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Business briefs: New iPhone expected at Apple media event

  • September 3, 2013 - 9:33 PM

New iPhone expected at Apple media event

Apple Inc. invited media members to a Sept. 10 event that’s expected to include the launch of two new models of the iPhone, the company’s smartphone. The media invitation included several differently colored bubbles behind an Apple logo and a single tagline: “This should brighten everyone’s day.” Apple is expected to announce a lower-priced iPhone model at the event, rumored to be called the iPhone 5C, that will be housed in a plastic case offered in a variety of colors. The production of such a device was confirmed by a human-rights group that infiltrated a Chinese factory working on the assembly and reported on labor-rights violations in July.

Construction spending highest in four years

Construction spending in the U.S. increased in July to the highest level in four years, propelled by gains in residential real estate. Outlays climbed 0.6 percent to a $900.8 billion annual rate, the most since June 2009, after being little changed in June, the Commerce Department reported. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.4 percent increase. Gains in employment, housing and nonresidential building in the second half of the year will probably help strengthen the economic expansion. Nonetheless, tight land inventories and rising mortgage rates may temper the pace of the industry’s recovery. June’s reading was revised from a previously reported 0.6 percent decline.

Jarden to buy Yankee Candle for $1.75B

Jarden Corp. agreed to buy Yankee Candle for $1.75 billion, making its biggest acquisition to add the 43-year-old scented candle maker to its collection of more than 120 consumer brands. Jarden will use cash to acquire the largest U.S. scented candle company from a fund managed by private-equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners. The transaction is projected to boost Jarden’s adjusted earnings per share by about 10 percent and the company expects the deal to be completed in the fourth quarter. Jarden’s products include Mr. Coffee machines and Health-o-meter scales.

Chinese railroad official accused of corruption

A former high-ranking Chinese railroad official, whose daughter’s employment at JPMorgan Chase is a focus of an anti-bribery investigation in the United States, has been formally indicted on bribery charges in a Beijing court. Zhang Shuguang, former deputy chief engineer at the Ministry of Railways, was indicted on charges related to 13 incidents of bribery from 2000 to 2011, Chinese news reports said. State prosecutors have accused Zhang of accepting graft payments totaling around $8 million, according to the reports.

Deere seeks buyer for irrigation business

Deere & Co. said it’s considering strategic alternatives for the precision water-irrigation business it moved into with the 2006 purchase of Roberts Irrigation Products Inc. The world’s largest farm-equipment maker said that no decisions or agreements have been made for John Deere Water, part of its agriculture and turf division. Other company leaders for a global sprinkler irrigation system market estimated to reach $2.4 billion by 2016 include Israel’s Netafim Inc., Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. of India and Bloomington-based Toro Co.

News Corp. sells off smaller newspapers

News Corp., the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, sold a collection of local newspapers such as Oregon’s Ashland Daily Tidings to private-equity manager Fortress Investment Group. The Dow Jones Local Media Group operates 33 publications, including eight daily newspapers and 15 weeklies. Financial terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. News Corp. is narrowing its focus to larger publications such as the Journal, the New York Post and the Times of London.

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