Business briefs: Wesco buys Hazmasters

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Wesco buys Hazmasters

Wesco International Inc., a distributor of electrical and industrial products based in Station Square, continues its acquisition run with the purchase of Hazmasters Inc. The Ontario safety products company has 14 branches in Canada and generates $80 million in revenue per year. The deal is expected to close sometime this month. Wesco has made at least three other Canadian acquisitions in the past two years.

Noble Energy has new HQ

Noble Energy Inc. announced its new regional headquarters will be at 1000 Noble Energy Drive at Southpointe. The building, currently under construction, is 207,000 square feet and Noble, a Marcellus Shale operator, will occupy 138,000 of that with an option to expand. Noble entered the region through a joint venture with Consol Energy Inc., another Southpointe tenant.

Citizens finishes replacing ATMs

Citizens Bank said it has finished replacing roughly 1,600 automated teller machines with upgraded machines that feature envelope-free deposits and stamp images of deposited checks on receipts. The new ATMs also allow customers to make deposits as late as 10 p.m. local time on a business day and still have the deposits count the same day. The upgrades, which took about a year to complete, included all of Citizens' ATMs except for machines in convenience stores, which do not accept deposits, a spokeswoman said. The bank, the second-biggest bank in the Pittsburgh region, has about 900 ATMs across the state.

U.S. employers posted more job openings in January

U.S. employers advertised slightly more jobs in January than in December, a sign that hiring should remain steady in coming months. The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers posted 3.9 million job openings, up 1.5 percent from December. There are about 2.6 unemployed Americans, on average, for each open job.

Poland moves to reduce dependence on Russian gas

Poland’s government has adopted a draft law designed to speed up shale gas exploration and reduce dependence on Russian supplies, the prime minister said Tuesday. Poland, which imports about 70 percent of its gas from Russia, is seeking to exploit its shale gas deposits, but complicated legislation has been an obstacle and discouraged some foreign energy firms. Poland and Britain are the only countries in Europe actively exploring for shale gas.

Men’s Wearhouse agrees to buy Jos. A. Bank for $1.8 billion

Men’s Wearhouse Inc. agreed to buy smaller rival Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. for about $1.8 billion in cash, ending a five-month takeover battle between the two retailers. Both companies’ boards have approved the transaction, the retailers said Tuesday. Jos. A. Bank also will terminate a separate deal to buy the Eddie Bauer brand and cancel a plan to buy as much as $300 million of its own stock 

House committee investigating GM recall

A congressional committee is investigating the way General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration handled a deadly ignition switch problem in compact cars. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan says the federal agency received a large number of complaints about the problem during the past decade but GM didn't recall the 1.6 million cars worldwide until last month. GM says 13 deaths and 31 crashes have been linked to the problem.

Wholesalers boost stockpiles despite sales drop

U.S. wholesale businesses in January suffered their steepest sales drop in nearly five years, yet they continued to increase their stockpiles. This suggests that companies expect the economy to rebound after experiencing an abrupt winter slowdown. Wholesalers boosted stockpiles 0.6 percent in January from December, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Sales tumbled 1.9 percent in January, the largest decline since March 2009, when the economy was in recession.

Turkish PM backtracks on social media ban threat

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has backtracked on a threat to shut down Facebook and YouTube in Turkey. In comments published in pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper Tuesday, Mr. Erdogan said the government was determined to fight “fabricated and dubbed” recordings on the Internet but acknowledged that a total shutdown of social media is “out of question.”

Also in business ...

Mylan Inc. said its board of directors nominated JoEllen Lyons Dillon for a spot on the board. She is chief legal officer at The ExOne Co., a 3D-printing company based in North Huntingdon. She would replace C.B. "Sonny" Todd, who will not stand for reelection at the April 11 annual shareholders meeting.

From staff and wire reports

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