Local & State
Ports Authority to preserve Cooper River area
The South Carolina State Ports Authority will spend $5 million to help protect the Cooper River area to help minimize the environmental impact of deepening Charleston Harbor. The ports authority said Monday the money will be used to buy and preserve land in cooperation with the Lowcountry Open Land Trust, the Coastal Conservation League and the Southern Environmental Law Center. The money comes from funds the General Assembly has set aside for the harbor project. The proposal still needs approval from the Joint Bond Review Committee.
Nation & World
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Compaines complete offer for Chiquita
Two Brazilian companies have completed their tender offer for banana producer Chiquita Brands International Inc. Charlotte-based Chiquita agreed in October to be acquired by investment firm Safra Group and juice company Cutrale Group for approximately $681 million, or $14.50 per share. The companies had put the transaction’s value at about $1.3 billion, including the assumption of Chiquita’s debt.
Mercedes headquarters to Atlanta
German luxury automobile maker Mercedes-Benz said Tuesday that it’s moving its U.S. headquarters from New Jersey to Atlanta, in part to be closer to its manufacturing facility in Alabama. The decision comes after weeks of lobbying – some of it public – by New Jersey officials who sought to keep the company in Montvale. About 1,000 jobs are to be moved starting in July.
Newspaper defies judge’s order
A Maine judge ordered the media not to report what witnesses said during an attorney’s criminal court appearance. The Portland Press Herald reports Anthony Sineni III, of Standish, was convicted of misdemeanor charges of assault and disorderly conduct Monday as part of a plea agreement. A newspaper attorney, Sigmund Schutz, said the judge’s media order was unconstitutional. The newspaper defied it. A spokeswoman for the Maine court system declined to comment.
Coach buys Stuart Weitzman
Luxury handbag and accessories company Coach is expanding its footwear collection, buying Stuart Weitzman Holdings LLC from private equity firm Sycamore Partners for about $530 million. Coach Inc. will also make up to $44 million in contingent payments to Sycamore Partners if certain revenue targets are hit over the three years after the deal closes. New York-based Coach said it will finance the deal with available cash and other sources of financing available to it in the credit and capital markets. The deal is expected to close by May.
U.S. Steel to idle plants, lay off 756
U.S. Steel Corp., the country’s second- biggest producer of the metal, plans to idle two pipe plants and lay off as many as 756 employees as the oil-price slump cuts spending by energy companies. U.S. Steel Monday notified 614 workers about potential layoffs at the company’s plant in Lorain, Ohio, which produces 780,000 tons a year of high-quality seamless tubular steel products. It issued similar notices to 142 employees at its tube factory in Houston, which processes 120,000 tons annually.
The Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed.