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Celtic Healthcare acquired; Sony plant equipment to be auctioned; peanut butter recall expands

| Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Celtic Healthcare Mars acquired by Washington Post

A Mars-based home-health and hospice-care company has been acquired by the Washington Post Co. for an undisclosed price. Celtic Healthcare Inc., which has offices across Pennsylvania and near Baltimore, serves 2,000 patients and has about $43 million in revenue. The Washington Post Co., which operates media and education divisions, said on Monday that the deal is part of its strategy to invest in companies with earnings potential and strong management. Arnie Burchianti, the founder and CEO of Celtic, will continue to run the company.

Old equipment at former Sony plant to be auctioned

Equipment left by Sony when it closed its East Huntingdon plant in Westmoreland County in March 2010 will be auctioned off over a two-day period. On Oct. 16, restaurant and office equipment along with items from the gym will be offered, while on Oct. 17, material-handling equipment and robotic items will be offered, said Bill Anderson of Bill Anderson Auctioneers LLC, which is conducting the auction. Both events will begin at 9 a.m. Proceeds will go to the Regional Industrial Development Corp. of Southwestern Pennsylvania, which owns the 2.8 million-square-foot plant. The funds will offset renovation costs, said Donald Smith, RIDC president. He said about 5,000 square feet will be freed up once the items are sold or removed. The plant is the site for four major tenants and several smaller ones, he said.

Peanut butter recall includes major retailers

A recall of peanut butter and other nut products is forcing some of the country's largest grocery stores to pull store-brand products off their shelves. New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. has expanded its recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products. The company, which sells its nuts and nut butters to large groceries and other food distributors around the country, recalled products under multiple brand names last month after salmonella illnesses were linked to Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, one of the brands it manufactures. In addition to Trader Joe's, the recall includes some nut butters and nut products sold in Whole Foods Market, Target and other stores. A spokesman for Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh could not be reached for comment.

PNC makes $75M in loans to manufacturer

PNC Financial Services Group said on Monday it provided $75 million in secured financing to Paradigm Precision Holdings LLC, Peabody, Mass. The funding consists of a $30 million, senior secured credit facility, a $15 million senior secured term loan and $30 million in junior secured financing. Paradigm manufactures turbines for the aerospace, marine, defense and land-based power generation markets. It plans to use the funds to refinance debt, capital expenditures and working capital. The company is one of those owned by American Capital, a private equity firm based in Bethesda, Md.

FTC issues revised ‘green' marketing guidelines

Expect to see fewer products pitched as “environmentally friendly” if the government has its way. Hoping to limit the number of deceptive claims, the Federal Trade Commission on Monday released an updated version of its green marketing guidelines that hold companies to truthful standards in marketing their products. The revision to the Green Guides is the first since 1998. Among the updates, the guides warn marketers not to make broad, unqualified claims that their products are environmentally friendly or eco-friendly. The FTC said “very few products, if any” deliver the far-reaching environmental benefits that consumers associate with such claims, which it says are nearly impossible to substantiate.

Yahoo CEO adds motherhood to list of challenges

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gave birth to a boy late Sunday, casting a spotlight on her ability to steer the struggling Internet company in a new direction while adjusting to the challenges of being a first-time mother. The birth came a week ahead of the Oct. 7 due date that Mayer shared with the public in July. She announced her pregnancy on her social networking accounts just a few hours after Yahoo hired her as its third full-time CEO in less than a year. The pregnancy news amplified the buzz about Mayer's defection from Google Inc., where she spent 13 years as a key executive overseeing some of the services that helped to drag down Yahoo.

Dollar Energy Fund taking applications for aid

Homeowners facing a utility crisis can apply for the Dollar Energy Fund, Pennsylvania's largest hardship fund. The program, which helps restore or maintain gas, electric and water utility service, is available for limited-income households with an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines. For a family of four, the income limit is $46,100. For First Energy customers, guidelines are extended to income of less than 250 percent of federal guidelines. To apply for the Hardship Program, contact the family's utility company; call toll-free 888-282-6816; or visit www.dollarenergyfund.org. Last year, the statewide program helped more than 11,3000 families with more than $4.3 million in hardship grants.

— From staff and wire reports

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