RBS to offer stake in Citizens
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plans an initial public offering for a minority stake in its U.S.-based Citizens Financial Group unit, Bloomberg business news reported Monday. RBS, which is owned by the British government, will announce plans to sell a 15 percent to 25 percent stake in Citizens when it reports earnings on Thursday, Bloomberg said, citing a person with knowledge of the plans. Citizens is the second biggest retail bank in the Pittsburgh region behind PNC Bank.
Heinz selling Chinese unit
The. H.J. Heinz Co. confirmed it has a deal to sell its Shanghai Long Fong Co. to Zhengzhou Sanquan Foods Co. The frozen food business in China had reported sales of $27 million in the nine months ended Jan. 27, according to a regulatory filing. A spokesman for the Pittsburgh food company said Heinz remains committed to China, but has a global strategy of de-emphasizing non-core frozen food operations outside the U.S. Earlier this month, Heinz announced it would be acquired for $28 billion in cash and debt by private equity investors.
Gas costs here rose 6 cents
The cost of gasoline in Western Pennsylvania continued its climb this week, rising about 6 cents to hit an average price of $3.842 for a gallon of regular unleaded. A comparable gallon nationwide cost $3.736, an increase of about 3 cents from last week, according to GasBuddy.com.
B&N founder makes a play
Barnes & Noble founder and chairman Leonard Riggio has told the book seller he is going to try to buy the company's retail business. The news sent shares up 11.47 percent to $15.06. Mr. Riggio disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday that he wants to acquire the company's stores and website, but not the business that makes the Nook e-reader or the company's college bookstores. Mr. Riggio is Barnes & Noble's largest shareholder, with nearly 30 percent of the company's shares. Barnes & Noble said the offer will be considered by a committee of independent directors.
Chesapeake sells at low cost
Chesapeake Energy Corp. agreed to sell a stake in an Oklahoma oilfield to China Petrochemical Corp. for less than one-third of its estimated value as the company continues selling assets to raise cash. Chesapeake shares tumbled 6.78 percent to $19.11. Sinopec, as China's second-largest energy producer is known, will pay $1.02 billion in cash for a 50 percent interest in 850,000 acres Chesapeake controls in the Mississippi Lime formation. The price equates to $2,400 an acre, less than the $7,000 to $8,000 at which Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake valued the asset in a July presentation.
NTSB will investigate engines in Ford cars
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it will investigate problems with stalling or surging engines in nearly 725,000 Ford cars and SUVs: Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs and Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans from the 2009 through 2011 model years. Ford said Monday that it's cooperating with NHTSA on the investigation.
AT&T scores contract to supply GM's OnStar
AT&T Inc. is scoring a win over rival Verizon Wireless as it takes over the contract to supply wireless connections to cars with General Motors' OnStar service. Verizon Wireless and its predecessor companies have supplied the network for OnStar since the service launched in the 1990s, but AT&T will take over with the 2015 model year, AT&T and GM said Monday. Verizon Wireless said it was looking forward to continuing to provide service to current OnStar customers. The companies didn't reveal financial terms.
Also in business...
Mylan Inc. said it received regulatory approval for the generic version of Lupin Atlantis Holdings' cholesterol drug Antara. ... Ikea is withdrawing meatballs from stores in 21 European countries amid concerns that they could contain horse meat.