Business Briefs: Restaurant grading plan up for health board vote

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Restaurant grading plan up for health board vote

The Allegheny County Board of Health is set to vote today on a plan to begin posting grades on restaurant doors based on the results of their annual inspections. If approved, the health department plan would be sent to Allegheny County Council for consideration and could be implemented as soon as this fall. Prior to the vote, board members will hear the results of a six-week pilot the department conducted in July and August to test the A-B-C system.

Fuyao Glass unit buys PPG glass plant in Ill.

PPG Industries said it completed the sale of its glass plant in Mount Zion, Ill., to Fuyao Glass America Inc., a unit of Fuyao Glass Industry Group, the largest automotive glass supplier in China.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The plant, which employs 175 workers, produces float glass used in residential and commercial construction. The deal calls for Fuyao to retrofit the facility’s two production lines to manufacture automotive glass. PPG will continue to operate the plant for up to a year.

Culinary gift shop chain opening S. Hills location

Oil & Vinegar, a culinary gift shop concept, is scheduled to open its first regional location at South Hills Village this weekend. The 70-plus-store chain started in the Netherlands in 1999 and entered the U.S. market in 2004.

Halliburton reaches Gulf oil spill settlement

Halliburton agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle what it calls “a substantial portion” of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The settlement, if approved by a federal court, would allow businesses and property owners who were hurt by the oil spill to collect punitive damages from Halliburton through a fund to be administered by a court-appointed representative.

Water shortages crimp China shale gas plan

More than 60 percent of China’s vast shale gas deposits are in regions with scarce water resources, complicating plans by the energy-hungry country to tap the natural gas, according to U.S.-based research group the World Resources Institute.

The institute said in a report issued Tuesday that 38 percent of the world’s shale gas deposits are in areas with scarce water, which is needed in the fracking process. China, Argentina and Algeria have the world’s biggest shale gas deposits.

Dollar General raises bid for Family Dollar

The Dollar General chain offered Tuesday to raise its bid for Family Dollar to $9.1 billion in a renewed effort to win over its competitor from a rival $8.5 billion deal with Dollar Tree. Perhaps more important, Dollar General, the biggest dollar-discount chain in the country, also added new provisions to its bid to provide more assurances to Family Dollar Stores in case their proposed merger runs into antitrust issues.

Construction spending up 1.8 percent in July

Construction spending rose 1.8 percent in July, the biggest one-month gain since May 2012, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. It followed a 0.9 percent decline in June, the largest setback in a year.

The rebound pushed total construction to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $981.3 billion, the highest level since December 2008.

Manufacturing grows at fastest pace in  3 1/2 years

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose to 59 from 57.1 in July, the ISM said Tuesday.

That was the highest reading since March 2011. Any measure above 50 signals that manufacturing is growing.

Mergers and acquisitions

• 1-800-Flowers.Com is buying Harry & David for $142.5 million to help broaden the assortment of foods that its customers can choose as gifts. The transaction is expected to close in October.

• Norwegian Cruise Line is spending about $3 billion in cash and stock to acquire the high-end Prestige Cruises International.

It’s a huge deal for Apollo Global Management, which acquired a majority stake in Prestige in 2007. Apollo also owns about 20 percent of Norwegian.

Netflix unveils new way to share recommendations

Netflix is giving its Internet video subscribers a more discreet way to recommend movies and TV shows to their Facebook friends after realizing most people don’t want to share their viewing habits with large audiences.

The new system allows subscribers to select which friends will receive their video recommendations.

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