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Business news in brief

In the Region

Dow sells chlorine business

Dow Chemical Co., which has a large facility in Collegeville, agreed to sell almost all of its chlorine business, the world's largest, to Olin Corp. in a $5 billion deal as it pares less profitable products. The transaction will leave Dow investors holding 50.5 percent of the enlarged Olin, while Olin shareholders will own the rest, the companies said Friday in a statement. The move also means Dow's chairman and chief executive officer, Andrew Liveris, is set to exceed his target of selling $7 billion to $8.5 billion of assets. The company is focused on value-added products such as genetically modified corn seed and plastics for autos and packaging. Dow was founded in 1897 as a producer of bleach made from chlorine. - Bloomberg News

PIDC aids Philly startup

The Startup PHL Angel Fund, an investement vehicle funded by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and First Round Capital, said it made a $100,000 investment in Gencore Systems. The fledgling software company is based in Philadelphia and was founded by Boon Thau Loo, a computer science professor at the University of Pennsylvania. - David Sell


Jury says no discrimination

A San Francisco jury decided Friday that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a prestigious venture capital firm, did not discriminate or retaliate against a female employee in a case that shined a light on gender imbalance and working conditions for women in Silicon Valley. Jurors heard conflicting portraits of Ellen Pao, with her attorneys saying she was an accomplished junior partner who was passed over for a promotion and fired because the firm used different standards to judge men and women. Kleiner Perkins' attorney countered that Pao failed as an investor at the company and sued to get a big payout as she was being shown the door. - Associated Press

Yellen: Rate hike possible

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that continued improvement in the U.S. economy means an increase in the Fed's key interest rate could come this year. But Yellen stressed that any rate increases would likely be gradual. The Fed has kept its benchmark rate at a record low near zero for more than six years. Yellen said in a speech in San Francisco that the time to start raising the rate could occur "sometime this year," though she said the time hasn't arrived. She said that when the Fed does start raising rates, policymakers expect the increases to be "rather gradual" for the next few years. - AP