Business Briefs: Dynegy deal nearly doubles electricity generation

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Dynegy deal nearly doubles electricity generation

A Fayette County power plant is part of a $6.25 billion pair of deals that Houston-based Dynegy Inc. announced Friday, which will nearly double its coal and gas electricity generation portfolio to 26,000 megawatts. In a $2.8 billion deal with Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy and a $3.45 billion deal with Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in New Jersey, Dynegy inherits a variety of Midwest generation portfolios. The company acquired a total of 21 power plants, including the one in Masontown, and will deliver retail electricity supply to customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.

Giant Eagle, union OK new 4-year contract

O’Hara grocer Giant Eagle and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23 have approved a new 4-year contract covering about 5,400 workers in 34 Western Pennsylvania stores and two West Virginia locations. A company spokesman said, “The agreement includes significant wage and benefits improvements for Local 23 team members, as well as the elimination of antiquated work rules, enabling the company to better serve our customers.” The union praised the deal on its Facebook page.

American Eagle site hires 100 for call center

A new 1-million square foot American Eagle Outfitters distribution center in the Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazleton, Luzerne County, has already hired 100 associates for its call center, which is currently operating and accepting online orders. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week, officials said plans call for hiring 400 seasonal employees for the holiday season. Eventually, the facility is expected to employ 600.

McDonald’s taps new U.S. president

McDon­ald’s Corp. said long­time restau­rant ex­ec­u­tive Mike An­dres will take over as pres­i­dent of the chain’s U.S. op­er­a­tions. Jeff Strat­ton, 58, will re­tire Oct. 15, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based com­pany said. Mr. An­dres, 56, worked in mul­ti­ple roles at McDon­ald’s, in­clud­ing lead­ing its cen­tral U.S. unit and the com­pany’s for­mer Boston Mar­ket sub­sid­i­ary. The world’s big­gest restau­rant chain, which gets al­most a third of its rev­e­nue from do­mes­tic lo­ca­tions, has had a tough time at­tract­ing Amer­i­cans this year as new ri­vals lure away cus­tom­ers and es­tab­lished com­pet­i­tors in­tro­duce cheaper food deals.

Beanbag chairs recalled after two deaths

Ace Bayou Corp. is recalling 2.2 million beanbag chairs after two children died climbing inside and suffocating. The zippers on the chairs can open, letting children crawl in and get trapped, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said. A 13-year-old boy from Texas and a 3-year-old girl from Kentucky died after suffocating and inhaling the beanbag’s foam beads, the agency said. The chairs, made in China, were sold by Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., as well as other chains such as Bon-Ton Stores Inc., up until July of last year.

Northwest Savings parent announces new CFO

Northwest Bancshares, parent of Northwest Savings Bank, has named William W. Harvey Jr. to serve as chief financial officer, leading the technology, operations, finance and support division. Steven G. Fisher will be chief revenue officer. Both are longtime employees of the bank based in Warren.

IBM sets aside rivalry with China’s Inspur in software deal

International Business Machines Corp. has formed a partnership with Inspur Group Ltd. after the Chinese company tried to lure away customers with its “IBM to Inspur” marketing campaign. IBM’s database and WebSphere software will be used on Inspur’s servers, which are the first high-end hardware to be wholly developed and produced by a Chinese company. The deal sets aside the rivalry spurred by tensions between the U.S. and Chinese governments over claims of cyberspying and hacking American companies.

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