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Business news briefs — Nov. 7


Summa’s outlook upgraded

A national rating firm has revised the financial outlook for Summit County’s largest employer from negative to positive. Moody’s Investors Services this week also affirmed Summa Health System’s investment-grade bond rating of Baa1. The rating affects about $327 million worth of debt. Moody’s indicated the outlook revision to positive is based largely on the recent completion of a partnership deal with HealthSpan Partners, an auxiliary of Cincinnati-based Catholic Health Partners. HealthSpan partners has a 30 percent ownership stake in Summa in exchange for $250 million.

Lockheed gets request

Three Akron-area congressional representatives and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown have written to defense contractor Lockheed Martin to ask that it keep its Akron facility open and retain 600 jobs. A letter was sent Thursday from Reps. Marcia L. Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights; Tim Ryan, D-Howland Township; Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo and Brown in response to news reports that Maryland-based Lockheed Martin had drafted plans to close the Akron facility and others and relocate work to other states. The four said in a news release they held individual discussions with Lockheed Martin management “expressing their deep concern and disappointment that Lockheed would consider shuttering the competitive Akron plant due to sequestration.” Relocating 600 Akron plant workers “would deliver a major blow to the area. The city would not only lose residents, but the loss of tax revenue would also have a systemic effect on the local economy,” the statement said.

Frontier adds service

Frontier Airlines announced it will expand its low-fare service at Cleveland International Airport with the addition of nonstop service to Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing, N.J., beginning Feb. 13. The airline is offering introductory rates for as low as $39. Frontier pulled out of Akron-Canton Airport last year and consolidated its services out of Cleveland.

PolyOne names CFO

Bradley Richardson, who just resigned as Diebold Inc.’s chief financial officer, is going to another Northeast Ohio corporation. Richardson will become CFO at PolyOne Corp., the polymer company announced Thursday. He succeeds Richard J. Diemer Jr., who is leaving the Avon Lake company to pursue other opportunities, PolyOne said. Richardson had been executive vice president and CFO at Green-based Diebold the past four years.

Diet brand sold

Nestle SA, the world’s largest food company with a Prepared Foods Division in Solon, agreed to sell most of its Jenny Craig diet business to North Castle Partners for an undisclosed amount. The price was probably less than the approximately $600 million Nestle paid in 2006, analysts said. The French business isn’t part of the transaction with the Greenwich, Conn.-based private-equity firm, which will combine Jenny Craig with its Curves fitness clubs for women.


YRC delays report

YRC Worldwide Inc., a struggling U.S. trucking company with Summit County operations, delayed its earnings release scheduled for Thursday amid talks on a new labor agreement that the company says is key to refinancing debt. The report will be issued Tuesday. YRC has $1.4 billion in total debt. About $396 million of debt matures next year and another $548 million is due in 2015. The company has posted annual losses since 2007.


Mortgage rates rise

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage climbed to 4.16 percent this week, guarantor Freddie Mac said. The average 15-year rate rose to 3.27 percent from 3.2 percent.

Compiled from staff and wire reports


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