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Business news in brief

In the Region

Albert Einstein to split from Jefferson System

Jefferson Health System Inc. and Albert Einstein Healthcare Network signed a formal separation agreement yesterday, but the divorce will not be final until late summer or early fall. The health systems announced in January that Einstein was going out on its own. The change still requires approval from the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office and Orphans Court, said David Simon, Jefferson's vice president of payer relations and general counsel. The Jefferson system, which is based in Radnor, currently includes Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Einstein, Frankford Health Care System Inc., Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, and Main Line Health Inc. Einstein's system includes Albert Einstein Medical Center, Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment and MossRehab.

- Stacey Burling

RWE sells more shares of American Water Works

RWE AG said it sold an additional 5.2 million shares of its U.S. business, American Water Works Co. Inc., of Voorhees, for $108 million. RWE, of Essen, Germany, said the sale, at $20.85 a share, was made to underwriters of last month's initial public offering of American Water under their right to buy extra shares. In all, 63.17 million shares have now been sold, or a 39.5 percent stake in American Water, for $1.3 billion. Trading of the publicly held shares began on April 23 on the New York Stock Exchange at $21.50. Yesterday, they closed up 18 cents at $21.41.

- Paul Schweizer

Airport set to build 800 more parking spaces

The former Overseas Terminal at Philadelphia International Airport is being demolished to build 800 economy-parking spaces. The official groundbreaking is scheduled for 10 a.m. today on Island Avenue. The 800 new spaces are expected to be ready by Thanksgiving. The airport currently has 11,776 spaces in parking garages next to the terminals and 6,350 spaces in the economy lot. In addition, the airport has 813 short-term parking spaces on ground level across from baggage claims at Terminals A through F.

- Linda Loyd

Hill International buys Poland's Euromost

Construction-management company Hill International Inc., of Marlton, said it was expanding into Poland by acquiring Euromost Polska, a Warsaw construction-consulting firm. Euromost works on commercial, industrial, retail and residential construction projects of varying sizes, Hill said in a news release. It has 130 employees with offices also in Krakow, Wroclaw and Gdynia. The principal selling shareholder, construction consultancy Jackson Coles, based in Britain, said it would focus more on its British business after selling off Euromost. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Euromost logged $11.1 million in net revenue in 2007 and $2.2 million in profit, according to the company's unaudited financial results, Hill said. The acquisition gives Hill and Euromost a combined global staff of 2,000 employees in 70 offices. Hill shares closed up 5 cents at $15.45.

- Maria Panaritis

Commerce still the No. 1 bank in the Mid-Atlantic

Commerce Bancorp Inc. maintained its No. 1 ranking in the Mid-Atlantic region for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power & Associates' 2007 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, but it fell from first to third nationally. Among other major banks in the Philadelphia region, only Citizens Bank received an above-average rating. Listed highest to lowest by score, Wachovia Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, Sovereign Bank and PNC were below average in the region. The nationwide results are based on responses from 19,602 households, J.D. Power said.

- Harold Brubaker

Penn Virginia buys coal and lumber reserves

Penn Virginia Resource Partners L.P., Radnor, said it bought 29 million tons of coal reserves and 56 million board feet of hardwood timber in Virginia and Kentucky for $24.5 million. The company said it expected cash flow from coal royalty payments and sales of the timber to be about $2.4 million in 2009. Penn Virginia had 2007 revenue of $549 million. The seller of the coal and timber properties, a private party, was not identified. Company shares closed up 45 cents at $27.41.

- Paul Schweizer


American Axle cuts workforce, reopens plants

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. said it would cut its U.S. hourly workforce by 2,000, or about 55 percent, as a result of a new contract ratified last week by the United Auto Workers union. The auto-parts-maker said its total hourly labor costs would drop from $73.48 before the new contract to between $30 and $45. The cost will vary by factory because they have different wage rates. The contract agreement came after a nearly three-month strike against the company by 3,650 U.S. workers that crippled General Motors Corp.'s production of pickup trucks and big sport-utility vehicles. American Axle began bringing its factories back on line this week.

- AP

Federal Reserve governor quits

Federal Reserve Governor Frederic Mishkin will leave at the end of August and return to teaching at Columbia University, the central bank announced. Mishkin, who has been on the Fed board since Sept. 5, 2006, submitted his resignation to President Bush. His exit leaves the Fed with just four of its seven board seats filled. Mishkin, 57, will return to Columbia University's Graduate School of Business as a professor of economics and resume teaching in the fall, the Fed said. The Fed's meeting Aug. 5 will be Mishkin's last.

- AP

Delta flight attendants fail to unionize

Delta Air Lines Inc. flight attendants have again failed to get the necessary votes to form a union. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said in a statement that not enough of the eligible flight attendants voted, and therefore the results, despite showing solid support from those people who did vote, did not meet the certification requirements of the National Mediation Board. Federal rules require a majority turnout by those eligible to vote. A similar effort in late 2001 was rejected in election results announced Feb. 1, 2002.

- AP

Yields mixed on taxable and tax-free funds

The average seven-day yield on taxable money market funds was 1.92 percent this week, unchanged from last week, according to iMoneyNet Inc. A seven-day yield is an annual yield that is based on the preceding seven days' level of income by the fund. The average yield on tax-free funds fell to 1.37 percent from 1.52 percent last week.

- Rhonda Dickey