Business Digest

BUSINESS DIGEST

July 09, 2008|By This column was compiled from dispatches by Sun reporters.

Maryland

Acquisitions

Laureate expands in Latin America

Laureate Education has expanded its presence in Latin America by acquiring a school in Mexico and two more in Costa Rica, the Baltimore company announced yesterday. Universidad Tecnologica de Mexico has eight campuses throughout the country and serves 36,000 students. Universidad Latina and Universidad Americana, both in Costa Rica, serve 16,000 and 4,000 students, respectively. Laureate already has campuses in the two countries. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

Hanah Cho

Personnel

2 top executives quit at Integral Systems

Lanham's Integral Systems Inc. announced yesterday in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission the resignations of two senior employees. Interim CEO Alan W. Baldwin said he would resign upon the appointment of a permanent CEO, which is expected soon. Elaine M. Brown, an executive vice president for administration, left the company as of July 2.

Tricia Bishop

Smarterville names new chief executive

Baltimore's Smarterville Inc., best known for its Hooked on Phonics brand, announced yesterday that it has appointed Judy L. Harris as its new chief executive officer. Harris replaces Chip Paucek, who left to join the management team of 2tor, a new online higher education firm in New York. Harris was previously CEO and president of the educational media segment for media company Primedia.

Hanah Cho

Retailing

Amazon offers Bill Me Later service

Amazon.com began offering Bill Me Later Inc.'s payment service yesterday on its Web site, seven months after disclosing an investment in the Timonium company and partnership plans. Amazon buyers can now select the Bill Me Later option at checkout, which lets people buy now and pay later without entering credit card information.

Tricia Bishop

Burger King tries Micros Systems

Micros Systems Inc. announced yesterday that Burger King Corp.'s 800 company-owned restaurants - about 7 percent of its 11,400 locations, most of which are independent franchises - will implement the Columbia company's technology to process orders as well as control databases. Shares of Micros rose $2.07, or 7.4 percent, to close at $30.21 yesterday on the Nasdaq.

Tricia Bishop

Regulation

Tessco reports on takover maneuver

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, Tessco Technologies outlined how it put an official end to a possible takeover attempt by Indiana competitor, Brightpoint Inc., which had hinted at such a plan: The Hunt Valley company spent $6.4 million to buy back its shares at $13.64 apiece, a price chosen based on the average during the last week in June. In November, Brightpoint paid $7.3 million on 470,000 shares - an average of about $15.53 apiece - making it Tessco's second-largest shareholder, with 9 percent of the stock.

Tricia Bishop

Real estate

2 Owings Mills buildings sold

Two Owings Mills office buildings used as headquarters for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield have been sold for about $95 million to investment funds managed by Boston-based Eaton Vance Management. The two-building, 390,000-square-foot complex on Mill Run Circle is leased on a long-term basis to the health insurer, Eaton Vance Management.

Lorraine Mirabella

Northrop leases space near BWI

Northrop Grumman Corp. has signed a 10-year lease for an office building to be built in Linthicum near BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, developer Opus East LLC said yesterday. Northrop Grumman said several hundred employees of its Advanced Concepts and Technology Division, who now work in nearby leased and company-owned facilities, will work in the 160,000-square-foot building. Construction on the five-story building is expected to start in the third quarter and be completed in the fall of next year.

Lorraine Mirabella

This column was compiled from dispatches by Sun reporters.

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