LOCAL BUSINESS

B&W signs supplier

Babcock & Wilcox Co. has signed up Lehigh Heavy Forge Corp. in Pennsylvania to build large forgings for the North Carolina company’s new small modular nuclear power plant.

The supply agreement was announced by the two companies and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. Lehigh Heavy Forge’s Bethlehem facility will make prototype and standard forgings that will be incorporated into the reactors once B&W enters the component manufacturing phase of the nuclear plant program.

B&W calls its new nuclear plant mPower. The program just received significant federal government support and funding. Production is still years away. B&W has a significant campus in Barberton, primarily for its coal-related Power Generation Group.

INSURANCE

Allstate to be evaluated

American International Group Inc. and Allstate Corp. are among insurers to be evaluated by New York regulators for their response to Superstorm Sandy, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.

Regulators led by Benjamin Lawksy, head of the New York Department of Financial Services, will publish the number and size of claims that more than 20 insurers pay as well as the frequency of customer complaints, Cuomo said in a statement. Cuomo reduced to six business days from 15 the amount of time insurers have to send adjusters to homes and businesses and permitted expedited licensing for out-of-state adjusters.

Policyholders “just can’t get the insurance companies to respond, they can’t get the adjusters to the house, and therefore, they can’t get the construction started,” Cuomo said without naming the insurers. “If an insurance company is not providing adequate service or fair service, then the state could decide that they shouldn’t be performing that service in the state of New York.”

Homeowners and businesses are seeking payouts on policies to help cover losses from Sandy, which lashed the U.S. Northeast last month, killing more than 100 people and cutting off power to 8 million customers. Allstate, the largest publicly traded U.S. auto and home insurer with Summit County operations based in Hudson, said Wednesday that catastrophes led by Sandy cost $1.08 billion in October.

LEGAL

Hostess sales get OK

Hostess Brands Inc. got final approval for its wind-down plans in bankruptcy court, setting the stage for the snack cakes to find a second life with new owners.

The company said in court that it’s in talks with 110 potential buyers for its brands, which include CupCakes, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos. The suitors include at least five national retailers such as supermarkets, a financial adviser for Hostess said. The process has been “so fast and furious” Hostess wasn’t able to make its planned calls to potential buyers, said Joshua Scherer of Perella Weinberg Partners.

ELECTRONICS

New Xbox in 2013

Microsoft Corp. will release the next version of its Xbox video-game machine, the top-selling console, in time for the holidays next year, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.

The new device is planned for Thanksgiving and Christmas sales. The software maker hasn’t decided whether to unveil the new Xbox at an industry event such as the E3 show in June, or a separate event devoted solely to the machine, one of the people said.

The new version will debut a year after Nintendo Co.’s brand-new Wii U, which went on sale Nov. 18. Sony Corp. is also readying an update to its PlayStation console. In the meantime, Microsoft is still trying to squeeze out sales of the current model Xbox 360, selling 750,000 over the week around Thanksgiving, surpassing company expectations.

Compiled from staff and wire reports