In the Region

Exel to cut 131 jobs in Phila.

Exel Direct Inc.

intends to eliminate 131 jobs in Philadelphia when it halts operations at 3820 N. Second St. starting May 1. The company, based in Westerville, Ohio, runs a distribution center for

General Motors Corp.

at that location, according to a filing with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. A $4.7 billion provider of contract-logistics services, Exel is a subsidiary of

Deutsche Post World Net

, the European postal company that also owns

DHL International GmbH

.

- Mike Armstrong

Dow's downgrade may cut deal price

Dow Chemical Co.'s

lenders may increase pressure on the company to renegotiate its $15.4 billion takeover of

Rohm & Haas Co.

, Philadelphia, after credit-rating cuts Monday that would raise the deal's cost. Dow's ratings were lowered by Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service after Kuwait scrapped the purchase of a $9 billion stake in Dow's plastics unit. The deal would have provided Dow with about $7 billion after taxes to help pay for the pending acquisition of Rohm & Haas, S&P said in a statement. The Rohm & Haas purchase "appears extremely overpriced given a deep recession and lack of cash from the Kuwait deal,"

Citigroup Global Markets Holdings Inc.

analyst P.J. Juvekar said in a research note Monday. Dow nevertheless closed up 23 cents, or 1.50 percent, at $15.55. Rohm & Haas closed up $6.36, or 11.92 percent, at $59.70.

- Bloomberg News

National Penn to record charges

National Penn Bancshares Inc.

, Boyertown, said it would record an impairment charge of $60 million to $65 million on $84.4 million of pooled trust-preferred securities issued by financial institutions. National Penn also said it terminated a $50 million revolving-loan agreement with Key Bank because it wanted to obtain a bigger line of credit. The loan with Key Bank, set to expire March 27, limited National Penn's ability to enter into a new deal before then. The bank also said it would record a $4.5 million charge related to alleged theft by a former employee and eight relatives.

- Harold Brubaker

Census Bureau hiring for next count

There's at least one big project that is going forward, despite the dismal economy: the U.S. Census, which is required every 10 years by the Constitution. That means the Philadelphia regional office of the

Census Bureau

has 1,500 to 1,800 temporary jobs to fill in Address Canvassing operations in Philadelphia, Camden, Trenton, and Newark, Del. The agency is recruiting more than 10,500 people to be considered for the available jobs, which pay $12 to $20 an hour. The Census Bureau is also hiring about 40 people for temporary office-support jobs, such as clerks, administrative assistants and supervisors. Applicants should call 1-866-861-2010, or visit Philadelphia Regional Census Center online at

» READ MORE: www.census.gov/rophi/

» READ MORE: www/emply.html

.

- Harold Brubaker

Aqua's Texas unit buys two systems

Aqua America Inc.'s

Texas subsidiary has acquired two water companies in Hays County that together serve about 400 people, the subsidiary said.

Aqua Texas Inc.

bought the assets of the

Cardinal Valley Water Co. Inc.

, which it has operated since beginning its Texas operations in 2003, for $10, with the understanding that it take on future capital commitments. And it bought the Mountain Crest Water Co. for $219,000. The Bryn Mawr company's shares closed down $1, or 5 percent, at $19.

- Roslyn Rudolph

Elsewhere

Tribune lawyers seek $1,100 an hour

Sidley Austin L.L.P.

lawyers are asking as much as $1,100 an hour for bankruptcy work on

Tribune Co.

, surpassing the rates charged by

Weil, Gotshal & Manges L.L.P.

in the

Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc.

case, the largest in history. Tribune, the newspaper publisher taken private by real estate billionaire Sam Zell, filed for bankruptcy Dec. 8. The company sought court approval in a Dec. 26 filing to pay Sidley's bankruptcy group $575 to $1,100 an hour for partners, $400 to $875 an hour for counsel and senior counsel, $240 to $650 an hour for associates, and $95 to $385 an hour for paraprofessionals. Weil Gotshal's partners led by Harvey Miller charge $650 to $950 an hour on Lehman. James Conlan, co-chairman of Sidley's bankruptcy group, could not immediately be reached by phone and e-mail.

- Bloomberg News

Actavis, FDA in agreement over plant

Drugmaker

Actavis Inc.

said Monday that it reached an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration to not distribute any products from its Totowa facilities in Morristown, N.J., until it is in compliance with the agency's current good-manufacturing practice. Required improvements include upgrading equipment and improving labs and facilities. Actavis has faced lawsuits over its recalled heart drug Digitek, including one involving a patient's death, alleging the drug was dangerous and defective. Digitek was made at one of the company's Totowa facilities. The company would not say whether the FDA agreement affected the lawsuits.

- Miriam Hill

No swanky meeting for top dealers

Chrysler L.L.C.

canceled its annual reward meeting for top-performing dealers for the first time in decades as it sought to cut costs in the tough auto market. The meeting was to include an all-expenses-paid trip to the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, in March, Chrysler said. The automaker offers such a trip to its top dealers every year. The suspension was first reported by Dow Jones.

- AP

Yeshiva revises Madoff investment

Yeshiva University

said its net investment in a fund tied to

Bernard L. Madoff

was about $14.5 million, before inflation by "fictitious" profit. The figure represents money Yeshiva had invested in Ascot Partners, a channel to Madoff, before the financier was arrested Dec. 11, according to e-mail from J. Michael Gower, the New York school's vice president for business affairs and its chief financial officer. In a statement from Ascot, Yeshiva's investment had been valued at $110 million. Madoff was charged with operating a pyramid scheme that may have bilked investors of $50 billion. That number may reflect the amount of money clients were told they had in accounts, not the amount they originally invested. Customers who believed they had amassed investment gains over time may have been misled, as Yeshiva now indicates.

- Bloomberg News