Urban: Controversial shirt never stocked

Urban Outfitters Inc. said it never stocked or sold a controversial T-shirt with a pocket patch that critics said resembled a symbol worn by Jews in Nazi Europe, while the shirt's Danish manufacturer, Wood Wood, said a photo featuring the embroidery on Urban's website "must be an early sample" of a prototype that was never, ultimately, made. The Philadelphia-based retailer would not explain how a photo of the yellow cotton Kellog tee with a six-pointed blue star on a chest pocket ended up on its website for $100. The star T-shirt was gone from the site Monday afternoon. Wood Wood cofounder Brian Jensen sent a letter of apology Monday to the New York headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League, whose Philadelphia chapter last week sent a letter to Urban Outfitters chairman and CEO Richard A. Hayne demanding "an immediate apology." The ADL said it was "deeply appreciative" to Wood Wood but had not heard from Urban Outfitters. Calls to Jensen and Wood Wood cofounder Karl Olson were not returned. — Maria Panaritis

Granary gets $66.2M construction loan

A three-year, $66.2 million construction loan has been arranged through Wells Fargo Bank for Pearl Properties' Granary luxury multifamily project at 20th and Callowhill Streets in Philadelphia. The loan was arranged by the New Jersey office of commercial real estate adviser HFF Inc., which announced the financing. When completed in 2013, the Granary will have 227 one- and two-bedroom apartments averaging 842 square feet each, 20,654 square feet of ground-level retail space, and underground parking. Pearl Properties of Philadelphia acquired the former industrial site in 2006. — Alan J. Heavens

Conoco profit falls after asset sales

ConocoPhillips, which is trying to sell its idled Trainer refinery, said first-quarter profit dropped 3 percent due to a decline in production following the sale of billions of dollars of oil fields and other assets. The Houston company reported earnings of $2.94 billion, or $2.27 per share, from January to March. That compares with $3.03 billion, or $2.09 per share, in the same part of 2011. Revenue was flat at $58.4 billion. Results were slightly below analysts' projections. . — AP

MetLife in $500M settlement with states

MetLife Inc. has agreed to pay nearly $500 million in a settlement with 20 states, including Pennsylvania, over allegations that it didn't pay life insurance benefits to some of its policyholders. The insurer said it expects to pay about $188 million of the approximate $478 million this year, and the remainder over the next 17 years. MetLife says in a statement that it has been working with regulators to ensure that all of its policyholders are paid. — AP

Group issues 'guide' to Pa. gas law

Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future, an environmental advocacy group, released what it calls a "plain-language" guide to Act 13, Pennsylvania new oil and gas law, the first comprehensive attempt to regulate the industry developing the Marcellus Shale. "Since this law was signed, there has been a great deal of confusion about the various provisions," said George Jugovic Jr., the president of PennFuture. The law includes provisions allowing government to impose an "impact fee" on shale-gas wells. A summary and the full report are available online at — Andrew Maykuth

New CEO at Big Brothers

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, headquartered in Philadelphia, said it named T. Charles Pierson as president and chief executive for the national mentoring network, effective June 15. Pierson replaces Karen Mathis, who served from September 2009, to December 2011. For the last nine years, Pierson has headed the Texas affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters. — Inquirer staff

Bankrupt Pa. ethanol plant sold

A $270 million bankrupt Western Pennsylvania ethanol plant, Bionol Clearfield L.L.C., which opened in 2009 and shut down last year, has been sold to a Michigan agricultural company for $9.35 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. Pennsylvania Grain Processing L.L.C., an affiliate of Zeeland Farm Services Inc., said the court had approved the purchase. The plant can process up to 40 million bushels of grain a year into 110 million gallons of ethanol and 330,000 tons of dry distiller's grain, a livestock feed. Bionol Clearfield was funded with $27 million in state grants and loans and $67 million in tax-free bonds. It declared bankruptcy after Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc., backed out of contracts to buy the fuel produced at the plant. The new buyers say they plan to restart the plant as soon as possible. — Andrew Maykuth

Fisker capital-raising eyed

The U.S. Energy Department, which has lent $193 million to Fisker Automotive Inc. to develop a hybrid electric vehicle at a former General Motors Co. factory in Wilmington, hired a restructuring adviser to track the company's capital-raising efforts, people familiar with the hiring said. The agency retained Calif.-based Houlihan Lokey after freezing the automaker's $529 million credit line because of production delays, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the assignment isn't public. In February, Fisker disclosed that it was idling work at Wilmington and that the government had frozen its credit line after Fisker had drawn down about $193 million. U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), who is his party's top member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called Fisker "one of the more unusual recipients" of the Energy Department's vehicle loans in a letter Monday to Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Grassley and Sen. John Thune (R., S. D.) asked Chu to respond to questions about the loan. — Bloomberg News


Microsoft sells AOL patents to Facebook

Microsoft Corp., which just bought patents from AOL Inc. for $1 billion, is now turning around and selling most of them to Facebook Inc. for $550 million. Facebook will also get a license to use the rest of the AOL patents. Similarly, Microsoft will get a license to use the patents Facebook is buying. The arrangement amounts to an agreement between Facebook and Microsoft not to sue each other over the AOL patents. Microsoft said the deal enables it to recoup half the cost of the AOL deal while reaching its goals. — AP