Business Notes


Saudi Arabia's disappointing output pledge pushes up price

Oil prices rose Monday on disappointment over Saudi Arabia's modest production increase and concerns that output from Nigeria will decline. Retail gas prices, meanwhile, inched lower overnight but appear unlikely to change much as long as oil prices stay in a trading range. Saudi Arabia said Sunday at a meeting of oil producing and consuming nations that it would turn out more crude oil this year if the market needed it. The kingdom said it would add 200,000 barrels a day in July to a 300,000 barrel-a-day production increase it announced in May, raising total daily output to 9.7 million barrels.

United plans to eliminate 950 pilot jobs

United Airlines says it will eliminate about 950 pilot jobs beginning this summer in addition to an already announced plan to cut 1,600 salaried positions and reduce its fleet. United told its pilots union about the cuts Monday. The Chicago-based carrier says it's still working with the unions on the reductions.

Walgreen profit up during expansion

Drugstore chain Walgreen Co. said Monday its fiscal third-quarter profit rose 2 percent as it focused on cost control and maintained a rapid expansion pace in a difficult retail environment. Despite the modest gain, the results fell slightly short of Wall Street's expectations, and Walgreen shares slipped back after initially climbing nearly 3 percent.

Bunge deal for Corn Products: $4.4 billion

Two of America's oldest agricultural companies laid the foundation for a new $30 billion-a-year ag and food colossus Monday with the announcement that Bunge Ltd. is buying Corn Products International Inc. in a $4.4 billion stock deal. While neither boasts a brand name universally known to consumers, the combination will vault Bunge into the Fortune 100 by adding Corn Products' sweeteners, starches and other ingredients to its portfolio of agribusiness, fertilizer, edible oil and milling products. Bunge, which also agreed to assume $414 million of Corn Products' debt as part of the deal, hopes the acquisition will help provide a buffer against volatile commodity prices by branching into another area as well as a healthy cash flow. The global market for starches and sweeteners alone is growing about 5 percent each year, and Corn Products has some of the biggest beer and food makers in the world as clients.

Republic Services to buy Allied Waste

Disposal company Republic Services said Monday it will buy Allied Waste Industries in a $6.07 billion stock deal that would combine the second- and third-largest players in the industry. Republic Services Inc. will pay Allied Waste shareholders 0.45 worth of a Republic share for each share held, valued at $14.04 a share based on Republic's Friday closing stock price of $31.19. Based on the nearly 432.5 million Allied shares outstanding at April 24, the deal is a nearly 4 percent premium to Allied's closing stock price Friday.

Compiled from wire reports