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Roundup: UPMC McKeesport closes surgical unit; ADM to buy Swiss flavoring maker for about $3B; more

| Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

UPMC McKeesport closes surgical unit

UPMC McKeesport closed an 18-bed surgical unit on June 27 as part of a plan to become more efficient, UPMC officials said on Monday. The decision affected 19 clinical workers, who were offered other positions within the hospital, UPMC spokeswoman Wendy Zellner said. She would not say whether other services will be eliminated but emphasized that there are no plans to close the hospital. “We are committed to UPMC McKeesport, and our recent actions will only make it stronger,” Zellner wrote in a statement. A total of 204 licensed beds remain open in the hospital, including medical/surgical beds, an intensive care unit, behavioral health and rehabilitation. Officials said those beds will meet demand in the communities served by the hospital.

ADM to pay about $3B for Swiss flavoring maker

Agribusiness giant ADM will pay about $3 billion to buy the privately held Swiss company Wild Flavors, which supplies natural ingredients to the food and beverage industry. The all-cash deal will total about $3.13 billion, including debt. ADM, or Archer Daniels Midland Co., processes corn, soybeans and other crops to make everything from animal feed to ethanol. Its food and wellness group provides products for the beverage, meat, snack and bakery markets. The Decatur, Ga., company said on Monday that the acquisition will allow it to better serve the evolving needs of its customers. Wild Flavors sells full flavor and ingredient products, as well as fruit juice concentrates and ingredients such as natural flavors and extracts. It has production sites in Europe, the United States, Asia and South America. Its estimated revenue for this year is about $1.36 billion. ADM will pay the purchase price to Wild's owner and funds tied to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Vantage plans $400M IPO

Vantage Energy Inc., a natural gas drilling company with holdings in the Marcellus shale formation, is planning a $400 million initial public offering of stock, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company, which holds about 50,000 acres in Greene County, did not provide pricing of its shares in the filing. The Englewood, Colo.-based company said it will trade under the ticker symbol “VEI.”

Bed Bath & Beyond to buy back $2B in shares next fiscal year

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., which is dealing with a stock slump after delivering a disappointing forecast last month, plans to buy back $2 billion in shares during the next fiscal year. The company's existing repurchasing program had about $861 million remaining as of May 31, Bed Bath & Beyond wrote on Monday in a statement. The new buyback will be complete in fiscal 2016, which will begin near the end of February. The move shows the board's confidence in the company's “long-term growth potential, financial outlook and cash flow generation,” Chief Executive Officer Steven Temares wrote in the statement. Bed Bath & Beyond, which owns the Buybuy Baby and Cost Plus World Market stores in addition to its flagship chain, is contending with e-commerce competition from and other online rivals, as well as a slump in foot traffic in shopping centers.

Suit filed over Ill. mining rights

Murray Energy Corp. has sued a Foresight Energy LP unit, alleging it used confidential information to acquire property and mineral rights in the path of Murray's operations in southern Illinois. Murray is asking an Illinois court to prevent Foresight's Williamson Energy from buying or leasing mining rights that would “interfere” with its longwall coal operations in the region, the St. Clairsville, Ohio-based company wrote in a statement on Monday. The company wants to force Foresight to offer mining rights to the disputed properties and an award of “substantial damages.” A spokesman for St. Louis-based Foresight declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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