Business Briefs: 5/22/14

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Highbury Canco buys Ontario Heinz plant

The H.J. Heinz Co. has completed the sale of its historic Leamington, Ontario, plant to a Canadian co-packer that had planned to use the site to sell various products to the Pittsburgh food company. The move was expected to save several hundred jobs, although not all 740 at the plant. Effective June 27, Highbury Canco will take over operations of the factory. “We are pleased that Canco will manufacture some of Canada’s favorite products, including Heinz tomato juice, Heinz beans, and Heinz canned pastas in the years to come," said Michael Mullen, Heinz senior vice president of corporate and government affairs.

Wesco set to acquire Illinois utility company

Wesco International Inc., a Station Square-based distributor of electric supplies and other products, announced it will acquire Hi-Line Utility Supply Co., an Illinois-based provider of utility and safety products and rubber goods whose annual revenue is about $30 million.

Swedish company bids for speech device firm’s assets

DynaVox Systems, a Shadyside speech and communication technology company, and its related entities, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April, announced that a competitive auction Wednesday named Tobii Technology AB as the successful bidder for its assets with a bid of $18 million. Systems Acquisition Corp. was selected as the backup bidder with a bid of $17.8 million.

Spotify jumps to 10 million paying subscribers

Music streaming giant Spotify says it now has 10 million paying subscribers worldwide. That’s up from 6 million in March of last year. Spotify, launched in Sweden in 2008, expanded to the U.S. in July 2011.

Europe's cabbies demand clampdown on Uber

Milan’s taxis sat idle for a fifth straight day Wednesday to protest competition from the ride-hailing app Uber. The San Francisco startup has been banned in Brussels and faces court scrutiny in Berlin. In Paris, Uber drivers had their vehicles vandalized when they kept operating during a taxi strike. And in Spain, the National Taxi Federation has called for Uber to be banned. European Commission’s head of digital technology issues, Neelie Kroes, has expressed outrage at the Brussels court decision.

Netflix looks to build international audience

Netflix will expand into Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg later this year as the Internet video service tries to build an international following that might eventually surpass its U.S. audience. The additional markets announced Wednesday will extend Netflix’s reach into nearly 50 countries.

National Enquirer leaving Florida headquarters

The supermarket tabloid that has called Florida home for more than four decades is packing its bags. The Boca Raton, Fla.-based National Enquirer is shifting its headquarters to New York next month under a new editor.

From staff and wire reports

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