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Business news in brief

In the Region

Financing for Discovery Labs

Discovery Laboratories Inc., Warrington, said it had arranged for $35 million in financing from Kingsbridge Capital Ltd., a private investment group. Discovery can tap the funding as needed over the next three years, it said. In return, Kingsbridge will receive up to 31.6 million newly issued shares of Discovery common stock, depending on how much of the funding the company uses. The biotechnology company, which is developing treatments for respiratory diseases, had 158 million shares outstanding as of May 1. - Paul Schweizer

Scrap-metal operation move gets an OK

Camden Iron & Metal Inc. received approval of a preliminary land application Monday night from Eddystone Borough Council to relocate its scrap metal shredding yard and shipping business to the former Foamex site in Delaware County. Nearly 150 residents showed up with concerns about pollution, traffic, crime and noise associated with the scrap processing, which now is located near the Platt Memorial Bridge in South Philadelphia. The council in a split vote set 18 conditions. They include: All metal shredding must be done indoors with sound-dampening equipment; scrap cannot be stacked higher than 75 feet, and not in view of neighbors; no scrap will be accepted from unlicensed peddlers; the company must donate 12 acres for a park; and Eddystone residents must be given priority in new hires.
- Linda Loyd

Exton company receives $12M in orders

Innovative Solutions & Support Inc., Exton, announced $12 million of orders during the current fiscal quarter ending June 30. The orders were for cockpit displays and air data products for the military, commercial air transport and general aviation sectors. Orders for the military made up 58 percent. The company, which manufactures, designs and markets systems that display critical flight information, said it expected production for the new orders to begin in the next quarter and to be completed within 18 months. - Suzette Parmley


Cablevision buying Bresnan

Cablevision said it would pay $1.37 billion for mid-sized cable television provider Bresnan Communications, a move that will help the New York cable company expand into western states. Bresnan has cable systems in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah with more than 300,000 basic subscribers. It's owned by Providence Equity Partners, Philadelphia's Comcast Corp., and Quadrangle Group L.L.C. - AP

A timeout for Medicare cuts

Medicare officials are hitting the pause button on a hefty cut in doctor's pay required by law unless Congress acts. President Obama urged lawmakers during the weekend to move quickly to stave off the 21 percent cut, required by a 1990s deficit reduction law Congress has routinely waived in the past. Medicare said Monday it would hold claims through Thursday, giving lawmakers four more days to act. Doctors are not getting paid for services they provided as of June 1, but when they do, they'll get the full amount. - AP

AMA wants more insurer accuracy

One in five medical claims is processed inaccurately by commercial health insurers, often leaving physicians shortchanged, according to the nation's largest doctor's group. The American Medical Association released its third annual report card on insurers. Medicare performed well in how quickly and accurately it paid doctors, the report said. Commercial insurers matched their payments to what they agreed to pay doctors about 80 percent of the time. The AMA rated Coventry Health Care Inc. highest of seven commercial insurers. Its national accuracy rating was about 88 percent. Anthem Blue Cross was at the bottom at 74 percent. The AMA estimates that increasing the industry's accuracy to 100 percent would save doctors and insurers up to $15.5 billion a year. - AP

CEO on leave from stroke

Sara Lee Corp.'s CEO Brenda Barnes is recovering from a stroke, the food maker said. Last month, the company said Barnes, 56, would take a temporary medical leave but declined to specify the reason. "I know there has been a lot of speculation on my condition, so I want to take the opportunity to provide some details," Barnes said in a statement. "I suffered a stroke a few weeks ago, and I am now in the process of recuperating." Chief financial officer Marcel Smits is handling CEO duties until Barnes returns. - AP

Starbucks: Unlimited free Wi-Fi

Starbucks Corp. will begin offering unlimited free wireless Internet access at all company-operated U.S. locations starting July 1. The Wi-Fi access comes as Starbucks works to take business back from rivals like McDonald's Corp. The cafe chain had previously offered two free hours of Web access each day to registered customers. - AP

CFTC approves movie trading contracts

Federal regulators approved the first trading contracts tied to movie box-office receipts, turning aside objections from Hollywood and clearing the way for financiers to hedge investments on films. Veriana Networks Inc.'s Trend Exchange may let institutional investors wager on opening-weekend movie revenue, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a statement. Film studios and theater owners oppose the contracts, calling them in a letter to the commission "wagers susceptible to manipulation." Witnesses told the CFTC at a May 19 hearing the contracts could help attract capital to film production. - Bloomberg News

Interest rates fall on 3-, 6-month T-bills

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Monday's auction. The Treasury Department auctioned $27 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.065 percent, down from 0.130 percent last week. Another $27 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.150 percent, down from 0.210 percent last week. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,998.36. A six-month bill sold for $9,992.42. - AP

Yield falls for one-years

The Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, fell to 0.33 percent last week from 0.36 percent the previous week. - AP