In the Region

Equity firm to buy Research Pharma.

Warburg Pincus L.L.C. agreed to buy the clinical trial outsourcing firm Research Pharmaceutical Services Inc., Fort Washington, for $227.3 million in an all-cash transaction. Founded in 1998, Research had 2009 revenue of $200.5 million; it has 2,500 employees. During the fall, it filed a registration statement for an initial public offering of stock. Warburg Pincus is a private-equity firm. - Bob Fernandez

Discovery Labs declares reverse split

Discovery Laboratories Inc., Warrington, announced a 1-for-15 reverse stock split effective Tuesday, a move designed to boost the company's share price and thereby maintain its listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market. Discovery Labs recently received Nasdaq warning letters indicating noncompliance with a rule requiring its stock to close at a minimum $1 a share. After the split, the shares closed Tuesday at $3.94, down $1.46. - Roslyn Rudolph

Area jobless rate stable at 9.1%

The Philadelphia area's unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent in November, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported, but the figures may be weaker than they appear. The reason: 11,500 people dropped out of the labor force during the month, so they were not counted as unemployed. Over the last year, the local labor force is down by 30,000 people. And by industry, jobs were added in November in retailing (a seasonal gain for the holidays), education/health services, and government. The leisure/hospitality industry lost jobs. The region consists of the immediate eight-county Philadelphia area plus Salem County, N.J.; New Castle County, Del.; and Cecil County, Md. - Paul Schweizer

Pa. to get $1M in Topamax case

Attorney General Tom Corbett said Pennsylvania would receive $1 million of a nationwide $75 million settlement related to off-label marketing of the migraine medication Topamax. The settlement was reached with Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a part of Johnson & Johnson, which has operations in the Philadelphia area. The settlement resolves allegations that the company marketed the drug for psychiatric conditions beyond those approved by regulators. - Bob Fernandez

Pulse's board targeted by rival

Pulse Electronics Corp., Trevose, said a competitor may try to nominate three candidates for Pulse's board of directors in the 2011 election. Pulse had attempted to acquire the rival, Jersey City, N.J.-based Bel Fuse Inc., for $514 million in 2007 but was rebuffed. Pulse, an electronic-components maker that changed its name from Technitrol Inc. last month, said Bel Fuse had expressed interest recently in "restarting discussions about a potential business combination." Pulse shares closed Tuesday at $4.36, down 11 cents. - Mike Armstrong

Franklin Mint's former owners sued

JSSI Capital Enterprises L.L.C., the owner of the Franklin Mint L.L.C., a Chester County seller of collectible coins and statues, filed a lawsuit that contends it was tricked into buying the business in 2009 as it teetered on the brink of failure. JSSI said the sellers made "material misrepresentation and omissions." The suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, was filed against Moshe Malamud, Sam Malamud, and Steven Sisskind, who owned a majority stake in Morgan Mint Inc. Morgan owned Franklin Mint. The Malamuds and Sisskind could not be reached for comment. Franklin Mint has headquarters in Franklin Center, near Exton. - Bloomberg News

Lannett reaps $15M in stock sale

Lannett Co. Inc., Philadelphia, said underwriters of its stock sale exercised their right to buy an additional 750,000 shares above the five million already sold in a secondary public offering Dec. 17. The combined net proceeds to the maker of generic pharmaceuticals came to $14.95 million. Lannett will use the money for research and development, expansion of manufacturing operations, and potential acquisitions. - Paul Schweizer


Allstate sues Bank of America

Allstate Corp. sued Bank of America Corp. and its Countrywide mortgage unit over $700 million in residential mortgage-backed securities the insurer purchased, claiming Countrywide misrepresented the investments. Allstate, Northbrook, Ill., contended that Countrywide "knew the loans off-loaded onto Allstate were a toxic mix of loans given to borrowers that could not afford the properties, and thus were highly likely to default." Bill Halldin, a spokesman for Bank of America, Charlotte, N.C., declined to immediately comment. - Bloomberg News

BLS to add data on unemployment

Beginning next month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will provide more detail on the length of unemployment in the United States to better capture the labor-market downturn. Citing an "unprecedented rise in the number of persons with very long durations of unemployment," BLS said its monthly jobs report would show how many Americans had been jobless for periods of up to five years compared with the current cap of up to two years. - Bloomberg News

Alcatel to pay $137M in penalties

Alcatel-Lucent S.A. agreed to pay a total of $137 million to settle civil charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission and criminal charges by the Justice Department. The U.S. agencies accused the Paris-based maker of telecommunications gear of paying bribes to foreign government officials to illegally win business in Latin America and Asia. Alcatel is a big supplier to U.S. and European phone companies. - AP

Yield rises on 5-year Treasuries

The U.S. Treasury sold $35 billion of five-year notes at a yield of 2.149 percent, as demand fell relative to the last auction of securities with the same maturity. At the previous auction of five-year notes, the yield was 1.411 percent. The latest yield was the highest since the April auction's 2.54 percent, the Treasury said. - Bloomberg News

Time Warner rejects Sinclair offer

Time Warner Cable Inc., locked in a dispute over fees with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., rejected a proposal by the TV-station operator, leading to a possible blackout Jan 1. Sinclair's offer would raise fees it pays to Time Warner by an average of 10 cents per subscriber. - Bloomberg News