Roundup: EDMC to close 3 more schools, cut 41 jobs; 5 charged in alleged scheme to steal drug secrets; more

Builders work on a large luxury home in Roswell, Ga., in this photo taken June 4, 2015. The Commerce Department on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, reported that housing starts dipped 2.5 percent in December 2015.
Builders work on a large luxury home in Roswell, Ga., in this photo taken June 4, 2015. The Commerce Department on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, reported that housing starts dipped 2.5 percent in December 2015.
Photo by AP
| Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, 11:00 p.m.

EDMC to close 3 more schools, cut 41 jobs

Education Management Corp. is closing three more Art Institutes in a bid to cut costs. Campuses in Tucson, St. Louis and Los Angeles have stopped accepting new students and will be shuttered during the next couple of years once current students transfer to other schools or complete their educations, EDMC spokesman Bob Greenlee said.

The closings will result in 41 immediate job cuts, or about 15 percent of the total employees at those schools. No one in Pittsburgh will be affected, Greenlee said.

The closings come less than a year after the Downtown-based company announced it would be shuttering 15 other Art Institutes.

5 charged in alleged theft of drug secrets

Five people have been accused in federal court of taking part in an alleged scheme to steal biopharmaceutical trade secrets from GlaxoSmithKline and sell them to competitors in China.

Charges in the indictment include conspiracy to steal trade secrets and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors said many products targeted were designed to treat cancer or other serious diseases.

Prosecutors allege that GlaxoSmithKline employee Yu Xue, 45, emailed and downloaded confidential information, a former employee also emailed material and the defendants set up corporations to sell the material.

Xue's attorney said the charges will be contested and the defense believes she will be exonerated. Attorneys for three other defendants declined to comment. An attorney for another defendant couldn't be found Wednesday. Housing starts slip in December, but annual gains solid

Builders started fewer homes in December, but prior gains meant that residential construction ended 2015 at its healthiest level in eight years.

Housing starts dipped 2.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.15 million homes, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The tally marked some giveback after starts climbed 10.1 percent in November, in addition to the drag caused by flooding across parts of the South and Midwest that likely slowed construction.

Last year had the strongest performance for home construction since 2007, when the housing bubble triggered the start of the Great Recession. But the construction figures show rapid changes in how Americans live, as apartments have become more popular among builders.

Over the course of 2015, groundbreakings climbed 10.8 percent to 1.1 million. Multifamily complexes were 34.6 percent of all starts last year, compared to 20.5 percent in 2007.

BNY Mellon buys management firm

Bank of New York Mellon has acquired a California-based investment manager.

The purchase of Atherton Lane Advisers gives BNY Mellon a firm with about $2.7 billion in assets under management and 700 high net worth clients. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the sale is expected to close by the beginning of the second quarter of 2016.

Nestle loses bid to secure KitKat shape

Nestle lost a long-running court battle to trademark the four-finger shape of its KitKat chocolate bar in Britain.

The food giant first tried to register the trademark in 2010, but the application was opposed by rival chocolate maker Cadbury U.K. Ltd.

The case was previously dismissed by other courts including the European Court of Justice. Britain's High Court on Wednesday upheld those decisions, ruling that the shape of a KitKat bar has not “acquired a distinctive character” enough to satisfy trademark requirements.

Nestle said Wednesday it is disappointed by the ruling and plans to appeal it.

It argues that the four-finger snack has been used in Britain for more than 80 years, is well-known to consumers and that its shape deserves to be protected in the U.K.

Dow Chemical adds paid parental leave

Dow Chemical is fattening the paid leave it gives employees after the birth of a child as it becomes the latest major U.S. employer to rethink how it treats parents.

The creator of Ziploc bags and Saran Wrap said Wednesday that mothers will receive a minimum of 12 weeks of paid leave, while non-birthing parents can get two weeks. That's up from six to eight weeks and one week, respectively.

The leave can be taken in the 12 months after a child's birth, and the change applies to all of the company's 53,000 employees worldwide.

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