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Business news briefs — Dec. 24

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LOCAL BUSINESS

Two startup programs

The Summit Medina Business Alliance announced two seminars that will be presented in January.

A “Business Basics” seminar will be held from 4-6:30 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Akron Global Business Accelerator, 526 S. Main St., in conference room 904.

Topics covered will be planning, financial projections, licensing, loan options and others. Presenters will be Jim Griggy of the Ohio Small Business Development Center and Mark Hansel, the Cleveland representative of the Small Business Administration.

Then a “How To Write A Business Plan” program will be held 9:30 a.m.-noon Jan. 16 at the same site.

Presenters will be Hansel and Mary Ann Jasionowski of the alliance.

The seminars are free, but advance registration is required. Call 330-375-2111 or send an email to info@akronsbdc.org.

Harwick has partnership

Akron-based Harwick Standard Distribution Corp. said it will begin selling Europe-made synthetic rubber products.

Harwick and Synthos SA, with plants in Poland and the Czech Republic, announced a new business partnership to sell styrene-butadiene rubber and butadience rubber in the United States and Canada.

Synthos calls itself Europe’s largest maker of styrene-butadiene rubber. Harwick, a management-owned and operated sales and marketing organization, has a nationwide distribution network with more than 30 manufacturers.

OBITUARY

Seagram executive dies

Edgar M. Bronfman, the second-generation heir who expanded the Seagram Co. empire with profitable oil and gas and chemical investments, has died. He was 84.

Canadian-born Bronfman, a long-serving president of the World Jewish Congress, died Dec. 21 at his home in New York surrounded by his family, the Samuel Bronfman Foundation said.

Bronfman led Seagram for 23 years before retiring at 65 to pursue work in the Jewish faith and philanthropy. He overcame the misgivings of his younger brother and co-chairman, Charles Bronfman, to permit his son, Edgar Bronfman Jr., to sell Seagram’s 25 percent stake in DuPont Co. and plunge into the entertainment business.

A series of costly deals culminated in Seagram’s sale to France’s Vivendi SA for stock that soon lost more than 80 percent of its value. By late 2002, the extended family’s holdings in Vivendi were worth less than half of its initial $6.5 billion stake.

INSURANCE

Allstate, bank settle suit

Deutsche Bank AG and Allstate Corp. settled a suit the insurer brought that accused the bank of misrepresentations and omissions in connection with loans backing $185 million in mortgage securities.

Allstate sued the Frankfurt, Germany-based lender in New York state Supreme Court in Manhattan in February 2011 on claims of fraud and negligent misrepresentation, saying the bank knew the securities were “toxic mixes of loans extended to borrowers who could not afford the properties.”

Allstate, based in Northbrook, Ill., with regional offices in Hudson, filed similar suits in the same court against Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit, Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley.

Allstate settled its case against Citigroup in May, and dropped its suit against Goldman Sachs in August. Deutsche Bank said last week it will pay $1.9 billion to settle claims that it didn’t provide adequate disclosure about mortgage-backed securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

TECHNOLOGY

Patent holdings debated

A consortium created by Apple, Microsoft and other technology companies to acquire $4.5 billion of patents from Nortel Networks in 2011 is holding discussions to sell a portion of those patents, Bloomberg News reported.

The group, called Rockstar Consortium, has recently been in conversations with possible buyers about the patents. Rockstar, which also includes BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony, has had little success in landing large licensing deals for the patents, three people who asked to remain anonymous said.

The talks signal a turnabout from 2011, when the patents were highly sought after. Apple and its bidding partners trumped an offer from Google for the patents. The deal, approved in 2012, gave the consortium access to about 4,000 patents and applications in areas including the Internet and chips from a company that was once North America’s largest phone-equipment maker.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.


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