Business news briefs
Apex Cos. open
Apex Companies, a water resources and environmental engineering firm, has opened an office in Midvale. It will serve as the firm's field office in Utah to support its expanding consulting and engineering work, particularly in the water and storm water services industry.
United Parcel Service Inc. is extending the offer period for its $6.77 billion acquisition of TNT Express, the second biggest express mail company in Europe. Because the two companies are similar and share some common business, European regulators said they need to look at the deal more closely. UPS' offer period will extend to Nov. 9. The previous deadline was Aug. 31.
Gas prices may
rise by Labor Day
Gasoline may rise 5-10 cents a gallon by Labor Day, and then fall in the fourth quarter. Adam Sieminski, administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, said the increase will probably follow a rise in crude oil prices, triggered by a drop in exports from Iran and countries that aren't members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Chinese solar panel makers that grew fast over the past decade are suffering big losses because of slumping global sales and a price war that threaten an industry seen by communist leaders as a role model for hopes to transform China into a technology leader. Also, the U.S. and Europe may push for anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese-made panels that might further depress sales.
Vestas Wind to
The world's biggest maker of wind turbines is slashing 7 percent of its workforce in its second round of layoffs this year. Denmark-based Vestas says the job cuts of 1,400 workers will help reduce its costs by $310 million as it deals with a market slowdown. Vestas has already announced some layoffs in the United States. It has 20,400 on staff.
S. African gold
mines face suit
U.S. and South African lawyers are asking a court to allow thousands of miners with lung diseases to sue leading South African gold mining companies they accuse of negligence. Lawyers say AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Harmony could face the largest damages suit in South African history if the court recognizes their case as a class action.
Hewlett-Packard suffered an $8.9 billion loss, or $4.49 per share, during its third quarter as it accounted for an acquisition that hasn't pan out. It wasn't a surprise. HP previously announced plans to take an $8 billion charge to reflect the shrinking value of Electronic Data Systems, which it bought for $13 billion in 2009. HP's revenue sank 5 percent from last year, to $29.7 billion.
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