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Talking Points

Mass. paper company sold to New York firm

Crane Stationery Corp. of North Adams, which has been sold to Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. of Cohoes, N.Y., manufactures the paper used in US currency.
Crane Stationery Corp. of North Adams, which has been sold to Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. of Cohoes, N.Y., manufactures the paper used in US currency.Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press/File 2017


New York company buys Crane, the maker of paper for US currency

One of the last paper companies in the Berkshires has been sold to an out-of-state company. Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. of Cohoes, N.Y., has acquired Crane Stationery Corp. of North Adams for an undisclosed amount. The deal includes all three premium Crane brands: Crane & Co., William Arthur, and Vera Wang. Crane, which manufactures the paper used in US currency, said it employs more than 250 people, most of them at its manufacturing plant in North Adams. Crane also has offices in New York City and Portland, Maine. Mohawk, the largest private manufacturer of fine papers in the country, will maintain Crane’s existing paper brands, as well as all Crane employees, except for three Crane owners. — JON CHESTO



LogMeIn CEO joining board of Akamai Technologies

LogMeIn CEO Bill Wagner is joining the Akamai Technologies board, with the endorsement of activist investor Elliott Management. Elliott recently reached an agreement with Cambridge’s Akamai to support two new board members — the first was former Amazon executive Tom Killalea. Elliott became familiar with Wagner because Elliott’s Jesse Cohn sits on Boston-based LogMeIn’s board. Wagner’s arrival comes as Akamai and Elliott weigh a possible sale of the high-tech company. — JON CHESTO


Partners, Catholic Medical Center to develop medical office in N.H.

Partners HealthCare’s latest expansion involves another move in the Granite State: It’s working with Catholic Medical Center to develop a medical office facility at the new Tuscan Village project, at the former Rockingham Park, in Salem, N.H. A spokesman said the medical complex will occupy between one-third and one-half of the project’s planned 600,000 square feet of office space. Developer Joe Faro has also already started construction on the mix of town houses, shops, and restaurants that will open at the 170-acre site.


Waters investing $215m to expand Taunton factory

The Milford manufacturer Waters Corp. is investing $215 million to expand its precision-chemistry factory in Taunton. The company’s preliminary plans call for expanding the plant to 135,000 square feet from 50,000 square feet. About 100 people work there, but the company expects that number to grow by 15 percent over time. The City of Taunton has offered $3.7 million in tax breaks; the company is still working with state officials on an incentive package. — JON CHESTO



Filings for jobless benefits rise

US filings for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week to the highest in almost three months amid holidays that may have played a role in the increase, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. The timing of this week’s Easter holiday and spring breaks could have influenced the latest increase in claims. Seasonal adjustments tend to be more difficult around holidays, and claims remain near a 45-year low, indicating a persistent shortage of qualified workers is keeping employers reluctant to fire staff. Weekly applications for jobless benefits have for three years held below 300,000, typically considered consistent with a healthy labor market. The Labor Department’s monthly employment report, due Friday, is projected to show payroll gains slowed to a still-solid 185,000 in March and the unemployment rate fell to 4 percent, which would be a 17-year low. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Rates fall as spring buying season gets underway

Long-term mortgage rates fell this week, benefiting potential home buyers with the spring buying season underway. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages dipped to 4.4 percent from 4.44 percent last week. The benchmark stood at an average 4.1 percent a year ago. The decline followed scant movement in long-term rates last week and a monthslong stretch of increases in January, February, and early March as interest rates generally rose. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans declined to 3.87 percent from 3.9 percent last week. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Boom in solar energy investment led by China

A United Nations-backed report shows more money was invested in solar energy last year than in any other power source, with China responsible for much of the boom. Overall, a record 98 gigawatts of new solar capacity were installed worldwide in 2017. Global investment in solar topped $160 billion, an increase of 18 percent compared to the previous year. China alone spent $86.5 billion on solar installations, adding 53 gigawatts of capacity. The report, published Thursday, found renewable energy investments in the United States, Europe, and Japan declined noticeably in 2017, partly due to falling prices. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Delta says attack exposed more customer data than previously reported

Delta now says that payment-card information for about ‘‘several hundred thousand’’ airline customers may have been exposed by a malware breach last fall that also hit Sears and other companies. The airline said that the malware attack may have exposed customers’ names, addresses, credit card numbers, card security codes, and expiration dates. Delta Air Lines Inc. offered the additional details about the attack on Thursday, a day after saying that only a ‘‘small subset’’ of customers was affected. The airline said that it wasn’t sure whether customers’ information was actually compromised by malware that it believes was in software used by the company (24)7.ai, which provided the airline with online chat services for customers, for about two weeks. The software company said it discovered and fixed the breach in October. Sears said in a statement that it believes the malware led to ‘‘unauthorized access to less than 100,000 of our customers’ credit card information.’’ Sears Holdings Corp., which also operates Kmart stores, said it learned of the problem in mid-March. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Airline trade group to set standards for shipping pets

An airline trade group says it’s setting safety standards for pets shipped on planes. The move follows several recent incidents including the death of a puppy in an overhead bin on a United Airlines flight. The International Air Transport Association said Thursday that t’s starting a program in which airlines will be able to certify they meet standards for the safe handling of animals. The group said airlines ship millions of animals safely every year. When things go wrong, however — as when a United flight attendant told a passenger to put her dog carrier in the overhead bin last month — it hurts the industry’s image. The Transportation Department said that of about 500,000 animals shipped as cargo on US planes last year, 24 of them died, including 18 on United. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Visitors to Maine at a five-year high in 2017

State officials say the number of tourists visiting Maine reached a five-year high last year, but tourist spending flatlined. The Maine Office of Tourism released statistics Wednesday at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Portland that showed the trend. The Portland Press Herald reported roughly 36.7 million tourists visited the state in 2017, about 8.8 million more than in 2012. However, spending by tourists increased only about 0.4 percent — a virtually flat change from 2016. — ASSOCIATED PRESS