Roundup: Chesapeake cuts CEO's bonus; State loans to create 300 jobs; more

| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Chesapeake CEO wasn't awarded bonus in 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s board withheld a bonus from CEO Aubrey McClendon last year and further restricted executive compensation amid investor criticism of the company's performance and management. Incentive compensation for 2012 was “substantially” reduced along with perquisites for executive officers, according to a filing from the Oklahoma City-based company on Monday. Chesapeake's board began an investigation last April into whether some of McClendon's personal financial transactions conflicted with his duties because of media reports of the CEO's use of minority stakes in company-owned wells as collateral for private loans. Chesapeake lost as much as 39 percent of its market value as scrutiny of McClendon's personal transactions compounded the impact of free-falling gas prices. The board of directors stripped McClendon of the chairman's role, replaced more than half the directors and cut board members' pay by 20 percent.

American not likely to decide on US Airways merger Wednesday

The board of American Airlines isn't likely to decide one way or another on a merger with US Airways at its scheduled meeting Wednesday. AMR Corp., American's parent company, has been restructuring in bankruptcy since November 2011. The company has been inching closer to a merger with US Airways since the latter carrier started pushing for a combination at the beginning of last year. Now, the carriers are in confidential talks, hammering out memorandums of understanding with unions representing pilots and flight attendants, and the board of directors at Fort Worth-based American is set to discuss a merger on Wednesday.

Groups share $3M in state loans to generate 300 jobs

Two Western Pennsylvania groups will share $3.04 million in low-interest loans from the state that will result in 300 new jobs and retain 100 others. The Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland will get a $1.8 million, 15-year loan at 1.5 percent interest to develop 52 acres at the Westmoreland Airpark in Unity Township to construct and market about 12 new parcels to advanced manufacturing and energy-related businesses. The project is expected to create from 300 to 400 new jobs plus private investment of $1.2 million. The Regional Industrial Development Corp. of Southwestern Pennsylvania will get a $1.24 million, 15-year loan at 1.5 percent to continue renovation of the former Sony plant in East Huntingdon Township. The renovations will support the expansion of Dai Nippon Printing. The company now employs 100 and expects to add 10 new jobs.

Other business news

• Certified public accounting firm Herbein + Co. Inc. acquired Financial Outsourcing Solutions, a firm that provides internal audit, risk management and compliance services to banks in Pennsylvania and nearby states. Terms of the acquisition from McKonly & Asbury weren't disclosed. CEO Carl D. Herbein said the acquired firm “will broaden, strengthen and expand our services to our bank and financial services sector.” All 28 Financial Outsourcing employees, including that firm's leaders, will remain. The combined firm, with 142 employees, will have a Reading headquarters and offices in Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Exton, Camp Hill and Allentown.

• Chromalox Inc., which makes branded commercial and industrial electric heating and control products, has been acquired by private equity firm Irving Place Capital of New York. The prior owner was Sentinel Capital Partners. Senior management has increased its ownership in the O'Hara-based company through the change, but terms of the transaction that closed Dec. 28 weren't disclosed. Chromalox, founded in 1918, produces the Big Red Book product catalog, a go-to resource for engineers and technicians, Irving Place Capital said in Monday's announcement.

• TMS International Corp., the Glassport-based parent company of Tube City IMS Corp., said it has won new contracts worth more than $266 million over the life of the contracts. Tube City IMS, a provider of steel mill services, also said it bought a non-controlling interest in a joint venture to provide mill services to one of Malaysia's largest steel manufacturers. One contract marks the company's first work in Poland. The company did not disclose the contract's value or its customers.

• Excela Health named Christopher Kohler director of its Office of Medical Affairs, which works with the health system's medical staff. The Greensburg-based owner of three Westmoreland County hospitals said the promotion was effective immediately. Kohler joined the health system in November 2009 as a physician liaison. He previously worked for Albert Gallatin Home Care in Butler.

• Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, O'Hara, wants to expand in eastern states. Hanna hired Tom Schoeller as senior vice president of the franchise division to add branches through franchising, mergers and acquisitions. Schoeller will operate out of Stroudsburg.

— Staff and wire reports

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