Royal Dutch Shell keeps old space as it expands
Royal Dutch Shell’s growth in the region has caused the company to renew its Warrendale office lease, even though it has located many employees into newly leased 76,000 square feet of space at Waterfront Corporate Park II, Franklin Park. “We never left our office at 301 Brush Creek Road, which has 14,520 square feet,” said spokeswoman Kimberly Windon. “We simply needed the additional space because of our growth,” she said. Royal Dutch Shell signed a two-year renewal for the Warrendale space with Gary Roberson of Grant Street Associates representing the landlord. Jones Lang LaSalle represented Royal Dutch. Between the Thorn Hill, Warrendale and Sewickley offices, the company has up to 230 employees in the region, Windon said. Houston-based Shell Oil, the U.S. subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, recently announced it chose a site in Beaver County where it could build a multibillion-dollar petrochemical plant.
Rex Energy to sell gas plants to MarkWest
Rex Energy Corp. and its partners in Keystone Midstream Services LLC are selling the natural gas processing and pipeline company to MarkWest Energy Partners L.P. for $512 million. State College-based Rex Energy said it holds a 28 percent interest in Keystone and expects to realize $120 million from the deal. The sale is expected to close in the second quarter, after antitrust and other approvals. Keystone now owns two gas processing plants, a gathering system and compression facilities in Butler County. Under a new agreement, MarkWest would gather and process gas from Rex Energy wells in Butler and some surrounding counties. MarkWest also plans to build a natural gas liquids pipeline from its Houston, Washington County, complex to Butler County.
Westinghouse said to be interested in UK venture
Westinghouse Electric Co. is among five groups said to be interested in acquiring Horizon Nuclear Power, a joint venture whose owners dropped plans to build nuclear power plants in the United Kingdom at the end of March. According to Reuters news service, Cranberry-based Westinghouse has expressed interest in purchasing the venture from power utilities E.ON and RWE, which are under pressure from their home country of Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power. Westinghouse spokesman Scott Shaw declined to comment. Horizon had planned to invest about $24.3 billion to construct at least 6 gigawatts of new nuclear plants at two sites in Britain. Also interested in Horizon are the U.S. utility Exelon, two Middle East investors and a Chinese investor.
Abbott to pay $1.6B to settle Depakote drug claims
Abbott Laboratories Inc. said it will pay $1.6 billion to settle federal and state claims resulting from an investigation into its epilepsy medication Depakote, the second-largest drug-marketing settlement in U.S. history. The company will pay $800 million to resolve civil allegations split among federal and state governments, $700 million for a criminal penalty, the Justice Department said in a statement. Abbott marketed the drug, approved for epilepsy, bipolar mania and migraine prevention, for unapproved uses including dementia, the U.S. said. Abbott agreed to pay Pennsylvania $4 million as part of a $100 million deal with at least 45 states.
Treasury sells $5B of AIG stock in offering
The Treasury Department agreed to sell $5 billion of shares in American International Group Inc. in a stock offering, with the bailed-out insurer buying $2 billion of the total. The Treasury is selling 163.9 million shares at $30.50 each, compared with the May 4 closing price of $32.83, the department said. The transaction, the government’s third offering of AIG’s shares since last May, reduces the Treasury’s stake in the insurer to 63 percent from 70 percent. Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche, 67, has sold assets to help raise funds to buy back shares from the U.S.
Jury: Google infringed on some Oracle Java copyright
A Northern California jury on Monday found that Google Inc infringed on Oracle Corp’s copyrights on the structure of part of the Java software programming language, in a high stakes trial over smartphone technology. However, the jury failed to decide whether Google had the right to fair use of that copyrighted structure. The lack of a clear, full decision may represent a setback for Oracle. The software company is trying to prove the Internet search leader did not have a right to fair use of Java’s structural and organizational elements. Google’s lawyers challenged the key jury decision on Java copyrights after the Monday verdict, moving for a mistrial.
Other business news
• Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania will continue its pipeline replacements in Brighton Heights with a $2 million project to start in mid-May. About 4,200 feet of steel pipe will be replaced with plastic lines along Kleber and eight other streets in a project involving 115 customers, with an October completion date. The utility will contact customers about temporary service interruptions.
• Intel Corp. is raising its quarterly dividend by 7 percent to 22.5 cents. The Santa Clara, Calif., company says the higher dividend will be paid for the third quarter but did not specify when the dividend will be paid. It’s the third time the world’s largest chip-maker has increased its dividend in the last 18 months.