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Business news in brief

In the Region

Advanta extends tender offer

Advanta Corp., a Spring House small-business credit-card company, said it extended the tender offer for $100 million of debt from today to Monday. Advanta, which closed its customers' credit cards to new charges on May 30 because of soaring defaults, said it extended the offer because of the announcement Monday that it had to cancel the tender offer for $1.4 billion of another form of debt. As of Monday, $7 million of the $100 million in debt had been tendered. The company offered to pay $200 for every $1,000 in debt tendered. - Harold Brubaker

Pep Boys 1Q profit rises

The Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack, Philadelphia, said its fiscal first-quarter profit more than doubled, boosted by a hefty gain from bond repurchases. Profit from continuing operations for the quarter ended May 2 rose to $11.1 million, or 21 cents per share, from $5.3 million, or 9 cents per share, last year. Revenue edged down to $496.5 million from $498 million a year ago. Shares closed up 91 cents, or 10.8 percent, at $9.33. - AP

Phila. Int'l arrival performance falls

On-time arrivals at Philadelphia International Airport dropped in April compared with April 2008, the U.S. Department of Transportation said. The monthly report found that 70.66 percent of flights arrived here on time in April compared with 72.01 percent a year ago, dropping the airport to 28th place from 26th place last year among the nation's 31 largest airports. On-time departures were essentially the same - 77.08 percent in April this year compared with 77.45 percent in April 2008. Philadelphia ranked 25th in both months. US Airways, which carries about two-thirds of the traffic at Philadelphia International, had a 79.9 percent on-time arrival record in April, DOT said. - Paul Schweizer

New contractor law taking effect

Contractors who perform $5,000 or more in home improvements in a year in Pennsylvania must register with the state Attorney General's Office by July 1. The new law requires home-improvement contractors to register with the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection. Contractors can register online at, or by submitting a completed application form to Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Home Improvement Contractor Registration, 15th Floor, Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, Pa. 17120. Forms are available online. - Al Heavens

July deadline for Acme workers

Acme Markets' 3,900 Pennsylvania cashiers, stock clerks and other employees have until July 10 to vote on whether to accept the company's "last, best and final" contract offer. Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 have been working under the terms of their old contract since February 2008. If workers reject the contract, the company could impose terms, which could constitute a lockout. A statement from Acme did not detail the terms of the contract. It says it will keep employees among the highest paid supermarket workers in the region. The union views Acme's move as a hostile act and said it is willing to continue working under the current contract until issues are resolved. - Jane M. Von Bergen

Court: Broker entitled to damages

A nearly $19 million jury award to a Philadelphia insurance broker in a copyright infringement case should not have been reversed, a U.S. District Court appeals panel has ruled. In June 2006, a federal jury awarded the Graham Co. $18.9 million, finding that USI MidAtlantic Inc., another insurance broker, and Thomas P. Haughey, a former Graham employee working for USI, had used Graham's copyrighted insurance books in hundreds of sales proposals that netted USI millions of dollars. On Nov. 21, 2006, the district court reversed the verdict, ruling that the Graham Co. was not entitled to damages for the full 13-year infringement period. The court maintained that the Graham Co. should have known about USI's infringement much earlier. The three-

judge appeals panel rejected that assertion and remanded the matter to U.S. District Court to consider claims by USI and Haughey that the jury award was excessive. If the court rejects those argu-

ments, it shall reinstate the initial verdict, the appeals panel ruled. The owner of the Graham Co., William A. Graham IV, is the largest investor in Philadelphia News-

papers L.L.C., the parent company of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and - Diane Mastrull


Screen Actors Guild OKs contract

LOS ANGELES - Members of the Screen Actors Guild have voted to ratify a two-year contract covering movies and prime-time TV shows made by the major Hollywood studios. The vote, with 78 percent in favor of the deal, follows a bitter dispute that saw Guild members fighting among themselves. - AP

Feds indict 7 in alleged tax scheme

Federal authorities have indicted the former chief executive of a major accounting firm and six others in what they say was a wide-ranging criminal scheme that generated more than $7 billion in fraudulent tax losses. The indictment filed in Manhattan federal court charges the seven with 27 separate counts that include conspiring to defraud the IRS and tax evasion. One of those charged was Denis Field, 51, of Naples, Fla., the former chief executive officer and board chairman of BDO Seidman, an international accounting firm that was founded nearly 100 years ago in New York. - AP

Company: Globe won't be closed

The Boston Globe's parent company, The New York Times Co., says it won't close the 137-year-old newspaper, after identifying $20 million in annual savings. On Monday, The Times Co. imposed a 23 percent pay cut on members of its largest labor union, the Boston Newspaper Guild. The Times Co. says the wage cut and $10 million in savings from other unions will help the newspaper. It imposed the cut after the Guild narrowly rejected a contract proposal. The union has said it would ask the National Labor Relations Board and the courts to block the pay cut. - AP

Charitable gifts in US fell in 2008

Charitable giving by Americans fell by 2 percent in 2008 as the recession took root, according to an annual survey. Particularly hard hit were social-service charities, which suffered a 12.7 percent drop in donations. - AP