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Business news in brief

In the Region

Holy Redeemer expands in Bucks

Holy Redeemer Health System is expanding in Bucks County, with plans to open three outpatient facilities next year in Warminster, Feasterville, and Richboro. The health system, anchored by a hospital in Meadowbrook, Montgomery County, now has two outpatient centers, in Bensalem and Southampton, and got 30 percent of its $348 million in patient revenue from outpatients in fiscal 2015. Holy Redeemer said it expects the cost of the three new sites to be $20 million, with it paying $7 million and the developer, MRA Group, responsible for the rest. The Warminster site is new construction, with Holy Redeemer as the lead tenant. In Feasterville, MRA will remodel a former Bottom Dollar store. In Richboro, Holy Redeemer will occupy new construction at the former Davis Pontiac site in Addisville Commons. - Harold Brubaker

Malpractice insurance deal

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department approved the transfer of Healthcare Providers Insurance Exchange's estimated $30 million of medical liability insurance policies to a North Carolina rival. HealthCare Providers Insurance Exchange, known as HPIX and based in Philadelphia, was founded in 2002 in the midst of Pennsylvania's malpractice insurance crisis. It is owned by doctors, who bought policies from the company. The deal with Medical Mutual Insurance Co. of North Carolina, which is based in Raleigh, will allow those physcian owners of HPIX to receive an aggregate payout of $2.6 million next year, Nicholas S. Gaudiosi, HPIX's president, said Thursday. Gaudiosi and other HPIX employees will start selling insurance policies for Medical Mutual in the Philadelphia region, he said. HPIX employs 10 people in Center City and 20 in Harrisburg. - Harold Brubaker

BB&T-National Penn deal OKed

BB&T on Thursday said federal and state regulators have approved its planned acquisition of National Penn Bancshares, expanding the Winston-Salem-based bank's presence in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. The $1.8 billion cash-and-stock deal is expected to close in the next few months. Big banks such as Charlotte-based Bank of America are largely constrained from buying other banks because of restrictions on the deposit market share they can gain through acquisition. But the mid-sized BB&T has continued to rack up new acquisitions this year. This summer, the Winston-Salem-based bank closed deals to buy Susquehanna Bancshares, based in Lititz, Pa., and the Bank of Kentucky, headquartered near Cincinnati. And this spring it bought 41 branches in Texas from New York-based Citigroup. As of Sept. 30, Allentown-based National Penn had $9.6 billion in assets, $7.0 billion in deposits, and 124 branches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. - Charlotte Observer

SAC Capital-Wyeth suit settled

SAC Capital Advisors LP agreed to pay $10 million to end a lawsuit by Wyeth LLC shareholders who claimed they lost money because the fund formerly run by billionaire Steven A. Cohen engaged in insider trading. A drugmaker with Philadelphia-area operations, Wyeth was later bought by Pfizer, Inc. A pension fund for employees of Birmingham, Ala., that owned Wyeth shares sued SAC in New York federal court in April 2013, accusing it of damaging shareholders by trading on tips about an Alzheimer's drug. The settlement, which was reached with the help of a mediator, needs approval from U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero. - Bloomberg News


FedEx plans Xmas deliveries

FedEx Corp. plans to run Christmas Day deliveries in some markets to help complete shipments after severe weather interrupted services in the run-up to the holiday. "FedEx is operating with slight delays this morning, but we are continuing to make adjustments and do everything we can to minimize impact on our customers," according to an e-mailed statement on Thursday. The company didn't identify where the slowdowns were occurring. FedEx's efforts reflect the increasing importance of online orders as a source of Christmas gifts - and the extreme time-sensitivity of those shipments. In 2013, a last-minute surge of holiday orders converged with winter weather to leave United Parcel Service Inc. unable to deliver some packages in time. - Bloomberg News

Jobless claims decline

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 267,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less volatile 4-week average ticked up slightly to 272,500. Over the last 12 months, the number of people collecting benefits has dropped 7.7 percent to 2.2 million. - Associated Press

Netflix CEO gets pay cut

Netflix Inc. plans to pay its chief executive officer, Reed Hastings, a slightly smaller salary next year and a much larger potential stock option award. The video-streaming service, the top performer in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index in 2015, will pay its billionaire CEO $900,000 in salary in 2016, down from $1 million this year. His annual stock-option allocation will rise to $19 million from $13.7 million, the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company said in a filing Thursday. The actual value of the options changes based on the performance of Netflix shares. - Bloomberg News

Mortgage rates dip

One week after the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates slightly from record lows, the average on a 30-year fixed mortgage went the other way: It dipped to 3.96 percent from 3.97 percent last week, mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday. - AP