Business Briefs: Altoona Regional Health's conversion to UPMC is complete

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Altoona system's conversion to UPMC is now official

Altoona Regional Health System officially became UPMC Altoona on Monday. Pittsburgh-based UPMC has pledged $250 million over 10 years to improve the facilities and services for the Blair County health system, which will now act as a referral center and tertiary hub for UPMC in the region. In addition to the 380-bed hospital, the system includes an outpatient center, a surgery center and more than 20 affiliated health care companies. Its newly formed board will be comprised of two-thirds of the directors appointed by former Altoona Regional board members and one-third appointed by UPMC.

Nonresidential construction contracts push value 29%

The value of contracts for future construction in the Pittsburgh region rose by 29 percent in May driven by a huge gain in nonresidential projects, McGraw-Hill Construction reported. The value of nonresidential contracts more than doubled to $87.3 million, from $38.2 million in May 2012. Residential contracts slipped by 14 percent to $77.2 million from $89.6 million a year ago. For the year to date, total contracts were up 4 percent over the first five months of 2012.

Pittsburgh region gas prices fall slightly

The average cost of regular unleaded gasoline in Pittsburgh fell by 1.6 cents over the past week to an average of $3.54, according to GasBuddy.com. The national average has also fallen, settling at $3.50, a fall of 5.7 cents over the past week. While the national average has decreased by 13.6 cents over the past month, the average price in Pittsburgh was only 2.1 cents lower than the average one month ago.

Nokia buys network operations from Siemens

Nokia is turning to the stronger-performing parts of its business to help bolster its struggling smartphone arm, as it offered Siemens 1.7 billion euros ($2.22 billion) for its half of the networks joint venture. Finland's Nokia Corp. said Monday the transaction will be completed during the third quarter this year, meaning the company formed in 2007 -- Nokia Siemens Networks -- will become Nokia's wholly owned subsidiary.

Steinway accepts $438M buyout from Kohlberg & Co.

The famed piano maker Steinway is being acquired by private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. for about $438 million. Steinway, which has been in business for 160 years, said previously that it was looking into selling the company. Kohlberg, which would take the Waltham, Mass., company private, will start a tender offer to buy all of Steinway's outstanding stock for $35 per share, a 15 percent premium to its Friday closing price of $30.43. Steinway products include Bach Stradivarius trumpets, Selmer Paris saxophones, C.G. Conn French horns, Leblanc clarinets, King trombones, Ludwig snare drums and Steinway & Sons pianos.

Citigroup agrees to pay $968M to Fannie Mae

Citigroup has agreed to pay $968 million to Fannie Mae to resolve potential future repurchase claims on residential mortgage loans originated between 2000 and 2012. A sizable group of the loans were originated during the U.S. housing boom. Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought loans from banks like Citigroup in the run-up to the financial crisis. Fannie and Freddie teetered as the loans went bad, and they were effectively nationalized in 2008. Fannie and Freddie have since said the banks misled them by not telling them the true condition of the mortgages they were buying. The agreement between Citigroup and Fannie Mae covers claims for breaches of representations and warranties on 3.7 million loans.

Also in business ...

The ExOne Company will hold its first shareholder meeting Aug. 19 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh.

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