Business Briefs: Gas prices fell locally about 4 cents this week

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Gas prices fell locally about 4 cents this week

The cost of gasoline in Pittsburgh fell about four cents this week, with the average price for a gallon costing $3.549, according to GasBuddy.com. The national average price for regular, unleaded gasoline fell 4.5 cents to $3.349 a gallon from a week earlier, according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration report.

La. plant shutdown likely to hit PPG's Q4 earnings

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries said the unplanned shutdown of a facility in Lake Charles, La., last month will likely have a negative impact on fourth-quarter earnings of $4 million to $8 million. PPG's chlor-alkali complex was closed Nov. 28 after a transformer failed. It reopened Nov. 30 and is partially operating while the facility undergoes repairs expected to take four to six weeks.

Ghana malnutrition effort gets lift from Hershey

The Hershey Co. plans to build and operate a peanut processing plant aimed at fighting malnutrition in the African nation where it obtains much of the cocoa it uses to make chocolate. The plant will partner with Project Peanut Butter, a pediatrician's program to distribute a peanut-based, nutrient-enriched food to malnourished children in rural Ghana. Hershey says the West African nation is the source of much of much of its cocoa and one of the top 10 peanut-growing countries in the world. The company says it will also be working with Project Peanut Butter to process peanuts sourced from local farmers.

Amgen buying deCODE Genetics for $415 million

Biotech pioneer Amgen Inc. in a bid for a big edge in using people's genetic information to find better ways to attack diseases, is buying human genetics research and analytics leader deCODE Genetics for $415 million. Amgen, the world's largest biotech company by revenue, and deCODE, based in Reykjavik, Iceland, announced the all-cash deal Monday. DeCODE, founded in 1996, has discovered genetic risk factors for dozens of diseases, ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer.

Ingersoll plans security spinoff after breakup push

Ingersoll-Rand Plc plans to spin off its commercial and residential security businesses within the next year after hedge-fund manager Nelson Peltz pressed for a breakup to boost shareholder value. Ingersoll's strategy, which also includes a stock buyback and a 31 percent dividend boost, marks the culmination of talks with Mr. Peltz's Trian Fund Management LP, which disclosed a 7.3 percent stake in May. Mr. Peltz had threatened a proxy battle, a person familiar with the matter said.

Also in business ...

General Motors Co.'s Opel unit said Monday that it plans to end car production at one plant in Germany in 2016, but a slimmed-down factory may continue to make components. ... Japan's economy is technically in recession after authorities said revised figures for the April-June quarter showed the economy shrank for two straight quarters. ... Athletic footwear and apparel giant Nike Inc. plans to expand its operations in Oregon but wants the government to promise that tax rules won't change. Gov. John Kitzhaber said he'll call lawmakers together Friday in Salem to create a new law.

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