U Time Warner Inc.’s AOL unit, of Sterling, Va., is poised to capture a bigger share of Internet marketing budgets as its Advertising.com unit more than doubles sales to $1.3 billion in four years, a Bear Stearns Cos. analyst said. Investors underestimate the potential of AOL’s online marketing unit, analyst Spencer Wang wrote, predicting that sales will increase 31 percent annually through 2011.
U District private-equity firm Carlyle Group and a partner bought a retail and office building in Manhattan’s meatpacking district for $70 million, almost four times what the seller paid last year. Carlyle, which has raised $3 billion for U.S. real estate investments, joined Sitt Asset Management to buy 414-418 West 14th St., in an increasingly trendy and affluent area.
U Rolls-Royce North America, of Chantilly, has signed a $700 million production contract with Naval Air Systems Command to produce 370 AE 1107C-Liberty engines for the Marine Corps’ MV-22 and the Air Force’s CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.
U General Dynamics Corp. of Falls Church is being pressed by the Navy to assume more risk for cost overruns of as much as 70 percent on the first two vessels it is building of a new class of warship, the littoral combat ship. “Due to cost growth” it is “imperative” that the Navy and company reach agreement by Oct. 19, a Navy memo says.
U A.G. Edwards Inc. stockholders approved a $6.8 billion plan to be acquired by Wachovia Corp. to form the nation’s second-largest retail brokerage firm after Merrill Lynch. The brokerage unit will be combined with Richmond’s Wachovia Securities and will have more than 3,300 brokerage locations nationwide, more than $1.1 trillion in client assets and nearly 15,000 financial advisers.
U Sunrise Senior Living of McLean, the subject of a federal probe into stock-option awards, was sued by a union pension fund over plans to nominate directors at a board meeting next month. SEIU Master Trust asked a judge to block Sunrise’s settlement with another investor, Millenco. The agreement conflicts with Sunrise’s bylaws and deprives shareholders of their rights, according to the complaint.
U Federal inspectors said that they suspended the grinding of raw products at the Topps Meat Co. after finding inadequate safety measures at the plant, which is being investigated because of bacteria-tainted hamburgers that may have sickened 25 persons.
U The first round of Food and Drug Administration employees who faced losing their jobs to the private sector will be allowed to retain their jobs, agency and union officials said. The FDA had been considering outsourcing more than 320 employees in administrative support positions. Yesterday, the FDA told a group of 77 employees that their work would be retained within the agency.
U Mortgage defaults by homeowners rose 30 percent more than privately insured mortgages last month over the year-earlier period, according to the Mortgage Insurance Cos. of America. The number of insured borrowers more than 60 days behind on their payments climbed to 58,441 in August, the District group said.
U Three directors of New Century Financial Corp., the biggest subprime lender in bankruptcy, resigned from the company’s board of directors, including two co-founders.
U Google Inc., owner of the most-popular Internet search engine, bought Zingku, a service that lets young people share pictures and information over mobile phones. Terms weren’t disclosed.
U Apple has issued a software update that creates problems for IPhones modified to work with a cellular carrier other than AT&T Inc. Apple warned earlier this week that the IPhone update — which adds access to the ITunes Wi-Fi Music Store and fixes some security flaws — could permanently disable phones running programs that untether phones from AT&T’s network.
U Qualcomm Inc. named Apple Inc. General Counsel Donald Rosenberg as its new top lawyer amid a series of patent and antitrust lawsuits against the company. Apple said it was hiring Oracle Corp.’s Daniel Cooperman to replace Mr. Rosenberg, who had been at Apple less than a year.
U Cisco Systems Inc.‘s sales are climbing 50 percent a year in developing countries because of efforts to improve schools and infrastructure there, Chief Executive Officer John Chambers said. Sales have climbed as much as 70 percent in the Middle East, about 50 percent in Africa and 40 percent in Eastern Europe.
U Avaya shareholders approved an $8.2 billion takeover by TPG Inc. and Silver Lake Partners, the last hurdle for the largest leveraged buyout of a computer-networking company.
U Jackson Hewitt Tax Service franchises in three cities agreed to stop preparing federal tax returns to settle charges they cheated the government out of more than $70 million. The owners of the franchises in Detroit, Atlanta and Chicago, will sell them to Jackson Hewitt, which wasn’t named as a defendant.
U Gary Kaplan, the Betonsports PLC founder captured 10 months after fleeing a U.S. government indictment for illegal Internet betting, lost his bid to be freed on bail as he awaits trial. U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson in St. Louis denied Kaplan’s renewed request.
U The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Lan Enterprises recalled Mini Zooper Doll Strollers sold at Williams-Sonoma’s Pottery Barn Kids stores because of the possibility a child’s finger can be caught in a clip or side hinge and severed.
U New York Times Co. began a campaign to bolster awareness of its NYTimes.com Web site with the motto “All the News That’s Fit to Click.” The twist on the namesake newspaper’s motto “All the News That’s Fit to Print” will appear in television and radio ads, in advertising trade magazines, on Web sites and on digital taxi tops.
U The European Union reaffirmed a plan to force airlines using European airspace to cut carbon dioxide emissions despite opposition from the airline industry.
U Britain confirmed a full-blown outbreak of blue tongue disease, a rare livestock virus not previously found in the country, in a new blow to embattled farmers. The insect-borne virus, which spread to northern Europe in the last year from its historic confines in southern Europe, adds to a simmering foot-and-mouth outbreak.
From wire dispatches and staff reports