Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Business news in brief

In the Region

UGI to build 2 new Pa. pipelines

UGI Energy Services L.L.C., Valley Forge, on Tuesday announced two Marcellus Shale pipeline projects costing $80 million that will transport natural gas produced by Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. in northeast Pennsylvania. The UGI Corp. subsidiary said it would expand its Auburn Gathering System with a nine-mile, 24-inch-diameter pipeline from Susquehanna County to the Manning Compressor Station in Wyoming County. The new pipeline will parallel the existing 12-inch Auburn I pipeline. The company also announced the construction of a separate six-mile, 12-inch pipeline to move natural gas to UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., one of UGI's utilities in northeast Pennsylvania. After completion, Marcellus Shale gas will be the predominant source of supply for UGI-PNG customers. - Andrew Maykuth

Rally promotes gas boom

A rally promoting Pennsylvania's booming natural gas drilling industry filled the front steps of the state Capitol in Harrisburg. Promoters said Tuesday's rally was intended to send the message that the industry is creating employment, providing a cleaner energy option, and strengthening national security. Attendees included gas utility employees and labor union members. Ralliers were needled along the way by protesters. As they marched, Harrisburg activist Gene Stilp marched in front carrying a yellow sign reading, "Tax the frackers behind me." - AP

Radian to buy Clayton Holdings

Mortgage insurer Radian Group Inc., Philadelphia, said it would acquire Connecticut-based Clayton Holdings in a deal Radian valued at $305 million, including Clayton debt. In 2013, Clayton, which provides outsourcing services to the mortgage industry, had annual revenue of $135 million and net income of $9.1 million, Radian said. Clayton, which employs 700, will become a subsidiary of Radian. The company will issue new debt and shares to finance the acquisition, it said. The deal is expected to close this summer. - Reid Kanaley

AstraZeneca: Pfizer not needed

AstraZeneca P.L.C., the target of Pfizer Inc.'s takeover bid of more than $100 billion, forecast long-term sales growth as the company seeks to convince investors that it can succeed as a stand-alone drugmaker. AstraZeneca will generate more than $45 billion in yearly revenue by 2023, following "strong and consistent" growth starting in 2017, the London-based company said. Both companies have operations in the Philadelphia region. AstraZeneca revenue last year totaled $25.7 billion. AstraZeneca last week rejected a takeover bid by Pfizer of $106 billion in a mix of cash and stock. - Bloomberg News

Mexico opening for Destination

Destination Maternity Corp., of Philadelphia, said it began an expansion into Mexico with the opening of 46 branded "shop-in-shops" through a franchise agreement with El Puerto de Liverpool S.A.B. de C.V., the largest department store company in Mexico. The company expects to have 99 Mexican locations within the next 12 months. - Reid Kanaley

$50M invested in Exton firm

Hangzhou Tigermed Consulting Co. Ltd., a clinical drug and medical-device testing company, says its Hong Kong Tigermed Ltd. unit has agreed to pay $50.25 million in cash "to acquire a majority position in the ownership of Frontage Laboratories Inc., an Exton-based "bioanalysis, preclinical and early-phase clinical studies," and drug development firm that also owns a division based in Shanghai. "Frontage will continue to operate independently," Hangzhou Tigermed said in a statement. CEO Song Li will remain as CEO with his current management team, said Tigermed founder and CEO Xiaoping Ye in a statement. - Joseph N. DiStefano

Two local cemeteries to be sold

Two Philadelphia-area cemeteries are among 38 cemeteries and 53 funeral homes nationwide that will be sold to third parties to satisfy the Federal Trade Commission's anticompetitive concerns in the $1.4-billion merger of funeral companies Service Corp. International, of Houston, and Stewart Enterprises Inc., of Jefferson, La. A settlement agreement with the FTC lists the local cemeteries, owned by Stewart, as George Washington Memorial Park in Plymouth Meeting and Sunset Memorial Park in Feasterville. Stewart has 180 days to complete a sale, the FTC said. The companies announced their merger in May 2013. - Reid Kanaley

Unit split at Sunoco Logistics

Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., the Philadelphia pipeline company, announced a two-for-one unit split after releasing first quarter earnings results that were slightly above analysts' expectations. The company said it earned net income of $107 million, or 66 cents per unit, compared with 2013 first-quarter income of $140 million, or $1.09 per unit. Revenue was $4.5 billion. The earnings were four cents above the consensus estimate, according to Seeking Alpha. The unit split will be effective on June 12, for units held June 5. - Andrew Maykuth


Alibaba aims for $1B IPO

China's Alibaba Group is aiming to raise $1 billion in a long-awaited IPO. Tuesday's filing sets the stage for the technology industry's biggest initial public offering since Twitter Inc. For now, Alibaba isn't specifying how much stock will be sold in the IPO or setting a price range. Those details will emerge as the IPO progresses, a process likely to take three to four months to complete before Alibaba's shares begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Alibaba has emerged as an e-commerce powerhouse that makes more money than Inc. and eBay Inc. combined. - AP