Panel: Stay with Thermo Fisher Scientific bid
Affymetrix Inc. said Monday that its board is recommending shareholders reject a $17-a-share buyout bid from newly formed investment firm Origin Technologies Corp. and press forward with a plan to be purchased by Waltham’s Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. for $14 a share. In a statement, Affymetrix, a Santa Clara, Calif., company that makes genetic testing equipment, said Origin’s bid was inferior to Thermo’s, valued at $1.3 billion, because “the board found the risks to initiating and consummating a potential transaction with Origin outweighed the potential benefit.” Origin, a Palo Alto, Calif., holding company owned by former Affymetrix executives, is backed by a private equity firm with ties to the Chinese government. Affymetrix executives earlier described Origin as a “shell entity.” The recommendation of the Affymetrix board will be presented to company shareholders at a special meeting scheduled for Thursday.
Auction of Plaza Hotel called off
Next month’s auction for the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan was canceled after the holders of the mortgage reached a deal to give the borrowers more time to sell the property and pay back the loan, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The hotel’s ownership has been in limbo for two years. Billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben hold the mortgage on the five-star hotel and had scheduled a foreclosure auction for April 26, according to the person, who asked not to be named because the deal is private. The Reubens bought the loan from Bank of China after a default by the property’s current majority owner, Sahara India Pariwar, last year. Sahara is controlled by Subrata Roy, who was imprisoned in India in early 2014 for defrauding investors.
Mayo Clinic to lay off in Andover
Mayo Clinic, the Minnesota-based health care provider and research center, is laying off more than 100 employees as it shuts a laboratory testing facility in Andover. Mayo told state officials last week that it would close the location, affecting 93 employees and 12 supplemental workers. The layoffs will begin May 21, the nonprofit organization said. Mayo Medical Laboratories provides lab testing and pathology services to other health care companies, processing 23 million tests annually. Mayo executives said they decided not to renew their laboratory lease at 160 Dascomb Road in Andover because the location is too far from their other operations. The lab’s operations will move to Minnesota over the next nine months.
PRIYANKA DAYAL McCLUSKEY
Pandora turns to former executive
Pandora Media Inc., which has been exploring a sale of the company, said co-founder Tim Westergren (above) will become chief executive officer more than a decade after he last ran the world’s largest online radio service, replacing Brian McAndrews. Pandora, struggling to fight off competitors Spotify Ltd and Apple Inc. and reverse a stock slump, has been working with Morgan Stanley to assess strategic options, including a potential sale, people with knowledge of the matter have said. And last week, the company added long-time media executive Anthony J. Vinciquerra to its board. Westergren, 50, will now oversee Pandora’s expansion into on-demand streaming and concert promotion as the company looks for new sources of growth.
TransCanada looking to sell power business
TransCanada, which has agreed to buy Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group for nearly $10 billion as it expands in the United States, is looking to sell its New England power generation business, including hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut River, as part of its effort to finance the project. TransCanada bought 13 hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers from USGen New England in 2005. The Valley News reported that the Wilder, Bellows Falls, and Vernon, Vermont, dams are among the assets TransCanada plans to sell. TransCanada also plans to sell its Kibby wind development in Maine; its generation plants in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and New York, and its power marketing business. TransCanada, which had proposed the Keystone XL oil pipeline, has challenged the US government’s rejection of the project.
Maine opposes ban of lobster imports in Eu
Maine’s congressional delegation is asking the Obama administration to resist efforts to ban the import of live Maine lobsters by European Union countries. The delegation said Monday in a letter that the discovery of a small number of American lobsters in Swedish waters hardly represents an ‘‘invasion.’’ Sweden contends the American lobsters could wipe out their European cousins through interbreeding and introduction of diseases. Sweden asked the EU this month to list American lobster as a ‘‘foreign species,’’ which would prohibit imports of live American lobsters into the 28-nation bloc.
Colgate executive to run Revlon
Revlon Inc. named Fabian Garcia as its next chief executive officer, turning to a Colgate-Palmolive Co. veteran to revamp the cosmetics company. Garcia, 56, will take the reins on April 15 and serve on Revlon’s board, the New York-based company said Monday. Investors reacted coolly to the move, which may have tamped down speculation that Revlon will be a takeover target. The stock tumbled as much as 13 percent. Garcia joins Revlon at an unsettled moment for the seller of makeup, hair-care products, and fragrances.
Calorie labels delayed until 2017
Wondering how many calories are in that restaurant hamburger? You may not be able to find out until 2017. The Food and Drug Administration said this month that it will delay enforcement of menu labeling rules — again — until next year. Passed as part of the health care overhaul in 2010, the rules will eventually require restaurants and other establishments that sell prepared foods and have 20 or more locations to post the calorie content of food ‘‘clearly and conspicuously’’ on their menus, menu boards, and displays.
Gas prices rise 10 cents in past week
The average price of a gallon of gasoline in Massachusetts has soared by a dime in the past week, the fourth consecutive week of higher prices. AAA Northeast reported Monday that self-serve, regular is now selling for an average of $1.96 per gallon. That’s 28 cents higher than a month ago, but still 8 cents lower than the national average. The Massachusetts price a year ago was 36 cents per gallon higher. Prices are being driven up by higher crude oil prices, seasonal increases in demand, and reduced production due to refinery maintenance. AAA found self-serve, regular selling for as low as $1.83 per gallon in Massachusetts, and as high as $2.29.