor told representatives from 114 companies at an aviation supplier conference in Kansas that 40 percent of what his company uses to build its planes comes from U.S. companies.

Kansas' aerospace industry encompasses more than 450 companies and accounts for more than 32,000 direct jobs. The France-based company has an engineering center in Wichita where it employs more than 350 people, making the Wichita facility its largest engineering center outside of Europe.

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Justice Department probes HCA cardiology care

HCA Holdings Inc. said Monday the Justice Department wants information about heart procedures performed at some of its locations.

The nation's biggest hospital operator also said in an unusual posting on its website that The New York Times may soon run news stories on patient care at its hospitals. The Times declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

HCA said the civil division of the U.S. Attorney's office in Miami has asked for information about reviews that assess the medical necessity of some interventional cardiology services.

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Teva Pharmaceutical discloses SEC bribery investigation

NEW YORK (AP) — Teva Pharmaceutical, the largest generic drug company in the world, said it is the target of a federal bribery investigation into its business in Latin America.

Teva said the Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed documents and is looking into its compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for people or companies to make payments to officials of foreign governments in order to get or keep business.

The Israeli company disclosed the inquiry in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week. Teva said it was notified of the investigation July 9 and said the probe is in its early stages. Teva added that it is conducting its own voluntary investigation.

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K-V Pharma seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK (AP) — K-V Pharmaceutical Co. has filed filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it deals with weak sales, a payment related to its costly preterm birth drug Makena, and sanctions related to past manufacturing problems.

The St. Louis company's shares have been suspended from the New York Stock Exchange. K-V said Monday that it will not fight the suspension and its shares will trade over-the-counter. Class A shares of K-V last traded at 32 cents.

K-V filed for bankruptcy protection in New York on Saturday. The company said it will continue to operate.

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By The Associated Press(equals)

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 21.34 points at 13,117.51. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index added 3.24 points to 1,394.23. The Nasdaq index rose 22.01 points to 2,989.91.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 80 cents to finish at $92.20 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of crude, rose 61 cents to end at $109.55 per barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline fell less than a penny to $2.9222 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1.48 cents to $2.9409 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3.1 cents to $2.9080 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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