Business news in brief
In the Region
More international visitors to Phila.
International visits to Philadelphia last year were up more than 7 percent from 2009, and the city's total ranked 13th in the United States, according to the
U.S. Department of Commerce
's Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. The agency released the results this week during the U.S. Travel Association's International Pow Wow trade show. The city hosted 633,000 international visitors in 2010, up from 588,690 in 2009 and 415,000 in 2001. The
Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau
began aggressively marketing the city to the world in 2000, efforts that it said were paying off. "The Philadelphia brand continues to grow globally through our network of ambassadors around the world," Jack Ferguson, bureau president and chief executive officer, said Thursday. The targeted markets included Britain, Germany, France, and Italy, which all showed gains in the number of residents coming to Philadelphia. Among states, Pennsylvania placed 11th after a 5 percent increase from 2009, to 923,000 visitors.
- Suzette Parmley
Endo to offer $700M in private debt
Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc.
, Chadds Ford, said it would offer $700 million in private debt through senior unsecured notes. By offering debt through a private transaction, Endo need share only certain business information with the other organization. Endo, which has about 500 employees in this area, said it would use that money with cash and other borrowing under a new credit facility to complete its acquisition of
American Medical Systems Holdings Inc.
Endo announced April 11 that it had acquired AMS, which makes urinary and pelvic devices. The $2.9 billion deal is scheduled to close in the second quarter of this year, said Blaine Davis, Endo's vice president for corporate affairs.
- David Sell
Banse to lead Comcast Ventures
Amy Banse, a 20-year
veteran, was appointed to head Comcast Ventures, the combined venture-capital arms of Comcast and
. The $750 million Comcast-controlled fund will have offices in San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, and London. Banse, who had been based in Philadelphia, will move to San Francisco and focus on e-commerce, digital media, and entertainment. She reports to Michael Angelakis, the chief financial officer. Banse previously ran Comcast Interactive Media.
- Bob Fernandez
CSS to close Memphis plant
CSS Industries Inc.,
Philadelphia, said it would outsource one of its product lines - gift wrapping - to China and, by the end of this year, shut its factory in Memphis. In closing the Cleo gift-wrap plant, CSS said, it will incur $10.3 million in pretax expenses. The company did not disclose how many workers would be affected by the move, which it said was aimed at increasing efficiency. CSS makes seasonal products, including decorations and greeting cards.
- Paul Schweizer
J&J expanding drug business
Johnson & Johnson
said it planned to file for approval of 11 drugs by 2015 as it moves to expand its pharmaceutical business. The New Brunswick, N.J., company, which has major operations in the Philadelphia area, is seeking approval for products including the blood thinner rivaroxaban and the hepatitis C therapy telaprevir. It also is launching six recently approved products, including the prostate-cancer drug Zytiga and HIV drug Edurant, and plans to seek about 30 extensions on older product lines.
Bucks County nonprofit names CEO
has appointed Diana L. Ramsay as president and CEO, the Langhorne nonprofit group said. She had most recently been at the Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore and previously worked in the mental-health field. Woods, founded in 1913, provides services to adults and children with complex behavioral and intellectual disabilities.
- Paul Schweizer
Credit line for Kensey Nash
Kensey Nash Corp.,
Exton, said it had arranged a $35 million credit line with Wells Fargo Bank. The three-year deal will allow the company to borrow for working capital, capital expenditures, and possible acquisitions. Kensey Nash makes medical devices, focusing on regenerative medicine.
- Paul Schweizer
Honda sees return to normal by Aug.
Honda Motor Co.
says its North American factories will return to normal production in August, except for the popular Civic compact car. Honda cut factory output in half last month because of parts shortages from the March 11 earthquake in Japan. Honda warned dealers this month that they could run short of models this summer and that North American factories may not see normal production until the end of the year. But it said Thursday that the supply situation in Japan continued to improve, so factories would ramp up individually. Honda said that the 2012 Civic still lacked critical parts and that production would remain about half the normal rate.
Heinz profit up; job cuts ahead
H.J. Heinz Co.
's fourth-quarter profit rose 16 percent as it expanded its global reach. The Pittsburgh food company also raised its dividend from 45 cents to 48 cents payable July 10 for shareholders as of June 23. But it also said it would shed up to 1,000 jobs globally in fiscal 2012 as it closed five factories. Heinz has 37,000 workers worldwide. The closings will include two factories in the United States, two in Europe, and one in the Pacific region. Heinz did not specify which plants would close.
Italy easily sells $14 billion in bonds
Italy has easily raised $14.07 billion by selling bonds, with good demand and at stable or lower interest rates, in the first test since
Standard & Poor's
lowered the country's outlook to negative. Interest rates demanded by investors were stable at 1.65 percent on six-month bonds, but fell 0.2 percentage points to 2.85 percent on the two-year debt. Unicredit bond analysts said the auction "should send a reassuring message to investors after S&P revised its outlook from stable to negative." Italy is considered the safest bet of the so-called periphery nations, the eurozone countries with lower growth and high debt.