Business Briefs: 4/16/14

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Carmichaels, Monessen banks agree to merge

Community Bank of Carmichaels agreed to acquire First Federal Savings Bank of Monessen in a cash and stock transaction valued at about $54.5 million, the two banks announced Tuesday. Terms call for First Federal shareholders to elect to receive $23 in cash or 1.159 shares of CB Financial stock for each of their shares, subject to certain limits.The deal, which requires approval of regulators and shareholders of First Federal, is expected to close late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter.

Community Bank has $546.5 million in assets and 11 offices in Allegheny, Greene and Washington counties. First Federal has $319 million in assets and seven branches in the region. A condition of the merger is that CB shares be approved for listing on the Nasdaq global market.

UPMC sublets chunks of Heinz 57 Center

UPMC has signed a 12-year lease to sublet 140,000 square feet on three floors of the Heinz 57 Center on Sixth Avenue, Downtown. About 450 employees in UPMC Health Plan’s community behavioral health programs will move to the new space once UPMC’s current lease at Chatham Center expires this summer.

Pittsburgh architecture firms to merge

Two Pittsburgh architecture firms, Edgewood-based Lami Grubb Architects and Glance & Associates, Downtown, announced Tuesday they plan to merge. The partners of the new firm will be Jonathan Glance, Suzan Lami, Robert Grubb and Paulette Burns.

Airport Authority releases Penrod severance figures

The Allegheny County Airport Authority will pay its former executive director Bradley D. Penrod $134,375 in severance as a result of his ouster by the board last month. The lump-sum payment is part of an employment and separation agreement reached between the authority and Mr. Penrod and dated April 7. It was released Tuesday after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette filed a right-to-know request. Mr. Penrod was executive director of the authority for six years until he was reassigned to president and chief strategy officer in February 2013. He was making $214,465 annually when he was removed by the board. As part of the agreement, the authority acknowledged that Mr. Penrod was "being let go through no fault of his own."

PUC competitive electricity market goes mobile

Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission launched a mobile-friendly version of its website, which provides consumers with information about competitive electricity suppliers. Mobile traffic for the website increased 100 percent between March 2013 and March 2014, and the PUC noticed a high volume of mobile users visiting the homepage and then leaving without visiting other pages on the site. The new mobile version will give consumers better access to electricity plans, consumer alerts and PUC videos.

Consumer prices up slightly in March

Lower gasoline prices kept consumer inflation in check in March, helping to offset higher costs for food and clothing. The Labor Department said Tuesday that the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent. Prices have risen just 1.5 percent year over year. That remains well below the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target for inflation. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices increased 0.2 percent in March and 1.7 percent in the past year.

Coca-Cola sells more overall but soda sales lose fizz

Coca-Cola said Tuesday that the amount of soda it sold globally fell for first time since 1999. The drop in the first quarter was offset by stronger sales of its noncarbonated drinks that include Minute Maid, Powerade and Dasani bottled water. 

German company starts gas deliveries to Ukraine

German utility company RWE said Tuesday it has started sending natural gas to Ukraine, a move that could support the country if Russia acts on its threat to cut off supplies because of a debt for past deliveries. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine owes Russia $35.4 billion for gas — about 20 times more than Moscow had previously asked for. He said Russia may ask for Ukraine to start paying for gas in advance or face a shut-off.

Homebuilder confidence edges up in April

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, which measures confidence in the single-family home market, edged up to 47 in April from 46 in March, constrained by tight credit for home buyers and a shortage of workers and available land. Readings below 50 mean builders view sales conditions as poor.

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