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Business news in brief

In the Region

C&D investors back restructuring

C&D Technologies Inc., Exton, said stockholders approved a financial structuring to cut the industrial battery-maker's debt to $50 million from about $175 million. Under the plan, virtually all of the debt in two series of notes would be converted into C&D common stock. Holders of the notes then would own up to 95 percent of C&D's outstanding stock. At a special meeting Monday, shareholders also authorized the company to enact a stock split, which would raise the share price. The shares closed Tuesday on the OTC pink sheets at 17.5 cents, up 5.5 cents. - Roslyn Rudolph

Hovnanian loss bigger than forecast

Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., the largest homebuilder in New Jersey, reported a loss of $132.1 million, or $1.68 a share, for its fiscal fourth quarter, ended Oct. 31, compared with a loss of $250.8 million, or $3.21, a year earlier. Analysts expected a loss of 91 cents a share for the Red Bank, Monmouth County, company. Builders have struggled to attract buyers since the expiration of a federal tax credit for homebuyers in April. - Bloomberg News

Unisys OKd to bid on FBI contracts

Unisys Corp., Blue Bell, said the FBI gave the company the right to compete for up to $30 billion worth of information-technology projects over the next eight years. The work will include applications modernization and integration, plus operations and maintenance, for the FBI and all other Department of Justice agencies. Unisys is one of 46 companies that will be able to compete to provide products and services as they are needed. - Paul Schweizer

Tower Bancorp sells 2.5M shares

Tower Bancorp Inc., Harrisburg, said it raised $51.2 million through a secondary stock offering of 2.5 million shares. The proceeds add to the bank holding company's capital and will help it take advantage of growth opportunities, chief executive officer Andrew Samuel said in a statement. Tower, whose shares already are traded on the Nasdaq market, owns Graystone Tower Bank, which operates 49 branch offices in Pennsylvania and Maryland. - AP

Kaplan Higher Ed. sued by EEOC

Kaplan Higher Education, a division of the Washington Post Co., was sued in federal court in Cleveland by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Philadelphia office over claims the company rejected job applicants based on credit history, a step the agency said discriminated by race. Kaplan, of Chicago, enrolls 110,000 students, with about 70,000 attending class online, and has 75 campuses nationwide. It derived 87 percent of its revenue from federal student aid in 2009. The company, in a statement, said it was "proud of the diversity" of its staff and conducts background checks on all job applicants. - Bloomberg News


TD to buy Chrysler Financial

Toronto-Dominion Bank agreed to buy Chrysler Financial, the automaker's old lending arm, from private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management L.P. for $6.3 billion. The deal is the latest example of a healthy Canadian bank snapping up a U.S. institution battered by the financial crisis. TD wants to expand its loan business, and said the deal would give it access to technology that can process more than 2 million credit applications per year. Toronto-Dominion is the parent of TD Bank, which bought Cherry Hill's Commerce Bank in 2008. - AP

U.S. financial imbalance grows

The U.S. government's net financial position - the amount by which liabilities exceed assets - worsened to a $13.5 trillion deficit in fiscal 2010 from $11.5 trillion in 2009, the Treasury Department said in its annual assessment. The rising shortfall stemmed in part from increased costs of unemployment insurance, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits, the report said. The report is a broader look at the nation's finances than the accounting used to analyze the annual federal budget. For fiscal year 2010, which ended Sept. 30, the government posted a $1.3 trillion deficit, down from $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2009. - Bloomberg News

Deutsche Bank settles tax probe

Federal authorities said Deutsche Bank agreed to pay more than $550 million to resolve a federal tax-shelter fraud investigation. They said the German bank also admitted criminal wrongdoing in connection with its participation in financial transactions that aided tax shelters that generated billions of dollars in U.S. tax losses. Deutsche Bank said it was pleased the investigation was resolved. - AP

Rule would promote union rights

Most U.S. private employers would have to prominently display posters informing workers about their right to form a union under a rule proposed by the National Labor Relations Board that is bound to please unions and draw the ire of companies trying to resist labor organizers. The move to issue a broad rule signals a more aggressive posture by the NLRB, which usually makes policy on a case-by-case basis in individual labor-management disputes. - AP

ConAgra posts drop in Q2 profit

ConAgra Foods Inc., Omaha, Neb., said fiscal second-quarter net income fell 16 percent to $200.9 million because of higher commodity costs, tough food-industry competition and the long economic downturn. - AP

Spain sells $5.3B in bonds

The Spanish government raised nearly $5.3 billion in an auction of 3- and 6-month bonds, as Parliament passed an austere 2011 budget designed to shore up government finances. The $160.4 billion budget cuts government spending by 8 percent from this year. Finance Minister Elena Salgado insisted Spain will have no financing troubles next year, aiming to quell market fears that Spain might follow Greece and Ireland in needing a bailout. - AP

Kindle sales seen beating forecasts Inc. probably will sell more than 8 million Kindle electronic-book readers this year, at least 60 percent more than analysts predicted, the company's sales projections show. Analysts estimated it would sell 5 million Kindles in 2010, up from 2.4 million in 2009. CEO Jeff Bezos is using the Kindle, unveiled in 2007, to expand Amazon into hardware and to fuel digital-book demand. - Bloomberg News