Business news briefs: Ansaldo STS awarded signal contract

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Ansaldo STS awarded signal contract

Ansaldo STS, an Italian transportation technology company with U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh, was awarded a $20.5 million contract to install a signaling system on a 45-mile stretch of the Long Island Rail Road. The goal of the upgrade is to improve safety and reliability for a line that sees more than 80 million passengers a year. Ansaldo STS will help install a new interlocking control system, which manages movement where rail lines cross.

Wesco acquires LaPrairie, expands in Canada

South Side-based Wesco International Inc. has a deal to acquire LaPrairie Inc, based in Newmarket, Ontario, expanding Wesco's presence in Canada. LaPrairie is a wholesale distributor of electrical products servicing the transmission, distribution and substation needs for utilities and utility contractors across Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The 25-year-old company generates about $30 million in annual revenue from a single location in Newmarket. The closing is expected to occur next month.

Chesapeake pays millions in environmental fines

A subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy agreed to spend an estimated $6.5 million to restore 27 sites in West Virginia damaged by the natural gas producer's unauthorized discharges of fill materials into streams and wetlands. Chesapeake Appalachia LLC also will pay a $3.2 million civil penalty for violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

U.S. economy expands at 4.1 percent rate

The U.S. economy grew at a solid 4.1 percent annual rate from July through September, the fastest pace since late 2011 and significantly higher than previously thought. Much of the upward revision came from stronger consumer spending. The Commerce Department's final look at growth in the summer was up from a previous estimate of 3.6 percent. Builders broke ground on homes at the fastest pace in more than five years, strong evidence that the housing recovery is accelerating despite higher mortgage rates. Four-fifths of the revision in the report released Friday came from stronger consumer spending, mainly in the area of health care. Many analysts are looking for growth to hit 2.5 percent or better in 2014.

Oracle buying Responsys for about $1.39 billion

Oracle is buying cloud-based business-to-consumer marketing software company Responsys for about $1.39 billion. Oracle, which also makes business software, said that the deal will extend its offerings of cloud businesses. It already offers cloud-based opportunities for sales, commerce, service, social and marketing activities. Earlier this week, Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle reported that its fiscal second-quarter net income edged down slightly, hurt by flat revenue from new software licenses and cloud software subscriptions.

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