SC business notebook, April 20

April 20, 2013 

Airline industry, pilots union sue over upcoming furloughs

Predicting a nightmarish air travel snarl that will stretch from coast to coast, the airline industry and the nation’s largest pilots union joined forces Friday to sue the Federal Aviation Administration over its decision to furlough air traffic controllers in order to achieve spending cuts required by Congress. Two airline trade associations and the Air Line Pilots Association said they have filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington to stop the furloughs, which are scheduled to kick in on Sunday. However, the earliest the court is likely to schedule a hearing is sometime next week, after the furloughs have begun, industry officials said. FAA officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Anheuser-Busch reaches deal to buy Mexican beer brewer

Anheuser-Busch InBev reached a final agreement with the Department of Justice, settling a dispute over its $20.1 billion acquisition of the Mexican brewer, Grupo Modelo. The world’s largest brewer has been trying since June to buy the half of Grupo Modelo that it doesn’t already own. The Justice Department blocked the deal out of concern that a company that massive would stifle competition in the U.S. In an effort to appease regulators, AB InBev subsequently struck a side deal that gives control of the production of Corona and other Modelo beers sold in the U.S. to a competitor, Constellation Brands Inc. The two sides must still get court approval before the deal goes through.

Kentucky plant to start rolling first Lexus cars made in U.S.

Toyota executives and state officials announced Friday that the automaker’s flagship North American plant in Georgetown will begin building the Lexus ES 350 luxury sedan in 2015. It will be the first Lexus model to be manufactured in the United States. The project is expected to add 750 jobs. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval to $146.5 million in tax incentives. The company plans to make 50,000 of the cars annually beginning in fall 2015. The project is expected to cost $531.2 million.

The Associated Press and Lexington Herald-Leader contributed.

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