Business Briefs: Family Dollar rejects Dollar General offer

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Family Dollar has rejected a takeover bid from dollar-store competitor Dollar General, saying it would be too hard for the deal to pass antitrust regulators. Family Dollar’s board said it supports its existing deal to be acquired by Dollar Tree. Dollar General said it is reviewing its options and still believes its offer is better than the Dollar Tree deal.

CMU professor to advise White House policy office

Randal E. Bryant, former dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, has been chosen for a temporary assignment with the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy. Mr. Bryant will provide analysis and insight surrounding big data — the practice of collecting and interpreting large digital data sets that are often packed with users' personal information. He will work with the office to advise deputy director of policy Thomas Kalil for 10 to 12 months. Mr. Bryant is on sabbatical from his post as a CMU computer science professor.

Wabtec acquires Brazilian brake manufacturer

Wilmerding-based rail manufacturer Wabtec Corp. has acquired Dia-Frag, a Brazilian company that manufactures friction braking products. Dia-Frag has annual sales of about $40 million, according to a news release from Wabtec, and about 300 employees. Wabtec plans to use Dia-Frag's 15,000-square-meter production facility in Monte Alto, Brazil, as a manufacturing center.

Home Depot names Menear new CEO

Home Depot says Craig Menear, president of its U.S. retail operations, will become president and CEO of the company Nov. 1. Frank Blake has been Home Depot’s chairman and CEO since 2007, and will remain chairman of the company.

United Airlines improving first class meal offerings

To win the hearts of frequent business travelers, United Airlines is going through their stomachs. The carrier is upgrading first class food options and replacing snacks with full meals on some of its shortest flights. The changes, announced Thursday, mean that first class passengers on flights of at least 800 miles will get meals such as chicken and mozzarella on a tomato focaccia roll and turkey and Swiss cheese on a cranberry baguette. Currently, meals are only served on flights of 900 miles or more.

Gauge of economy rises 0.9 percent in July

The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators rose 0.9 percent last month, the sixth straight increase and the best showing since a 1 percent rise in March. The index, composed of 10 forward-pointing indicators, rose 0.6 percent in June.

Existing home sales rise for a 4th straight month

Sales of existing homes rose 2.4 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. That was the highest annual rate since September of last year.

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