Business news in brief
In the Region
Boeing boosts share buyback
The Boeing Co. approved a $10 billion increase in its stock buyback program. The aircraft maker, with a large rotorcraft plant in Delaware County, will also raise its quarterly dividend payment by about 50 percent. The increase in the share buyback program is in addition to the $800 million remaining authority in Boeing's current stock repurchase program. Boeing will resume buying back its own stock in January and it expects repurchases to be made over the next two to three years. The Chicago-based company said it has declared a quarterly dividend of 73 cents per share payable March 7, 2014, to shareholders of record Feb. 14. - AP
Casino plan revised
A federal bankruptcy judge in Camden approved a modified incentive plan for key employees of the bankrupt Atlantic Club Hotel & Casino, which is expected to be auctioned Tuesday. The revised incentive plan, worked out between the Atlantic Club and unsecured creditors over the weekend, kept in place a $25 million minimum auction price for the payment of any bonus, but reduced the minimum aggregate payout to executives to $250,000 from $875,000. If the property, Atlantic City's smallest casino, sells for $27.5 million, the seven managers will split $550,000. If it sells for $30 million, they will share $900,000, a lawyer for Atlantic Club said at a hearing Monday. - Harold Brubaker
Arena exec switches firms
Comcast-Spectacor's Global Spectrum unit, which manages arenas in more than 100 mostly midsize cities, has hired Hank Abate from rival SMG to serve in the newly created job of senior vice president, arenas and stadiums, bulking up a management team depleted by the recent departure of longtime operating executive Peter Luukko. Abate had been with SMG since 1992, managing arenas in Connecticut and Pittsburgh. The two firms, both founded by Comcast-Spectacor head Ed Snider, have competed to run a series of city-owned centers, with SMG recently beating Comcast-Spectacor for a contract to run the Convention Center while Global Spectrum displaced SMG to run the Atlantic City convention centers.
- Joseph N. DiStefano
Grant Thornton relocates
Grant Thornton L.L.P., an accounting firm, has moved to expanded quarters in Two Commerce Square at 2001 Market St. in Center City. The firm said it had expanded into 62,948 square feet on floors seven and eight from 55,380 square feet on four floors. Grant Thornton's 385 employees here started working in the new offices Monday. The new space is big enough to expand to 450 employees, the company said. - Harold Brubaker
Hewson named Lockheed chair
Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., which has large operations in the region, has named president and CEO Marillyn Hewson to the additional role of chairman. Executive chairman Robert Stevens is stepping down from his post and as a board member on Dec. 31, and will retire from the company early next year. Hewson's appointment as chairwoman is effective on Jan. 1.
Hotel proposed in S. Phila.
PHL Local Gaming L.L.C., which wants to build Casino Revolution at Front Street and Packer Avenue in South Philadelphia, said a New York hotel developer, Fortuna Realty Group, had signed a letter of intent build a 250-room, "four-star" hotel in a development proposed for land adjacent to where the casino would go, if PHL Local receives the license next year. In addition to the hotel contemplated by Fortuna, the so-called LoSo development would include restaurants, stores, soccer fields, tennis courts, and other recreational facilities. PHL Local also envisions a 250-room hotel at Casino Revolution. - Harold Brubaker
Airlines partner for flights here
Qatar Airways announced a code-share agreement with US Airways Group, enabling passengers to fly out of Philadelphia International Airport on Qatar Airways starting April 2 from U.S. cities where US Airways flies. Qatar announced in May that it would add Philadelphia to its nonstop routes in 2014, its fifth destination in the United States. Travelers will be able to connect from Doha, the capital of Qatar, which borders Saudi Arabia, to 126 destinations in the Middle East, Western Africa, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Qatar Airways said the arrangement with the recently merged American Airlines-US Airways would provide customers a "seamless travel experience" to places Qatar flies, including Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo.
- Linda Loyd
Destination in deal with Macy's
Destination Maternity Corp., of Philadelphia, said it had an agreement to become the exclusive provider of maternity and nursing apparel for macys.com beginning in late January 2014. Destination Maternity said its merchandise has been offered in Macy's Inc. stores for over 20 years. - Reid Kanaley