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Business news briefs — Jan. 16

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HEALTH CARE

Cleveland Clinic names leaders

The Cleveland Clinic named a new leader for its network of outpatient centers and regional hospitals, which includes Medina Hospital. Dr. Brian Donley will serve as the new president of the Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals and Family Health Centers. He replaces Dr. David Bronson, who has been named senior public policy and external affairs adviser.

The changes are effective Jan. 31. ­Donley will lead the Cleveland Clinic’s eight community hospitals and 16 family health centers throughout Northeast Ohio. He has been serving as vice president of Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals and chief of Regional Hospitals medical affairs and quality. In his new role, Bronson will work with the Cleveland Clinic’s government affairs staff to advocate for patient-centered public policies and support for medical education and research.

REAL ESTATE

U.S. mortgage rates drop

Average rates for fixed mortgages declined this week, edging closer to historically low levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average for the 30-year loan fell to 4.41 percent from 4.51 percent last week. The average for the 15-year loan eased to 3.45 percent from 3.56 percent.

ECONOMY

Dow Jones drops 65 points

A day after eking out its first record high of 2014, the stock market lost ground as electronics retailer Best Buy, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and railroad CSX had disappointing earnings news.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 64.93 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,417.01. The Nasdaq composite had a modest gain of 3.8 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,218.69.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 2.49 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,845.89 — retreating from the all-time high it hit the day before.

DEALS

Medical sale worth billions

Carlyle Group LP said it has agreed to buy the Ortho Clinical unit of Johnson & Johnson for $4.15 billion, a deal that would shed the health-care products company’s only diagnostics division.

Revenue has been slipping at the unit for blood and cholesterol tests, and it isn’t one of the market leaders, Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorsky said when J&J put the business up for sale last year.

Carlyle reportedly will operate the business as a stand-alone. The deal reflects an industry trend in which Pfizer Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Abbott Laboratories have all in the last two years sold, spun off or split apart non-core businesses after patent losses on top products.

AOL cedes control of Patch

AOL Inc. gave up control of Patch, the website’s local news division hampered by years of losses, by entering into a joint venture with investment firm Hale Global.

Hale acquired a majority stake in Patch for an undisclosed amount. The New York-based firm, which focuses on technology investments, will maintain Patch’s more than 900 sites across the United States, the companies said in a news release.

Patch, which covers school board meetings, local businesses and other neighborhood community news stories, has been a costly part of AOL’s strategy to transform from a dial-up provider into an advertising-driven publisher. The company had spent more than $300 million developing the sites, which serve communities and neighborhoods across the country.

Patch reached about $70 million in sales last year, or about $78,000 per local site, up from $16 million in 2012. The average cost to operate each site is $140,000 to $180,000,

Compiled from staff and wire reports


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