At U.S. Steel HQ, mum’s the word
U.S. Steel declined to comment on media reports that it was among the parties interested in acquiring steel plants in Michigan and Mississippi from Russian producer Severstal. Rumors of talks between the two producers have circulated for several weeks.
Duquesne, Urban Innovation21 plan community lab
Duquesne University has entered a partnership with Hill District-based community development program Urban Innovation21 to create a biotechnology laboratory for community use. The organizations will use $550,000 in grants to create the 1,500-square-foot space, which will serve middle and high school students, adult students, startups and workforce development initiatives. The lab is scheduled to open this fall.
Solera Holdings to acquire Glass Works’ unit
Solera Holdings said it will acquire the insurance and services division of Pittsburgh Glass Works for $280 million cash. Texas-based Solera provides software and services for auto insurance claims processing. Solera expects the deal to close by June 30. Pittsburgh Glass Works, based on the North Side, could not be reached for comment.
Frozen food marketing heats up as sales lag
Frozen food makers are getting fresh. The American Frozen Food Institute, an industry group, will feature its first national TV ad in defense of their products on Tuesday as the category fights to boost slipping sales. The ad will include the tag line “Frozen: How Fresh Stays Fresh.”
Hillshire looks beyond meat with Birds Eye
Hillshire Brands is pushing further outside the deli case with a deal to buy the maker of Birds Eye frozen vegetables, Duncan Hines cakes mixes and Hungry-Man frozen dinners. The Chicago-based company — which makes Hillshire Farm lunch meats, Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park franks — said Monday that it would buy Pinnacle Foods in a deal valued at $4.23 billion. Pinnacle’s other brands include Wish-Bone salad dressing and Vlasic pickles.
Allergan board unanimously spurns takeover offer
Botox maker Allergan formally rejected on Monday a takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals, saying that the unsolicited offer worth nearly $46 billion undervalues the company. Allergan has a so-called poison pill plan, a defensive tactic that makes a buyout prohibitively expensive. Valeant spokeswoman Laurie Little said Monday in an email that her company was disappointed that Allergan made its decision without “engaging in any substantive discussions.”
Pfizer to keep jobs in Britain if merger goes through
Pfizer pledged Monday to keep jobs in Britain if it succeeds in its efforts to take over the British drugmaker AstraZeneca and questioned whether AstraZeneca can stand on its own much longer. AstraZeneca — which employs 51,500 people worldwide, including about 6,700 in Britain — has rebuffed takeover approaches from Pfizer. The deal would allow Pfizer to reincorporate in Britain and avoid higher U.S. corporate taxes.
Cambodia's Caltex gas station workers on strike
Workers at U.S.-owned Caltex gas stations in Cambodia went on strike Monday to demand higher wages and better working conditions. A strike leader, Sar Mora, said at least 250 Cambodian employees halted work, forcing at least 17 of the country’s 26 Caltex stations to suspend operations. Chanlek Than, a spokeswoman for Chevron Corp., the owner of Caltex, said it is working to resolve the dispute.
From staff and wire reports