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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this July 19, 2016 file photo, Rep. Chris Collins, R-NY. speaks in Cleveland. Collins was indicted on charges that he used inside information about a biotechnology company to make illicit stock trades. The charges were announced and the indictment unsealed on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Chicago Tribune's owner weighing offer

Less than two months after selling the Los Angeles Times, Tronc is weighing a private equity firm's offer to buy the Chicago Tribune and the rest of its newspaper holdings, sources close to the company said Wednesday.

A bid of between $19 and $20 per share is on the table, according to sources. That represents about a 33 percent premium to the stock's $14.77 per share closing price Tuesday, and a total offer that could be upward of $700 million for the entire company.

Tronc spokesman Marisa Kollias declined to comment Wednesday. The company is releasing its second-quarter earnings after the market closes today.

The Chicago-based newspaper chain, formerly known as Tribune Publishing, completed the $500 million sale of the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune to biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong in June, leaving it a smaller but virtually debt-free company.

In addition to the Chicago Tribune, Tronc's other major daily newspapers include the Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida's Sun Sentinel and the New York Daily News, which it bought last year for $1 and the assumption of operational and pension liabilities.

Last month, Tronc laid off about half of the editorial staff at the Daily News in a cost-cutting move.

-- Chicago Tribune

Congressman accused of insider trading

NEW YORK -- Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of western New York state was arrested Wednesday on charges that he fed inside information he gleaned from sitting on the board of a biotechnology company to his son, helping family and friends dodge hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses when bad news came out.

Collins, 68, is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump and was among the first two sitting members of Congress to endorse his candidacy for the White House.

He pleaded innocent to an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court.

Prosecutors said the charges stem from Collins' alleged decision to share with his son insider information about Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited, a biotechnology company headquartered in Australia. Collins was the Sydney company's largest shareholder, with nearly 17 percent of its shares, and sat on its board.

According to the indictment, Collins was attending the Congressional Picnic at the White House on June 22, 2017, when he received an email from the company's chief executive saying that a trial of a drug the company developed to treat multiple sclerosis was a clinical failure. The indictment said he then called his son, Cameron, and, after several missed calls, they spoke for more than six minutes.

The next morning, according to the indictment, Cameron Collins began selling his shares, unloading enough over a two-day period to avoid $570,900 in losses before a public announcement of the drug trial results. After the announcement, the company's stock price plunged 92 percent.

-- The Associated Press

Ex-CEO sentenced in made-in-U.S. fraud

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- The top executive of a onetime leading manufacturer of boots for the U.S. military has been sentenced in a "Made in USA" scheme.

A statement from U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey says 66-year-old Vincent Lee Ferguson of Knoxville, Tenn., was sentenced Monday to 41 months in federal prison for his role in a wire fraud conspiracy.

The statement says Overbey was president and CEO of Wellco Enterprises Inc., which sold boots to the military that were falsely advertised as being made in the U.S.

Prosecutors say Ferguson conspired with his executive team to import boots made in China.

-- The Associated Press

Bottlenecks slowing Boeing's 737 output

Boeing Co. is working through cascading supplier problems that will hamper third-quarter deliveries of its 737 jetliner, the plane-maker's largest source of profit.

Hiccups at the makers of fuselages and engines, combined with record 737 output, have contributed to a production logjam at Boeing's Seattle-area factory. Like Airbus SE, Boeing is starting to feel the consequences of its fastest-ever tempo for building narrow-body aircraft as suppliers struggle to keep pace.

Boeing now expects to deliver fewer of the 737s than it makes during the third quarter, before accelerating shipments by the end of the year, Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith said Wednesday. The company is working to streamline production at its single-aisle plant while also investing to help suppliers tackle bottlenecks.

-- Bloomberg News

China eases work permit for Taiwanese

BEIJING -- Beijing on Wednesday said it has eliminated the need for Taiwanese citizens to apply for permission to work in China, in its latest effort to woo the island's skilled younger workers amid a diplomatic freeze.

The move is part of a package that aims to provide Taiwan residents with treatment equal to that of Chinese citizens in studying, starting businesses and employment, said the spokesman for the Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office, Ma Xiaoguang.

The elimination of work permits was also extended to residents of Hong Kong and Macau, former British and Portuguese colonies that reverted to Chinese rule late last century. China is also anxious to win over young Hong Kongers, many of whom see their city being dominated by the mainland economy while its civil liberties are under increasing threat.

China hopes such measures will undercut support for the self-governing Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, whom Beijing loathes for her refusal to endorse the notion that Taiwan is a part of China.

Over recent weeks, China has forced international airlines to stop referring to Taiwan as a separate country on their websites. It also allegedly prompted the Asian Olympic Committee to withdraw the island's right to host a youth competition scheduled for next year in the central city of Taichung.

-- The Associated Press

Rights to Mississippi railroad purchased

GRENADA, Miss. -- A Mississippi railroad is changing hands.

International Rail Partners said Tuesday that it bought rights to the Grenada Railroad from Iowa Pacific Holdings last week. The Boca Raton, Fla., acquirer didn't name a price.

The new owner is leasing and can eventually buy the 180-mile railroad from Southaven to Canton. It's now owned by the North Central Mississippi Regional Railroad Authority, which bought it with state money to prevent rails from Grenada to Canton from being scrapped.

The railroad moves 10,000 carloads of freight yearly.

International Rail Partners CEO Gary Marino says the Grenada Railroad is his new company's first acquisition.

-- The Associated Press

Business on 08/09/2018

Print Headline: Chicago Tribune's owner weighing offer Congressman accused of insider trading Chinese-made boots send exec in prison Ex-CEO sentenced in made-in-U.S. fraud Bottlenecks slowing Boeing's 737 output ...

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