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Around the business world

Daily Staff Report

Fatal Kentucky crash could imperil Comair’s survival: ATLANTA – The deadly Kentucky crash involving a Comair flight will make the regional carrier’s survival even tougher. Delta last week put some of its regional jet service out to bid – a move that by itself could weaken subsidiary Comair – and it has been battling with its flight attendants over pay cuts. Sunday’s crash that killed 49 puts Comair in an even more precarious position as it and parent Delta fight to emerge from bankruptcy.Kinder Morgan accepts $15 billion sweetened buyout bid led by management: HOUSTON – Natural-gas pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Inc. agreed to a sweetened offer from a management-led investment group to take the company private in a cash deal worth $15 billion, plus the assumption of $7 billion in debt.Western Refining to buy Giant Industries for $1.23 billion: HOUSTON – Western Refining Inc. agreed to acquire Giant Industries Inc. for $1.23 billion in cash, creating the fourth-largest publicly traded independent oil refiner in the United States.Prudential to pay $600 million settlement over market timing allegations: NEW YORK – Prudential Financial Inc. and a subsidiary agreed to pay $600 million in penalties to resolve government allegations of deceptive market timing in the trading of mutual funds.Echostar settles for $100 million: NEW YORK – EchoStar Communications Corp. agreed to pay $100 million to settle its nine year litigation with network affiliates.Publishers putting newspapers on the auction block: NEW YORK – Newspaper publishers Dow Jones & Co. and Journal Register Co. said Monday that they are both considering selling some of their newspaper properties, signaling a growing softness in the traditional media marketplace.Tequila brands being purchased: NEW YORK – Brown-Forman Corp. is expected to announce a deal to buy the business of Tequila Herradura, which makes two of Mexico’s leading tequila brands, for $876 million.Dupont cutting more benefits: NEW YORK – Chemical manufacturer DuPont Co. said Monday that it is redesigning its benefits plan to increase employee participation in its 401(k) plan while decreasing dependence on its traditional pension plan.Boeing wins large order from Indian airline: NEW DELHI – Boeing Co. has won a firm order for 10 jets from India’s Air Sahara, a company official said Monday, as the U.S. aircraft maker nearly doubled its forecast for India’s airplane demand amid brisk economic growth and a boom in air travel.Kraft cleared to buy United Biscuits: LONDON – European Union regulators on Monday cleared Kraft Foods Inc.’s proposed $1.07 billion purchase of United Biscuits PLC’s Spanish and Portuguese units, a move that will broaden its cookie sales in Europe.Millions of seniors face medical coverage shortfall: DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Despite the new Medicare prescription drug program an estimated 3 million seniors or more, face a coverage gap that represents a potential personal financial strain as well as a political issue of uncertain impact.Chick-fil-A to hit $2 billion in sales: EAST POINT, Ga. – Chick-fil-A executives like to say the chain’s restaurants make as much money in six days a week as many of its competitors do in seven. For nearly 40 years, Chick-Fil-A has offered up a taste of the South, from its chicken sandwiches to sweet tea and biscuits and gravy. This year is expected to be a major milestone for the company, as its officials estimate Chick-fil-A will cross $2 billion in yearly sales for the first time.La-Z-Boy makes moves to return once-booming brand to profitability: MONROE, Mich. – Sales are down and industry outlooks are bleak, but La-Z-Boy Inc. executives say they’re not going to take it lying down. The furniture maker is restructuring in an effort to return the brand to profitability and convince shoppers it offers more than clunky, comfortable recliners. Despite a shaky first quarter and a $3 million loss last year, La-Z-Boy has launched a marketing campaign to update its image, closed plants and sold off nonessential brands.Stocks inch up slightly: NEW YORK – Wall Street inched higher in early trading as investors, nervous about the week’s economic reports, looked past several big corporate deals. Also, Wall Street rebounded as a drop in oil prices reassured investors nervous about a series of major economic reports expected this week. Google, eBay reach deal on overseas ads: SAN FRANCISCO – An advertising agreement between two of the Internet’s most prominent players seeks to change the way consumers shop online. Besides using the Internet to find the lowest prices on items that can be shipped across the country or the world, eBay Inc. and Google Inc. want people to go online when they’re looking for geographically dependent services, such as babysitting, tutoring or catering.Italian firms’ shares tumble on merger announcement: ROME – Shares in Banca Intesa and Sanpaolo IMI both fell on Monday following the weekend announcement that Italy’s No. 2 and No. 3 banks will combine to create a national leader, a move expected to usher in an era of consolidation of Italy’s fragmented banking sector.Japanese automakers production numbers mixed: TOKYO – Japanese automakers Toyota, Honda and Mazda said Monday their global production climbed in July, but Nissan and Mitsubishi reported declines for the month.Chinese oil refinery profits up, despite governmment restrictions: BEIJING – Hamstrung by government price caps that prevent it from passing soaring crude oil prices on to consumers, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia’s largest refiner by capacity, said Monday its first-half net profit climbed 8.9 percent from a year earlier.Striking Chilean miners hold sway over world copper prices: SANTIAGO, Chile – The world’s largest mining company has had a very good year, something not lost on its miners in Chile. Some 2,000 miners at BHP Billiton’s Escondida mine in Chile have been striking since early August, demanding a larger slice of the company’s record profits. The strike has roiled world copper markets. Escondida represents about 8 percent of world copper production, and the strike has stoked fears of a shortage in an already tight market.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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