June 4, 2014

SC business notebook, June 4

Haley signs off on sale of Port Royal property

Haley signs off on sale of Port Royal property

Gov. Nikki Haley has signed legislation that forces the sale of the Port Royal property near Beaufort where the state used to run a small port.

The new law requires the State Ports Authority to sell the land by the end of June 2015. If a buyer cannot be found by then, the law requires the property to be turned over to the state Division of General Services to be auctioned to the highest bidder.

The General Assembly ordered the Ports Authority to sell the 317-acre property a decade ago and several development deals have since fallen through. The original deadline for the sale was the end of 2009. The Ports Authority operated a port on the property from 1958 through 2004.

FBI targets misuse of laser pointers

A new FBI campaign unveiled Tuesday targets the illegal use of laser pointers to distract airplanes. For the next 90 days, the bureau’s 56 field offices are offering $10,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest of anyone who threatens aircraft in a laser attack.

Federal officials say the deliberate targeting of planes by people with hand-held lasers has increased significantly since 2005, when the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration began tracking such crimes.

Ford unveils lightweight Fusion

Ford is giving car buyers a glimpse of the future. The company unveiled a lightweight Fusion sedan in San Francisco Tuesday. The prototype is 800 pounds lighter than a regular Fusion thanks to greater use of aluminum and other materials.

The instrument panel is made of carbon fiber and nylon instead of steel, while the rear window is made of the same tough, thin plastic that’s on cell phones. Because it’s lighter, the car has a smaller engine.

Ford won’t sell this car anytime soon, partly because lighter materials are more expensive. But the industry is actively researching lighter materials to save fuel. Ford and supplier Magna developed the car with a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. It will be used for durability and crash tests.

Sbarro exits bankruptcy protection, moves headquarters

Pizza chain Sbarro says it has exited bankruptcy protection and is moving its headquarters from New York to Ohio.

According to court filings, a judge approved the company’s reorganization plan on May 19, and that plan took effect Monday. Sbarro says it will move its company headquarters to reduce expenses and be closer to its new Pizza Cucinova business, which lets people build their own pizzas.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in March, one month after it closed 182 U.S. locations. It says it doesn’t plan any more major closings. Sbarro now has about 800 total restaurants, with almost half of those in North America and the rest overseas. The Associated Press contributed.

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