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Business news in brief

In the Region

Avandia to be pulled from pharmacies

GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C.'s diabetes drug Avandia will be pulled from U.S. pharmacies in November and available only through a special program, the Food and Drug Administration said. Glaxo has major operations in the Philadelphia area. The restrictions are part of a strategy established in September after data suggested patients had a higher chance of heart attacks. The drug and combination therapies containing it will no longer be available in retail pharmacies starting Nov. 18, according to the FDA, which is requiring doctors and patients to enroll in a program to prescribe or take them. - Bloomberg News

Nobel Learning to be bought

Nobel Learning Communities Inc., West Chester, said it had agreed to be bought by a private equity firm for $149 million. Nobel stockholders will receive $11.75 per share in cash, or about 36 percent more than the stock's closing price Tuesday. The shares closed up $2.79, or 32.3 percent, at $11.43. The company operates 190 private schools in 15 states and Washington. As of September, it had 4,700 employees. The buyer is Leeds Equity Partners, a New York firm that invests in the education, training, and information-services industries. - Paul Schweizer

Shareholders back Pulse nominees

Pulse Electronics Corp., which is resisting a $246 million takeover bid by an industry rival, said shareholders at their annual meeting elected all six of the nominees to the board of directors recommended by the company, according to a preliminary vote count. Pulse, a Trevose maker of electronic parts, in March rejected the buyout offer from Bel Fuse Inc., Jersey City, N.J. Bel, which has pursued Pulse since late 2008, sought to elect two directors to Pulse's board. Its buyout offer was for $6 a share. - Paul Schweizer


Fed discussed exit strategy

The Federal Reserve last month began debating how it should start reversing policies that pumped billions of dollars into the economy during the recession, according to newly released minutes of its meeting. Some members said the Fed might need to start boosting interest rates this year to guard against inflation. Though Fed policymakers did not commit to taking any action, they agreed the economy was improving and if that continued, the Fed would need to remove its stimulus to prevent consumer prices from getting out of control. - AP

LinkedIn prices IPO at $45 per share

LinkedIn Corp. priced its initial public offering at $45 per share to set up the first stock-market debut among Internet networking services. The pricing marks the final step before LinkedIn's shares are available in the public market for the first time in the company's eight-year history. Shares are expected to begin trading Thursday morning. The IPO puts a $4.3 billion market value on LinkedIn. - AP

Allstate buys insurers

Home and auto insurer Allstate Corp. is buying Esurance and Answer Financial from White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. for about $1 billion, the companies said. Allstate said the deal would help it tap consumers who prefer certain brands along with consumers who want choices among insurance carriers. White Mountains Insurance, Hanover, N.H., said the sale would increase its book value by $80 per share. Esurance sells auto insurance directly to customers online and through call centers. Answer Financial is an independent personal insurance agency. - AP

Europe aims to keep IMF job

European officials defended their hold on the International Monetary Fund's top job as pressure increased on its jailed leader, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, to step down. His arrest may give emerging markets, the drivers of global growth, momentum to their push to end a postwar deal under which a European heads the fund and the United States picks the World Bank president. - Bloomberg News

Audit finds IRS lacking on tax credits

The Internal Revenue Service lacks effective procedures to prevent ineligible taxpayers from claiming tax credits for energy-efficient windows, doors, and geothermal heat pumps, said a government audit. In its written responses to the audit, the IRS said it would change tax forms to require more information about credit eligibility and would review a sample of the returns filed by prisoners and underage people. - Bloomberg News

WTO issues mixed decision

The European aircraft-maker Airbus received state subsidies that hurt U.S. rival Boeing Co., but not all of them were illegal under international rules, the World Trade Organization said. The mixed decision by a WTO appeals panel allowed Brussels and Washington each to claim a victory of sorts in their dispute over financial aid to airplane-makers. The appeals panel upheld a ruling in June, which found that European subsidies to Airbus had caused Boeing to lose market share in several markets, particularly in Asia. - AP

States' tax revenue grows

First-quarter tax revenue collected by the states rose 9.1 percent year over year, the fifth straight quarter of growth, according to data from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. The rise is the largest since 2006, when the real estate boom buoyed collections, according to data from the institute in Albany, N.Y. The increase comes after states including New Jersey, Texas, and California raised revenue estimates this week as the nation leaves recession behind. - Bloomberg News

9/11 flight numbers to be retired

United Continental Holdings Inc. will permanently retire flight numbers 93 and 175, the designations of the United flights hijacked in the Sept. 11 attacks, after they reappeared on a computer reservation system. The numbers were loaded erroneously May 16 because of an oversight and were removed, United Continental said. Neither number will be used again, according to the airline, which was rebuked by unions representing pilots and flight attendants over the reuse of the numbers. - Bloomberg News

Yields mixed on money funds

The average seven-day yield on taxable money-market funds was 0.02 percent this week, unchanged from last week, according to iMoneyNet Inc. The average yield on tax-free funds was 0.02 percent this week, down from 0.03 percent last week. - Rhonda Dickey