Business news briefs
Utah's Merit Medical Systems said it has acquired the assets of Medigroup Inc., a manufacturer of dialysis catheters based in Illinois. Merit CEO Fred Lampropoulos said Medigroup's annual sales are approximately $2 million, mostly in the United States. He said Merit plans to offer Medigroup's product line immediately on a worldwide basis.
In one of the more dramatic scenes in "Skyfall," the latest James Bond movie, a vintage Aston Martin car goes up in flames. Away from the big screen, however, the British carmaker seems to be in real trouble. Moody's Investors Service, the debt-rating agency, put Aston Martin's debt and probability of default rating on review for a downgrade Friday.
rate rises again
Unemployment in the 17-country block that uses the euro as a common currency rose to 11.7 percent in October, the highest level since the introduction of the euro in 1999. The rise from September's previous record of 11.6 percent was anticipated after the eurozone returned to recession in the third quarter.
Ex-Lampoon CEO gets 50 years
The former CEO of National Lampoon, Timothy Durham, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for swindling investors out of about $200 million. Prosecutors said Durham participated in a fraud that stripped an Ohio company, Fair Finance, of its assets and used the money to buy mansions and classic cars, and to keep another one of his companies afloat.
L.A. harbor strike
talks to resume
Negotiators for employers and union workers at the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors agreed to resume talks after the third day of a strike that has shut down most of the terminals at the nation's busiest port complex. Cargo ships had begun stacking up after terminals were shuttered because 70 clerical workers went on strike. They were supported by dockworkers who refused to cross their picket line.
J&J board picks
Johnson & Johnson Chairman Bill Weldon will step down in late December, and the world's biggest maker of health products has picked new CEO Alex Gorsky to replace him. J&J, plagued recently by a host of product recalls, said Weldon, 64, will exit as chairman and then retire in next year's first quarter, ending a 41-year career with the company that included a decade as CEO.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has cleared VeriSign to continue to manage the databases that house ".com" domain names for another six years. However, it won't be allowed to raise prices without government approval. VeriSign's ".com" directories are used by millions of computers and mobile devices globally.