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Mylan President retiring

| Saturday, April 8, 2006

Louis J. DeBone, president and chief operating officer of Mylan Laboratories Inc., is retiring effective Sept. 1, after 30 years with the company.

As he departs, he is to receive nearly $1.7 million in pro-rated salary and exit compensation, Securities and Exchange Commission documents reveal. The documents also show that Robert J. Coury, Mylan's vice chairman and chief executive, had his employment contract amended and extended three years, to March 31, 2009.

His annual salary was set at $1.5 million, down $200,000 from the current pact that actually ran through March 31, 2007. Coury is eligible for an annual bonus of at least 100 percent of his salary -- another $1.5 million or more -- based on hitting performance targets, in place of a guaranteed bonus. Mylan, a generic drug maker based in Canonsburg, said DeBone has agreed to remain with the company until his replacement is found. The company said the New York office of Korn/Ferry International has been retained to lead the search for his replacement.

Kennametal selling unit

Kennametal Inc. said Friday it has sold its Presto brand high-speed steel assets in the United Kingdom to Suncraft International Corp., based in China. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Unity Township-based industrial toolmaker said it expects to take charges totaling $11.1 million, including asset write-offs of $9.5 million, as well as other exit costs totaling $1.6 million, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The sale is expected to close by June 30, the end of Kennametal's fiscal year. Suncraft will acquire the manufacturing assets and operations of the business and assume the lease of a 10,827-square-foot facility in Sheffield, England. Workers at the plant will become Suncraft employees when the transaction closes.

North Shore plans due

Details about new tenants and future development activities by the developers of the site between PNC Park and Heinz Field on the North Shore are expected to be made in May or June. "We expect to announce a new tenant for the Del Monte Building, tenants for the entertainment venue there, plus details of the residential component of the site at that time," said Frank Kass, Continental Real Estate Co. chairman. His firm is a partner, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates, in a joint venture in the development of the site, controlled by the Pittsburgh Sports and Entertainment Authority. As reported, plans to be announced may include a revival of plans by the Rooney family, which owns the Steelers, to open an amphitheater on the existing parking lot at North Shore Drive and Art Rooney Road, opposite Heinz Field, where a tent was set up for Steelers games.

Ford CEO's pay cut

Ford Motor Co. Chairman and CEO Bill Ford received total compensation of $13.3 million in 2005, or 40 percent less than the previous year after the automaker's North American division lost more than $1 billion, according to a proxy statement filed Friday with federal regulators. The No. 2 U.S. automaker also said shareholders will vote on 10 proposals at Ford's annual meeting on May 11 in Wilmington, Del., including one that would remove sexual orientation from Ford's nondiscrimination policy and another that would tie executive compensation to progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. Ford opposes both changes.

Plant closing

Precise/Rexam of London notified the state Department of Labor and Industry Thursday it will close its Pittsburgh Molding Co. plant in North Versailles, eliminating 37 jobs at the mold manufacturing and injection-molding facility. The layoffs will begin on June 6 and should be complete by July 15. Rexam, a large beverage-can maker that bought Precise Technology Inc. last December, notified the state in February that 41 workers would be laid off, but about 35 employees would remain to support the home care and personal care divisions. A company spokesman could not be reached for comment Friday.

Firms talk cell phones

Matsushita and NEC said Friday they are in talks with Texas Instruments Inc., a major maker of computer chips for handsets, about collaborating on next-generation cell phones. A major Japanese business daily, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, reported yesterday that the companies plan to set up a joint venture in Japan as early as this summer to develop chips for third-generation cell phones. A spokesman for Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Akira Kadota, and NEC spokeswoman Akiko Shikimori confirmed that talks were ongoing, but declined to confirm details of the joint venture. Nothing has been decided, they said.

Firm up for sale

ARINC, a 77-year-old military and aviation communications company owned primarily by the nation's largest airlines, is up for sale after more than a year of deliberations about how to raise the capital necessary to grow. No potential buyers have yet come forward. The Annapolis, Md.-based company, which had $890 million in revenue in 2005, derives two-thirds of its business from the U.S. military, for whom it provides wireless systems that allow all branches to communicate over multiple devices. Its systems are also the backbone for some 95 percent of the U.S. airline industry's air-to-ground communications, and roughly 70 percent of the global air-to-ground market.

Drug plan advice due

Apprise, the state Health Insurance Assistance program, is receiving more than $1.4 million from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help Medicare beneficiaries understand the new Part D prescription drug plan. The money will help fund the program through May 15, and during the next enrollment period beginning in November. Free and confidential, Apprise is volunteer-based and is available through Pennsylvania's 52 county Area Agencies on Aging.

Plant closing delayed

AstenJohnson of Charleston, S.C, has delayed the closing of its paper machine clothing plant in Marshall until about Sept. 1, a move that will result in the loss of 61 jobs. The company notified the state Department of Labor and Industry in February that the plant would close around July 1, but informed the state the closing has been postponed. Some workers will lose their jobs beginning Sunday, another nine will be released on June 9. Kenneth McCumsey, a site leader for AstenJohnson, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Mortgage rates up

Rates on 30-year mortgages rose this week to the highest level in 2.5 years as financial markets began to worry more about inflation.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported that rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.43 percent this week, up from 6.35 percent last week. With the increase, rates surpassed the previous 2006 high of 6.37 percent set in early March and climbed to its highest level since the week of Sept. 5, 2003, when it was at 6.44 percent. Analysts attributed the increase to a pickup in economic growth in the early months of 2006 and renewed concerns about higher energy prices.

10 Mellon jobs to India

Mellon Financial Corp. said Friday it relocated 10 information technology jobs from Downtown to India-based InfoSys Technology, due to a reorganization within the technology group. It employs more than 2,000 systemwide . Workers who did not transfer may apply for other jobs in the Pittsburgh region. The company employs about 6,300 people in this region.

Portfolio being sold

Northwest Bancorp., Warren, Warren County, said it is selling its education loan portfolio. The bank corporation sold $64.7 million worth to loan servicer American Education Services on March 24 and, as a result, booked a $2.2 million gain. Northwest sold $50.2 million worth to loan servicer Nelnet Inc. on March 31, and booked a $2.1 million gain. The bank company currently has $11.1 million in education loans, all classified as held for sale.

Other business news

  • The Bloomberg Pittsburgh Index of local stocks fell 3.17 points Friday to 296.41, led by declines in Allegheny Technologies and Ansoft.

  • PNC Financial Services Group increased its quarterly common stock dividend on Thursday by 10 percent to 55 cents a share, payable April 24 to holders of record April 14.

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