Talking Points


What you might have missed Monday from the world of business


Irish firm buys Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group

Smith & Wollensky, which bills itself as “America’s Steakhouse,” will have new owners — from Ireland. Boston-based Bunker Hill Capital, a private equity investment firm, has sold the Boston-based restaurant chain to Danu Investment Partners Ltd., headquartered in Dublin. Bunker Hill announced the deal on Monday, but did not disclose the sale price. Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group owns seven steakhouses, including two in Boston. Other locations include Miami Beach, Chicago, Las Vegas, Houston, and Columbus, Ohio. Bunker Hill added Smith & Wollensky to its investment portfolio in 2007 and has helped it expand in the United States and internationally. Bunker Hill worked with Danu to open the steakhouse’s London location. Among Danu’s other business interests is a company that runs bars, restaurants, and a hotel in Ireland. — DEIRDRE FERNANDES


Jury adds to Gawker Media penalty in Hulk Hogan case

A Florida jury assessed Gawker Media millions more in punitive damages Monday for having invaded the privacy of retired wrestler Hulk Hogan, adding to the $115 million it awarded in compensatory damages last week. After a two-week trial in a St. Petersburg courtroom, jurors ordered Gawker, an online news organization, and its two codefendants to pay the 62-year-old former wrestler — addressed in court as Terry G. Bollea, his real name — more than $25 million in punitive damages. Gawker Media was ordered to pay $15 million; the company’s founder, Nick Denton, was assessed $10 million; and’s former editor in chief, Albert J. Daulerio, must come up with $100,000. In court, Bollea did not visibly react to the latest award, in contrast to Friday, when he burst into tears upon hearing of the amount of money he had won in the compensatory award. Gawker has indicated that it will appeal, and huge damage awards in cases like these are often overturned or significantly reduced. On Friday, the news site was found liable for harming Bollea and subjecting him to embarrassment and humiliation by posting a video in 2012 of him in a behind-closed-doors sexual encounter that millions of people watched. often trafficked in salacious fare before recently turning much of its attention to politics and other, milder topics. — NEW YORK TIMES


Starwood accepts buyout from Marriott

NEW YORK — Starwood said Monday it has accepted a sweetened $14.41 billion bid from Marriott, just days after a Chinese insurance company appeared to steal it away from the hotel chain with an offer valued at $14.15 billion. The buyout would create the world’s biggest hotel company and give Marriott a stable of tony properties run by Starwood, like the St. Regis New York. Until shareholders of both companies vote on April 8, there could still be a counteroffer from China’s Anbang or a bid from another suitor. Unlike the merger of airlines or office supply stores, this deal should have minimal impact on consumer choices or prices. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


BNY Mellon accepts Mass. penalty


Bank of New York Mellon Corp. has agreed to pay $3 million to resolve an investigation by the Massachusetts Securities Division over a failure of its accounting system that caused a slew of problems in pricing mutual funds last summer. The disruption took place on Aug. 24, a chaotic day for markets generally, when BNY Mellon’s accounting software failed due to a botched upgrade the prior weekend. As a result, about 1,200 mutual funds failed to price properly, state regulators said. “It was very sloppy bookkeeping,’’ said Secretary of State William F. Galvin (left), who oversees the Securities Division. BNY Mellon’s software vendor, SunGard Systems Inc. of Wayne, Pa., has previously apologized for the system failure. BNY Mellon said it produced “alternative” fund prices throughout the outage that day. The company had to bring in hundreds of accountants to perform the fund calculations by hand that day — work that is typically automated. BNY Mellon spokesman Kevin Heine said, “While we regret any confusion our clients may have experienced during the initial hours of th outage, the fact remains that BNY Mellon took decisive action during an unprecedented vendor failure to protect our clients’ interests,’’ and deliver daily prices on the funds. — BETH HEALY


Silicon Valley progenitor Andy Grove, at 79

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Andy Grove, who escaped the ruins of postwar Europe to become one of the architects of Silicon Valley’s growth into the world’s center of technology creation, died Monday. He was 79. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Intel Chairman and CEO Andy Grove,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in a statement on the company’s website. “Andy made the impossible happen, time and again, and inspired generations of technologists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.” The Hungarian-born refugee was one of the founders of Intel, playing a key role in building it up from a 1960s startup to the world’s largest semiconductor maker, a title it still holds. Grove, who literally wrote the book on how to foresee and overcome a corporate crisis with “Only the Paranoid Survive,” also broke new ground by making his electronics component maker a household brand name central to the worldwide adoption of the personal computer. Grove acted as a mentor to many of Silicon Valley’s elite — from Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Cuba OK’s Carnival Cruise visits

NEW YORK — The world’s largest cruise line is getting approval from Cuba to start running ‘‘cultural exchange’’ trips to the island starting in May. With hotels in Cuba in short supply, Carnival Corp.’s new brand, Fathom offers travelers another option. A 704-passenger ship will initially visit ports in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. The ship is relatively small for the industry; most carry 3,000 passengers. Guests won’t be snorkeling — instead, they must spend at least eight hours each day involved in some type of cultural experience. Prices for the seven-day voyages start at $1,800 per person, considerably higher than Caribbean voyages of similar length, but less than the $2,990 Carnival originally sought when it received a license from the US government in July. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Omega Advisors reportedly facing probe

Hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman said regulators are considering taking action against him and his firm Omega Advisors over trading in certain securities, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cooperman told clients in a letter dated March 21 that he and his firm received a Wells notice regarding an investment in a single issuer that it had since 2007, said the person, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Regulators are looking at trading in the security in 2010, the investor wrote, according to the person. Cooperman, 72, declined to comment on the Wells notice when reached by phone. He later told CNBC that the probe centers on trading of Atlas Pipeline Partners LP, a midstream operator that ran networks in Oklahoma, southern Kansas, Texas, and Tennessee before merging with a Targa Resources Partners LP unit about a year ago. Ryan White, a spokesman for the Securities and Exchange Commission, declined to comment on the investigation. The SEC sends a Wells notice to a company or an individual after its staff has determined that sufficient wrongdoing has occurred to warrant civil claims being filed. — BLOOMBERG NEWS