Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Business news in brief

In the Region

Comcast arm buys cell towers

CTI Towers Inc., a cellphone tower management company in which Comcast Ventures is a majority owner, has acquired 120 cell towers from Vyve Broadband. Terms were not disclosed. Comcast Ventures is an investment arm of Comcast Corp., the Philadelphia-based cable giant. CTI already manages 500 cell towers owned by Comcast. Comcast has said it is looking at how to expand its wireless offerings through WiFi and traditional wireless services. - Bob Fernandez

Insurer XL divests life policies

XL Group Plc, which has a regional insurance office in Exton, Chester County, agreed to sell about 290,000 life insurance policies at a loss to Reinsurance Group of America Inc. as chief executive officer Mike McGavick narrows his company's focus to property-casualty coverage after it bought Catlin Group Ltd. The deal represents about $22 billion of insurance in force, according to a statement Wednesday from Chesterfield, Mo.-based RGA that didn't disclose terms. XL expects to record a net loss of about $34 million tied to the transaction, the Dublin-based company said in a separate statement. McGavick agreed last year to sell its life reinsurance business for $570 million in cash to Greycastle Holdings Ltd., a company in Bermuda whose shareholders include family offices and university endowments. - Bloomberg News


Interim CEO gets job for good

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. tapped interim CEO Jay Schottenstein to lead the company permanently, resolving one of the longest-standing CEO searches in the apparel industry. The board has appointed Schottenstein to the role effective immediately, Pittsburgh-based American Eagle said in a statement. The executive, who has served as the company's chairman since 1992, had been temporary CEO since January 2014. The move marks Schottenstein's second stint as CEO - he led the company from 1992 to 2002 - and settles a prominent question for investors. - Bloomberg News

McDonald's sells $6B of bonds

McDonald's Corp. sold a company record amount of debt, three weeks after abandoning a plan to create a real estate investment trust favored by some shareholders as a way to unlock value from its massive property holdings. The world's biggest restaurant chain sold $6 billion of bonds in five parts, according to Bloomberg data. This follows what was a record $4.3 billion issuance by the company in May. "There is a lot of demand for global names with strong cash flow, and the McDonald's deal fits the description, so there's been a lot of enthusiasm," Jack Flaherty, a money manager in New York at GAM Holdings AG, which oversees $127 billion, said Wednesday. - Bloomberg News

Ex-Microsoft CEO chides firm

One major Microsoft Corp. investor wasn't happy with the level of disclosure at the company's annual shareholder meeting: Steve Ballmer. The company should disclose profit margins and sales for its cloud and hardware businesses, Microsoft's former chief executive officer said. "It's sort of a key metric - if they talk about it as key to the company, they should report it," Ballmer, who is the company's biggest individual shareholder, told Bloomberg at the software maker's annual meeting in Bellevue, Washington. - Bloomberg News

Yahoo mulls $10B tax dodge

Yahoo's board is considering an activist shareholder's demand to sell the Internet services the company is best known for, a maneuver that might help the company dodge a tax bill of more than $10 billion looming over its holdings in China's Alibaba Group. The boardroom intrigue revolves around a recent proposal from Starboard Value, a New York hedge fund that has been pressuring Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to take dramatic steps to boost the company's stock. Starboard's latest idea is for Yahoo to sell its websites, mobile applications, ad services and data analytics so it can abandon a plan to spin off its 15 percent stake in Alibaba, a thriving e-commerce company. The spinoff is designed to shelter Yahoo from capital-gains taxes on its investment, but it's unclear if the strategy will work. Earlier this year, the Internal Revenue Service declined to guarantee that it would qualify for a tax exemption. - Associated Press

Target breach settlement $39M

Target Corp. agreed to pay more than $39 million to banks and credit unions for losses from a 2013 holiday-season data breach that led to the exposure of as many as 40 million payment cards. The financial institutions sued the Minneapolis-based retailer to recover an estimated $200 million in costs stemming from the hack. Expenses included issuing replacement cards. In a memorandum filed Wednesday describing the agreement, lawyers for the banks and credit unions said Target will contribute more than $20 million to a general settlement fund and more than $19 million to a separate recovery program handled by MasterCard Inc. - Bloomberg News