Business Briefs: 4/15/14

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New York firm OKs purchase by Koppers

Koppers Inc. said it reached agreement to buy the wood preservation and railroad services businesses of Osmose Holdings for $460 million. Osmose, based in Buffalo, N.Y., has been owned by Oaktree Capital Management, a global investment firm, since 2012. Downtown-based Koppers said revenues for the Osmose businesses it plans to purchase were approximately $390 million last year. Koppers, which will finance the acquisition through new and existing debt, expects the deal to close in the third quarter. Koppers makes carbon chemicals and railroad and utility treatment products and had 2013 sales of nearly $1.5 billion. Koppers executives will hold a conference call today to discuss the acquisition.

Fort Lauderdale-’Burgh daily flight set to launch

Local travelers headed to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for spring break or a respite from winter will have another option starting Oct. 29. That’s when JetBlue Airways will begin operating a daily flight between Pittsburgh International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The flight will leave Pittsburgh each day at 7:15 a.m. and land in Fort Lauderdale at 10 a.m. The return trip will leave Florida at 6:55 p.m. Tickets can be booked at Southwest Airlines also flies to Fort Lauderdale from Pittsburgh.

Apollo reports income rise in first quarter

Apollo Bancorp. said net income for the first quarter rose to $347,000, or 70 cents per share, up from $320,000, or 64 cents, in the same period last year. Apollo operates five banking offices in the Pittsburgh region.

BBC report links Glaxo to bribing doctors in Poland

The BBC reports that pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline is accused of bribing doctors to prescribe medicines in Poland. A show set to air Monday evening quotes a former sales representative for the company saying doctors there were paid to prescribe its drugs. A different representative said doctors were paid to give speeches and then expected to increase prescriptions. In Poland, prosecutors said Monday they are investigating a case in which a foreign pharmaceutical company offered bribes to doctors asking them to prescribe their medication.

Retailers report jump in sales as winter fades

Retailers warmed up in March as the winter chill faded. Sales jumped 1.1 percent, the biggest gain since September 2012, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Ten of 13 categories, from auto dealers to furniture and clothing stores, showed a pickup.

Businesses increased stockpiles in February

The Commerce Department says business stockpiles increased 0.4 percent in February and sales rose 0.8 percent, bouncing back after a 1.1 percent sales decline in January that was blamed on the harsh weather that month. 

From staff and wire reports

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