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Business news in brief

In the Region

No deal for Trump Marina

No deal was reached between Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. and Coastal Development L.L.C. of New York yesterday over the sale of Trump Marina casino. In the fall, the deal was revised; Coastal reduced its offer price to $270 million from $316 million and moved the closing deadline from October to yesterday. Both sides will continue to talk. "I remain fully committed to our Margaritaville concept and very bullish on the long-term outlook for Atlantic City," Richard Fields, chairman of Coastal Marina, an affiliate of Coastal Development, said in a statement. Coastal still needs to complete its application for interim casino authorization from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, which is required in order to purchase a casino. - Suzette Parmley

Brandywine Realty sets offering price

Brandywine Realty Trust said its public offering of 35 million common shares would be priced at $6.30 a share. The Radnor real estate investment trust also said it had granted the underwriters a 30-day option to buy as many as 5.25 million additional common shares to cover overallotments, if any. The company expects net proceeds, before the overallotment option is exercised, to be about $210.8 million. Brandywine Realty says it will use the net proceeds to reduce debt under its $600 million unsecured revolving credit facility and for general corporate purposes. Brandywine shares closed down 20 cents, or 3.4 percent, at $5.63. - Roslyn Rudolph

J&J seeks end to agreement

Johnson & Johnson has filed a request for arbitration to end its agreement between Schering-Plough Corp. and J&J's Centocor subsidiary because of the pending merger between Schering-Plough and Merck & Co. The distribution agreement relates to Remicade, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease, and Simponi, a medicine for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Johnson & Johnson contends that the proposed merger with rival Merck nullifies the deal with Schering-Plough. Johnson & Johnson wants full rights to distribute the products outside the United States, where Schering-

Plough currently distributes them. Schering-Plough and Merck said they were confident an arbitrator would agree that the Merck/Schering-Plough merger does not give Johnson & Johnson the right to terminate the agreement. Centocor is based in Horsham. - Linda Loyd


Drugmaker to pay nearly $100 million

Sanofi-Aventis agreed to pay nearly $100 million to settle allegations it cheated Medicaid on the cost of nasal sprays. The Justice Department said Aventis Pharmaceutical Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, has agreed to pay the government $95.5 million to settle the charges. One of Sanofi's vaccine production facilities is in Swiftwater, Pa. The government charged that between 1995 and 2000, Aventis and its corporate predecessors did not offer Medicaid the best prices for the sprays Azmacort, Nasacort and Nasacort AQ. In reaching the settlement, Sanofi-Aventis U.S. did not admit any wrongdoing. The company, based in Bridgewater, N.J., issued a statement saying it believed the old pricing system was legal. - AP

Report: Uninsured are costly for all

Health insurance premiums for an average family are $1,000 a year higher because of costs of health care for the uninsured, a new report finds. And private coverage for the average individual costs an extra $370 a year because of the cost-shifting, which happens when someone without medical insurance gets care at an emergency room or elsewhere and then doesn't pay. The report was released by advocacy group Families USA, which said the findings support its goal of extending coverage to all the 50 million Americans who are now uninsured. Families USA contracted with independent actuarial consulting firm Milliman Inc. to analyze federal data to produce the findings. - AP

New durables orders climb in April

Demand for big-ticket manufactured goods soared by the largest amount in 16 months in April, the second increase in the last three months. The Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods rose by 1.9 percent in April, more than four times the 0.4 percent increase that had been expected. But the government revised down its estimate for new orders in March to show a drop of 2.1 percent, a much bigger fall than the 0.8 percent decline previously reported. Still, new orders have risen in two of the last three months after having recorded six straight declines. - AP

Visteon files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy

Visteon Corp., the top parts supplier and former subsidiary of Ford Motor Co., has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, dealing yet another blow to the reeling automaker supply base. The Michigan company filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware after struggling with plunging revenue and production cuts from its automaker customers. The company's Visteon UK Ltd. unit separately filed for bankruptcy protection last month and closed three British plants. Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code allows companies to stay in business and reorganize without the threat of creditor lawsuits. It does not mean liquidation. - AP

Toys R Us acquires FAO Schwarz

Geoffrey the Giraffe became a knight in shining armor for toy retailer FAO Schwarz late Wednesday, as Toys R Us Inc. said it acquired the troubled high-end retailer, which has struggled for years through bankruptcies amid tough competition from discount stores. Analysts said privately held FAO Schwarz was in danger of closing if a buyer did not materialize. Privately held Toys R Us - the largest U.S. toy retailer - meanwhile, will get an opportunity to work with smaller toy vendors, cut costs and operate a marquee store on New York's Fifth Avenue. - AP

Obama to create cyber czar

The Obama administration is creating a "cyber czar" within the White House to coordinate the nation's computer security. Critics already say the post will not have enough authority to haul the government into the digital age. Government and private industry need to better protect the nation's computer networks, the White House warns in a plan to be rolled out today as the administration sets broad goals for dealing with cyber threats. President Obama is expected to say that cyber security is a top priority of the administration and to call for a new education campaign to raise public awareness of the challenges and threats cyber security involves. - AP