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Business news in brief

In the Region

Local investment firm growing

Delaware Investments said Monday that it intends to acquire Bennett Lawrence Management, a team of domestic growth investment managers with more than $330 million in assets under management. Philadelphia-based Delaware Investments expects the transaction to close during the first quarter of 2016. Bennett Lawrence, based in New York City, was founded in 1995 by Van Schreiber and Jane Fisher to serve institutional and individual investors. Schreiber will join Delaware Investments as a senior portfolio manager and Fisher will serve as the team's investment specialist. Alexander Ely will lead the investment team as chief investment officer. - Inquirer staff


GE scraps deal with Electrolux

GE has scrapped a $3.3 billion plan to sell its home appliance business to the Swedish company Electrolux, a deal opposed by U.S. regulators over concerns about competition. The Fairfield, Conn., conglomerate said that it would continue to run the business as it looks for other options to sell it. General Electric Co. offered no reason for its decision in a brief statement released Monday. Electrolux is the world's second-biggest home appliance maker after U.S. rival Whirlpool. It sells most of its products in the U.S. under the Frigidaire brand. The U.S. Department of Justice had sued to stop the deal in July, saying the deal would have eliminated a major competitor and left Electrolux and Whirlpool as the only big companies in the U.S. selling cooking appliances such as ovens and ranges. - Associated Press

FTC moves to stop Staples deal

The Federal Trade Commission said Monday that it is seeking to block the proposed combination of Staples and Office Depot because the deal would reduce competition in the office supplies market. The companies said they plan to fight to preserve the deal. The FTC said corporations rely on Staples and Office Depot to buy pens, paper clips, and other supplies at low prices. A deal between Staples and Office Depot would cut competition and lead to higher prices, the FTC said. The decision comes 10 months after Staples offered to buy rival Office Depot for $6.3 billion. Staples and Office Depot said they plan to show that the FTC's decision is based on "a flawed analysis and misunderstanding" of the competitive landscape the companies deal with. - Associated Press

Jarden, Rubbermaid mull deal

Jarden Corp. and Newell Rubbermaid Inc. are holding talks to merge the consumer-products companies, which would bring together brands such as Mr. Coffee and PaperMate, according to sources. News of the discussions, which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, sent shares of both companies climbing. Jarden rose 3.7 percent to $50.09, the biggest gain in a month, while Newell advanced 7.4 percent to $48.16, its largest increase in almost four years. - Bloomberg News

Nike gives James lifetime deal

LeBron James will be in the Nike stable for the rest of his basketball career - and beyond. The world's largest sporting goods company on Monday signed the four-time NBA MVP to an unprecedented lifetime contract. Terms of the deal weren't released, but sports agent David Falk, who represented Michael Jordan for most of his playing career, estimated its value at $400 million to $500 million. Nike said in a statement that the 30-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers forward provides "significant value to our business, brand, and shareholders." Nike signed James after he went pro out of high school in 2003. His first contract spanned seven years and was worth $90 million, according to ESPN, with a seven-year extension in 2010. Nike has released at least 13 versions of James's signature shoes. - Bloomberg News

Dole investors getting $170M

Billionaire Dole Food Co. chief executive officer David Murdock was accused of getting the 164-year-old food company on the cheap when he took it private in 2013 for $1.21 billion. Now, it's costing him about $170 million more to settle claims he shortchanged investors. Murdock on Monday accepted a judge's award of $148 million to investors who were stiffed in the buyout to resolve the case, according to papers filed in Delaware Chancery Court. The settlement's value will be pushed to about $170 million by interest charges. - Bloomberg News

British banks fear hacks most

Britain's biggest banks fear cyber attacks more than regulation, faltering economic growth and other potential risks, and are concerned that a hack could be so catastrophic that it could lead to a state rescue, according to a survey. Cyber crime topped a list of 24 possible risks in a new study of 113 British bankers, observers, and risk regulators conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P. for the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation. Hackers have already reached into the infrastructure of banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and HSBC Holdings Plc, stealing millions of customers' bank data. - Bloomberg News