Blue Bell recalls all products over listeria
Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries issued a voluntary recall for all of its products on the market after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria. The company "cannot say with certainty" how the bacteria was introduced to its facilities, Blue Bell Chief Executive Paul Kruse said in a statement. Blue Bell issued the recall that includes ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks distributed in 23 states and international locations because other products "have the potential to be contaminated," according to the statement. The first recall in the family-owned creamery's 108-year history was issued last month after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked ice cream contaminated with listeria to three deaths at a Kansas hospital.
Halliburton cuts 9,000 jobs; more to come
Halliburton Co. has cut 9,000 jobs — more than 10 percent of its workforce — in about six months and is considering more cost-cutting moves as falling oil prices sap demand for its drilling help. Halliburton executives disclosed the job cuts Monday on a conference call with investors. The Houston oilfield-services company reported a loss of $643 million in the first quarter. Oil prices plunged starting last summer, leading to a decline in drilling activity. Spot prices for crude have risen slightly since early January but remain about half their level of last July. That has led to belt-tightening across the industry. Haliburton's oil field rival Schlumberger Ltd. said last week that it would cut 11,000 jobs on top of 9,000 planned job cuts that it announced in January.
Fogo de Chão files for initial public offering
Steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão has filed for an initial public offering of its shares in the United States. Dallas-based Fogo de Chão, backed by buyout firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, has outlets in Brazil and the United States, including one on Hennepin Avenue S. in downtown Minneapolis. The company, founded in Brazil in 1979, set a nominal fundraising target of $75 million in the filing. The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.
Union wants Wal-Mart workers reinstated
A union is asking labor regulators to go to court to force Wal-Mart to rehire all 2,200 employees affected by the abrupt temporary closing of five stores a week ago. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing the closings were retaliation for labor activism. Wal-Mart says it closed the stores to fix plumbing issues. One affected store, in Pico Rivera, Calif., has been a hotbed for worker protests against Wal-Mart. It was the first store to wage such protests, in October 2012. The other stores are in Midland and Livingston, Texas; Tulsa, Okla.; and Brandon, Fla. Wal-Mart said it does not believe there is any basis for an injunction.
Cardinal Health settles with FTC for $26M
Cardinal Health will pay $26.8 million as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges it monopolized the sale in 25 markets of diagnostic drugs known as low-energy radiopharmaceuticals. The charges allege that the pharmaceutical and medical-products distributor forced hospitals and clinics to pay inflated prices for the drugs, used to diagnose a range of conditions, including heart disease. The FTC said that Cardinal Health did this by employing various tactics to get both Bristol-Myers Squibb and General Electric Co. to refuse to grant distribution rights for their radiopharmaceuticals used in heart stress tests to potential Cardinal competitors in those 25 markets.
Frederick's of Hollywood files Chapter 11
Racy lingerie retailer Frederick's of Hollywood is seeking bankruptcy protection in federal court after closing all of its stores and switching to an online-only business, which it intends to sell to the highest bidder. The privately held company says competition, decreased mall foot traffic and onerous leases helped push it into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Frederick's of Hollywood Group Inc. says in bankruptcy court papers that it has not had a profitable fiscal year since 2007. Its balance sheet lists about $36.5 million in assets and around $106 million in liabilities. Last year, the company finalized a nearly $25 million deal in which it was taken private by a consortium that included a subsidiary of Harbinger Group Inc.