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Roundup: GNC sued over supplement; LabChem moving to Butler; more

| Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Parents sue GNC over supplement taken by late son

The parents of a soldier who they say died after using the powdered supplement known as Jack3d have sued Downtown-based GNC Corp. and the developer of the substance, USPlabs, in a state court in San Diego, according to published reports. GNC spokeswoman Laura Brophy, reached Friday, said the company doesn't comment on pending litigation. Michael L. Sparling bought Jack3d in a GNC store, and the lawsuit claims the companies deceptively marketed the supplement as safe and effective while not warning consumers about potential health risks, reports said. Federal health regulators issued a warning in April that the stimulant dimethylamylamine, or DMAA, which is in Jack3d, raises blood pressure and heart rate and could lead to heart attacks, the reports said.

EMC refinancing will cut debt load

Education Management Corp., Downtown, which owns and runs for-profit, post-secondary schools, including the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, said Friday it is refinancing debt that will reduce overall debt by $175 million. At the end of Thursday, holders of about 96 percent of its 8¾ percent senior notes due in 2014, representing nearly $360 million in principal, had tendered their notes in exchange for cash and new securities. For each $1,000 worth of the old notes, holders will receive $444.16 in cash and $555.84 worth of new notes. Those who tender between Thursday and the March 1 deadline will receive $414.16 in cash and $555.84 in new notes. The new notes carry an interest rate of 15 percent.

LabChem going to Butler County

After 27 years at the University of Pittsburgh Applied Research Center (U-PARC) in Harmar, LabChem Inc. will relocate its operation and 36 employees in May into a 70,000-square-foot building at the Jackson Pointe Commercial Park in Jackson, Butler County. The company manufactures chemical solutions that are certified for use in laboratories and production processes, said President LeRoy House. “We are currently in five buildings at U-PARC and the move will help increase our efficiency as we grow,” he said. No additional employees are planned at this time, he said.

Heidelberg to get Goodwill store

A new 14,000-square-foot Goodwill store and donation center, employing 15 to 20, will be built on a 1.3-acre site in Heidelberg with a possible construction start in May. The developer, Burns & Scalo Real Estate Services Inc., acquired land for the store at 1905 Washington St. and is awaiting final site plan approval after receiving preliminary approval from the borough. First Commonwealth Bank is the acquisition and construction lender.

Banking office offers free seminar

The state Department of Banking and Securities will host its first “Money Matters” investor education conference of 2013 at Pittsburgh Marriott North, Cranberry Township, on April 30. The free seminar covers such topics as saving for college, financial products for seniors, and retirement and estate planning. The department has sponsored “Money Matters” seminars for 10 years for seniors, as well as high schoolers. The Cranberry seminar begins at 6:15 p.m. but registration is required online at More information can also be found by calling 800-722-2657.

Nursing home closing will cost jobs

The closing of the Vincentian Regency on June 30 won't mean the owner, the Vincentian Collaborative System, will leave the building in McCandless unused, but it will cost most of the 176 employees there their jobs. Many of the employees have either transferred to other Vincentian facilities, retired or left on their own, said Robin Weber, a Vincentian spokeswoman. After skilled nursing operations at the 143-bed facility are discontinued, Vincentian plans to continue to offer senior services at the site in the future, she said.


• TMS International Corp., the parent of Tube City IMS Corp., Glassport, reported fourth-quarter profit dipped 1.4 percent to less than $6.1 million, or 15 cents a share, from nearly $6.2 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 13 percent to $537 million from $618 million. The company provides scrap metal and industrial services to steel companies throughout North America.

Other business news

• Tractor Supply Co. leased a former Shop 'n Save store in Widewater Commons in Waynesburg for a new store, adding to its 11 locations in Western Pennsylvania, said James Wilding Jr., president of Jabe Companies, who represented Tractor Supply in the lease. Bentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply has locations in Greensburg, Cranberry, Butler, Gibsonia, Monongahela, Delmont, Washington and Uniontown.

• Verizon Communications Inc. said it expanded its FiOS network in Pennsylvania in 2012 as part of a $525 million statewide investment in wireline networks and information technology infrastructure. At year's end, Verizon's fiber-optic, TV, phone and Internet services were available to 1.7 million homes and businesses, up from 1.5 million at the end of 2011. Verizon doesn't provide customer numbers for FiOS, which started in 2005.

• Aquatech International Corp. said Friday it was granted a permit to operate a central wastewater treatment facility in Tioga County for shale gas producers. The Canonsburg-based company's MoSuite equipment is designed to treat drill fluids, flowback from the hydraulic fracturing process, production brine and other wastewater from natural gas exploration and production.

• Jack Kimball returned to the Rivers Club as general manager, the same position he held at the Downtown club from 1984 to 1991. Most recently, Kimball was the owner of hospitality consulting and training firm M.A.D. Consulting (Making a Difference), and was a vice president at Quaker Steak & Lube, the club said. Separately, the club said Dotti Bechtol, a business development officer for Fragasso Financial Advisors, was named the first female chair of the club's board of directors. She has been a member for 19 years.

• India's Unichem Laboratories said on Friday it plans to sell a drug manufacturing plant in central India to a unit of Canonsburg-based Mylan Inc. for $29.7 million. The deal is subject to the two drug companies reaching a definitive agreement and regulatory approvals, Unichem said in a statement.

— Staff and wire reports

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