Akron gets ranking

Akron ranks 27th in the latest Top Cities for Business Growth ranking by financial information website MarketWatch.

Twenty metrics were used to rank 100 areas. The metrics were divided into three groups, looking at business climates, how publicly traded companies in the areas performed over the past year and how local economies did.

The top-ranked area was Austin, Texas. Coming in at No. 2 was Boston. Houston ranked third, San Jose fourth and Portland, Ore., fifth. Cleveland ranked 21st. Rankings of other Ohio cities were: Columbus, 36; Cincinnati, 47; Toledo, 66; and Youngstown, 76.

“This ranking further reinforces the resilience of the economy in the greater Akron region,” said Rick Rebadow, executive vice president of the Greater Akron Chamber, in prepared comments.

Timken breakup opposed

Shareholders should reject a proposal calling for Timken Co. in Canton to break apart its bearings and steel businesses, says proxy ratings agency Egan-Jones Ratings Co.

“We agree with the [Timken] board of directors’ reason that the current business structure best positions the Timken Co. to continue delivering strong results across industry and economic cycles, creating greater shareholder value than two separate businesses could deliver,” Egan-Jones said in a recent note to its institutional clients.

California-based shareholders Relational Investors LLC and the California State Teachers Retirement System pension fund, which own 7.3 percent of Timken, propose that Timken split its bearings and steel businesses into two publicly traded companies. The nonbinding shareholders’ ballot proposal goes to a vote at Timken’s annual shareholders meeting May 7.

The Relational and CalSTRS proposal has gotten the backing of other proxy rating services.

Business award given

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, will receive the National Association of Manufacturers Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence on Wednesday. The manufacturing group said the award recognizes Portman’s “support of policies critical to the success of manufacturing in Ohio and across the United States.” Portman is to receive the award at the Sherwin-Williams Co. in Cleveland, where the company’s CEO, Christopher Connor, will be the presenter. A total of 298 members of the 112th Congress have received the award.


$1 billion Bayer deal

Bayer AG agreed to buy Conceptus Inc. for about $1.1 billion in cash to add a permanent contraception device to complement the German company’s offerings in women’s health. Conceptus holders will receive $31 a share in cash, the companies said. The price is 20 percent above last Friday’s closing for Conceptus of $25.90.

Revenue for Conceptus’ Essure contraceptive, a pair of flexible metal and fiber coils inserted in the fallopian tubes, jumped 22 percent in the first quarter. The planned acquisition comes at a time when sales of Germany-based Bayer’s Yaz and Yasmin oral birth-control pills are falling because of competition from low-priced copies. Bayer also sells the Natazia pill and intrauterine devices such as Mirena.


Money for Penney

J.C. Penney confirmed that Goldman Sachs will provide it with $1.75 billion in financing.

Rumors about the financing had begun to circulate Friday. The five-year senior secured term loan can be used to fund the company’s operations as well as pay off some of its debt. It will be secured by real estate, as well as an interest in the company’s other assets and some of its subsidiaries. The Plano, Texas-based company earlier this month fired its CEO, Ron Johnson, after 17 months on the job and rehired his predecessor Mike Ullman.


HuffPo finds TV

The Huffington Post has found a partial home on cable television for its 8-month-old Internet channel, HuffPost Live, courtesy of Mark Cuban. Cuban’s cable channel AXS TV, previously known as HDNet, would soon carry HuffPost Live’s programming for six hours a day.

The unorthodox deal may help expose HuffPost Live to more people. But it also underscores how hard it is for Internet video startups to find a place on cable systems, which are controlled by a handful of big companies that are reluctant to add channels. Executives at the Huffington Post have been trying for months to have their channel picked up by cable and satellite operators.

Compiled from staff and wire reports