Last week's headlines

Sparrows Point owner plans $10 million renovation

June 29, 2008

Severstal plans improvement

Russian steelmaker OAO Severstal, which closed on an $810 million deal to buy Sparrows Point in May with promises to invest significantly in the steel plant, said its first major project will be to upgrade the blast furnace. The $10 million renovation will begin in late summer and the blast furnace, which creates raw steel from ore, would be shut down for about 14 days.

Court rules in Grace case

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused an appeal to limit the asbestos-related criminal charges against Columbia's W.R. Grace & Co. and six former executives. It was the last obstacle preventing the three-year-old, oft-delayed case from going to trial. A federal grand jury indicted the chemical company and seven executives in February 2005.

Caruso seeks protection

Caruso Homes Inc., a builder operating in Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic states, has filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming what it called the "double whammy" of the credit crunch and falling home prices. The company listed debt of more than $100 million and assets of less than $100 million in Chapter 11 documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore.

Legg plans new funds

Investors are pouring billions of dollars into target-date mutual funds, and Baltimore's Legg Mason Inc. wants a piece of that budding market. Legg plans to launch its life-cycle funds in August, joining a litany of other firms trying to capture a flow of money that has increased 50 percent annually in the past several years, according to mutual fund tracker Lipper Inc.

CEO leaving MedImmune

After 16 years of guiding MedImmune Inc. from a struggling Gaithersburg biotech to one of the world's most profitable, Chief Executive Officer David M. Mott is stepping down for personal reasons, the company's London-based parent, AstraZeneca PLC, announced. Tony Zook, CEO of AstraZeneca's North American business, will succeed Mott when he leaves at the end of July.

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