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Business news in brief

In the Region

Zonoff gains VC funding

Zonoff Inc., the Great Valley firm that makes software for the "Internet of things," which can connect appliances and devices in homes, said it raised $31.8 million in funding from previous investors such as Valhalla Partners and Grotech Ventures, plus new investors the firm hasn't yet named. Last year Zonoff raised $3.8 million. Among its customers is Staples Inc.'s Staples Connect product line (manufactured by D-Link). Zonoff is "the only [home-software] platform provider that is not also in the hardware business," so it doesn't compete with manufacturers, making it a more attractive business partner for appliance and device makers, Kiran Hebbar, general partner at Valhalla, said in a statement. - Joseph N. DiStefano

TierPoint-Xand deal completed

St. Louis-based TierPoint said it had completed its previously announced acquisition of the data-center company Xand from an affiliate of Abray Partners. TierPoint has a Philadelphia Navy Yard facility. Xand has operations in the Pennsylvania towns of Breinigsville, Norristown, and Bethlehem. - David Sell

Slots revenue falls 3 percent

Gamblers lost $183.44 million playing slot machines at Pennsylvania's 12 casinos last month, down 3 percent from the same month a year ago, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported. Parx Casino in Bensalem was the only full-scale casino to post a gain, winning $29.6 million from gamblers, up 3 percent from a year ago. The state's two small casinos, Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington, also had gains. They are limited to 600 slot machines. - Harold Brubaker

Steelworkers to rally

Members of United Steelworkers Local 9176 will rally Thursday outside the Northeast Philadelphia headquarters of can manufacturer Crown Holdings Inc. Local 9176 represents 124 workers from Crown's Toronto plant, who have been on strike since Sept. 13, 2013. Replacement workers have been manning the plant. Local steelworkers and representatives from other unions - a group of about 100 - are expected to join the Canadian workers for the 3 p.m. rally. The main issue, said Lindsay Patterson, a local Steelworkers spokesman, is the union's opposition to a two-tiered wage system proposed by management. - Jane M. Von Bergen

N.J. sells $525M in bonds

New Jersey sold $525 million of tax-free debt to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in its first issue of general-obligation bonds in 19 months. Bank of America Merrill Lynch beat out seven banks to take the competitive offer, according to the state's Treasury Department. Since May 2013, the state's credit grade has been cut by the three biggest rating companies. Gov. Christie in September got his eighth downgrade, the most for a New Jersey governor, amid revenue shortfalls and rising pension and benefit costs. The bonds sold Wednesday include $450 million to build college classrooms and labs for science, technology, engineering and math programs. The balance is for environmental projects. - Bloomberg News

Cozen O'Connor keeps CEO

The Cozen O'Connor law firm said Wednesday that CEO and president Michael Heller had been unanimously reelected by the board of directors to a second term. His first term began Jan. 1, 2013, and the second term will begin Jan. 1, 2016. The firm said that under Heller's leadership it had added offices, and expanded its presence in London and practice groups. - Chris Mondics


Giving Tuesday raises $46M

Nonprofit experts say the national drive known as "Giving Tuesday" is having a growing impact, with nearly $46 million raised for charitable groups this week. Research from Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Case Foundation provided to the Associated Press shows the amount donated increased by 63 percent over 2013. About $28 million was raised last year and about $13.5 million in 2012. There were more than 296,000 contributions made to charities Tuesday. - Associated Press

Boeing tests green diesel fuel

Boeing said it completed the first test flight using green diesel, a fuel blend of oils and fats already used in trucks and other ground transportation. Boeing officials have said the use of green diesel for jets is a "major breakthrough" in the industry's quest to wean itself off fossil fuels and reduce harmful emissions. - Chicago Tribune

Pregnancy warnings to change

The Food and Drug Administration said that starting next summer, labels on new prescription drugs must spell out, in a clearly designated section, what is known about safe use during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Older drugs will phase in the new labels over the next three to five years. - AP