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GE buys company that lets doctors see inside patients during surgery

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press


GE buys company that lets doctors see inside patients during surgery

General Electric Co. has reached an agreement to make its biggest acquisition since Larry Culp became CEO in 2018: the $1.45 billion purchase of BK Medical, a maker of “visualization” technology that helps doctors see inside patients in real time during surgery. Boston-based GE plans to buy BK Medical from private equity firm Altaris Capital Partners. BK employs about 650 people, and has dual headquarters in Peabody and Copenhagen, with manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania and Denmark. The BK Medical group would be joined with GE Healthcare’s ultrasound business, which reported $3 billion in revenue in 2019. The deal is expected to close next year. “This transaction helps GE Healthcare continue to expand beyond diagnostics into surgical and therapeutic interventions, simplifying decision-making for clinicians and equipping them with greater insights,” said Kieran Murphy, the CEO of GE Healthcare. — JON CHESTO



HarborOne to buy four East Boston Savings branches

HarborOne Bank has reached a deal with Rockland Trust to buy four East Boston Savings Bank branches that were previously slated for closure after Rockland completes its acquisition of East Boston Savings. The branches that will reopen under the HarborOne name include two locations in Brighton, one in Brookline, and one in Cambridge. Last week, Rockland Trust announced a similar deal with Metro Credit Union that will involve the transfer of four branches to Metro, in Dorchester, West Roxbury, Burlington, and Melrose. These branch sales are supposed to take place before the end of the year. — JON CHESTO


Yale Appliance to move headquarters to Norton

Yale Appliance is moving its headquarters to Norton, after getting state approval for a local property tax break worth $1.2 million. The seller of home appliances and lighting fixtures is moving its headquarters to the town from Stoughton. The family-owned business plans to create 15 new jobs, retain 100 existing jobs, and invest nearly $19 million in the facility. Town meeting voters in August approved the 10-year tax financing agreement, which was endorsed on Thursday by the state Economic Assistance Coordinating Council. The company operates stores in Dorchester, Framingham, and Hanover. — JON CHESTO



Gritstone bio to move from Cambridge to Boston

Four months ago, Gritstone Oncology changed its name to Gritstone bio to reflect that it had expanded its focus from developing cancer-fighting drugs to include medicines for other diseases such as COVID-19. Now the firm based in Emeryville, Calif., is making another change. It plans to move its 60 Massachusetts employees from Cambridge to the new One Kenmore Square development in Boston. Gritstone will lease 75,000 square feet on two floors and part of a third under a lease it has signed with Related Beal, according to the companies. One Kenmore Square is owned by Related Fund Management. Gritstone has a total of 188 employees, including the Massachusetts contingent. It announced Monday that it had begun an early-stage clinical trial of a second-generation coronavirus vaccine in volunteers who are 60 years old or older. — JONATHAN SALTZMAN


More than half of Carnival’s ships to sail by late October

Carnival, the world’s largest cruise operator, said it expected to have more than half of its fleet capacity sailing again by late October, with capacity up to 65 percent by the end of the year. Like the rest of the cruise industry, Carnival’s business was completely sidelined for more than a year by the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry had been swiftly opening up again, fueled by pent-up demand, when the Delta variant hit the United States and weighed on near-term booking trends. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



China to get personal information on millions of credit company clients

China’s central bank will soon have access to the private credit information of hundreds of millions of users of Ant Group’s online credit service, in a move signaling more regulatory oversight of the financial technology sector. Huabei, Ant Group’s credit service, said in a statement that consumer credit data it has collected will be included in the People’s Bank of China’s financial credit information database. Consumers who do not authorize the sharing of credit data with the central bank will not be able to use Huabei’s service. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Target to hire fewer seasonal workers, given tight labor market

Target will hire fewer seasonal workers this year as it navigates a tight labor market and will instead offer more hours to current employees. About 100,000 seasonal workers will be hired nationwide, the company said Thursday, about 30,000 less than last year. Many of those workers will be offered jobs beyond the holiday season. Employers have struggled all year to find enough workers. They’ve increased hourly pay, announced signing bonuses and cast aside previous minimum standards like a high school diploma. In its own bid to attract more workers last month, Target said that it would spend $200 million over the next four years to offer its workers free undergraduate and associate degree programs as well as certificates in business-oriented majors at select institutions. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Rates barely budge

For nearly two months, nothing has caused fixed mortgage rates to budge. This week’s stock market swoon was no exception. According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average crept higher to 2.88 percent from 2.86 percent a week ago and 2.9 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed-rate average rose to 2.15 percent from 2.12 percent a week ago and 2.4 percent a year ago. — WASHINGTON POST



BP closes gas stations in UK due to truck driver shortage

BP said it has been forced to close some of its UK gas stations because a shortage of truck drivers is disrupting deliveries. The decision is the latest symptom of a worsening supply-chain crisis that threatens to derail the country’s post-COVID economic recovery. The shortage of delivery drivers has already left supermarkets around the UK unable to fill their shelves. The nation is also suffering from a gas and power supply crunch that’s putting companies out of business and threatening consumers with a big increase in bills. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


EU demand for universal chargers to hit Apple

The European Union unveiled plans Thursday to make USB-C connectors the standard charging port for all smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices sold across the bloc, an initiative it says will reduce environmental waste but that is likely to hit Apple the hardest. The move would represent a long-awaited, yet aggressive step into product-making decisions by the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm. Apple, whose iPhones are equipped with a different port, has long opposed the plan, arguing that it would stifle innovation and lead to more electronic waste as all current chargers that are not USB-C would become obsolete. The new legislation is likely to come into effect in 2024 because it first needs to be approved by the European Parliamentand then adopted by manufacturers. Besides phones, it would apply to cameras, headphones, portable speakers, and video game consoles. — NEW YORK TIMES