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Boston investment firm helps finance energy software spinoff


Boston investment firm helps finance energy software spinoff

A Boston investment firm has helped finance the spinoff of the energy intelligence software division of Enel X, formerly known as EnerNOC. WindSail Capital will own a minority stake in the spinoff, called Hatch Data, with Hatch employees owning the rest. The company will maintain offices in Boston and San Francisco. About a third of the 30 Hatch workers, including co-founder Ben Mendelson, will be in Boston, with plans under way to add more. Hatch helps commercial building operators maximize energy savings at their properties. Boston-area customers include Beacon Capital and Boston Properties. — JON CHESTO


Coke’s head of sustainability says no plans to scrap plastic bottles

Coca-Cola is shaking off environmentalists’ calls to change its packaging, saying there is too much demand for the plastic bottles. The soft drink giant’s head of sustainability, Bea Perez, told the BBC that consumers are fans of plastic-packaged drinks because they’re able to reseal their bubbles in lightweight packaging. Doing away with plastic altogether for glass or aluminum would increase the business’s carbon footprint and weaken sales, she told the news outlet. — WASHINGTON POST


Iconic NYC chain files for bankruptcy — again

Fairway Group Holdings Corp. has gone bankrupt for the second time since 2016, overwhelmed by its lingering debt load and cutthroat price competition in the grocery business. The iconic New York grocer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early Thursday morning with an agreement to sell five stores and a distribution facility to Village Supermarket Inc., owner of the ShopRite chain. Fairway enjoys iconic status in New York City, its traditional base, because of its wide selection of quality meats, cheeses, and produce along with regular groceries at 14 stores. But it has struggled to bounce back from its 2016 bankruptcy — the result of too much debt after a private equity buyout, and the advent of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Fresh Direct. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



American Airlines’ profit soared in fourth quarter

American Airlines’ fourth-quarter profit rose 27 percent to $414 million on strong travel demand that resulted in record occupancy levels on its planes. However, American continues to be weighed down by the grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets. American said Thursday that it had canceled about 10,000 flights in the fourth quarter because of the grounding. Adjusted earnings were $1.15 per share, a penny better than expected, according to a FactSet survey of 18 analysts. Revenue rose more than 3 percent to $11.31 billion, matching the analysts’ average forecast. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Amtrak scraps pricing policy for wheelchair users

Amtrak has suspended a pricing policy that resulted in a $25,000 travel bill for a group of activists who use wheelchairs heading to an Illinois conference and rally on disability rights. The passenger rail agency had told Chicago-based Access Living its policy was to charge extra to reconfigure train cars to accommodate wheelchair users. “It was never meant to be applied to this situation and we apologize for that mistake,” said a statement emailed Wednesday by Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari. An Amtrak sales agent had informed Access Living of a new pricing policy that meant the group would be charged for seats that have to be removed to fit more wheelchairs, resulting in the $25,000 bill. On Monday, Amtrak apologized to Access Living and agreed to accommodate everyone at the regular rate of $16 per person. Access Living spokeswoman Bridget Hayman said five members of the group got ‘‘royal treatment’’ on their trip Wednesday to Bloomington-Normal, Ill., from Chicago. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Amazon wants court to block Microsoft from working on Pentagon cloud contract

Amazon.com Inc. asked a court to temporarily block Microsoft Corp. from working on a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract until a lawsuit challenging its validity is resolved. Amazon filed a lawsuit in November in the US Court of Federal Claims alleging that the Defense Department failed to fairly judge its bid for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract because President Trump viewed Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos as his “political enemy.” The president has long criticized Bezos over everything from the shipping rates his company pays the US Postal Service to his personal ownership of what Trump calls “the Amazon Washington Post.” In October, the Defense Department awarded Microsoft the contract to modernize the Pentagon’s computing infrastructure. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


GM to open technical center for auto racing in North Carolina

General Motors is planning to open a new technical center for performance and auto racing near the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. The company says the 75,000-square-foot center will open by mid-2020 off Interstate 85 in Concord. GM says it’s still finalizing plans for the number of people who would work there. But it would be a mix of employees moving from the Detroit area and new hires in North Carolina. The company says in a prepared statement Thursday that the center will be near many Chevrolet and Cadillac racing team partners and parts suppliers. It will tap a growing talent base in the Charlotte area, GM says. The center will focus on transferring auto racing knowledge into engineering for vehicles that are sold to the public. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



UK expected to allow Huawei to develop 5G broadband, defying Trump

The UK government is poised to allow Huawei Technologies Co. a role in developing the country’s fifth-generation wireless broadband networks, as Boris Johnson prepares to reject President Trump’s call to ban the Chinese firm on security grounds. The decision, which British ministers are expected to make in the coming days, is likely to be announced in Parliament next week, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Trump administration has lobbied Johnson’s government hard in recent weeks to try to persuade the UK to exclude Huawei from 5G networks over concerns the technology could facilitate Chinese spying in future. The company has always denied that it poses any security risk. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Bankrupt PG&E reaches deal with financiers

After spending almost a year at war with some of the biggest names in the financial world, bankrupt utility PG&E Corp. has finally got them on its side. Late Wednesday, PG&E reached a settlement with noteholders led by bond giant Pacific Investment Management Co. and activist investor Elliott Management Corp., who sought to derail the company’s $46 billion restructuring plan. The deal brings the company closer to gaining approval by a state deadline of June 30 and emerging from the biggest utility bankruptcy in US history. There’s one problem: Governor Gavin Newsom, whose backing is crucial to PG&E’s restructuring, is still trying to block its plan. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Rates fall to lowest level in three months

Long-term mortgage rates fell this week to their lowest level in three months, deepening the incentive for prospective homebuyers although they face eroded affordability as prices continue to climb. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.60 percent from 3.65 percent last week. The benchmark rate stood at 4.45 percent a year ago. The average rate on a 15-year mortgage eased to 3.04 percent from 3.09 percent last week. — ASSOCIATED PRESS