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Business

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Briefs

Banking unit posts profits rise

Old National Bancorp on Monday reported 2013 earnings of $100.9 million, or $1 per diluted common share, a 10 percent increase from the $91.7 million, or 95 cents a share, posted for 2012.

The Evansville-based holding company for Old National Bank also reported fourth-quarter earnings of $24.6 million, or 25 cents per diluted common share, a 7 percent increase over the $23 million, or 23 cents a share, posted for the same three months of the prior year.

Last year’s earnings were the company’s highest since 2002. And the percentage of loans written off as bad – 0.1 percent – was the company’s lowest since 1984, officials said.

Old National is expected to close this month on its acquisition of Fort Wayne-based Tower Financial Corp.

Trade zone expands with 4 new counties

Four northeast Indiana counties – including Steuben – have been added to the area’s foreign-trade zone, Fort Wayne officials announced Monday.

A foreign trade zone is an area that’s considered a kind of no-man’s land. Companies don’t have to pay import duties on incoming raw materials or inventory taxes on outgoing shipments as long as the items are housed in a foreign trade zone.

Also, companies can import components for assembly, repackaging or relabeling and bypass paying all duties if the final products are exported for sale overseas. Otherwise, companies pay duties and have to wait for government refunds, tying up vital working capital.

The Department of Commerce recently approved the city’s application for expansion of Foreign-Trade Zone 182 to Blackford, Jay, LaGrange and Steuben counties. Previously, the zone covered eight counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wabash, Wells and Whitley.

UK firm to acquire medical device-maker

British medical technology company Smith & Nephew plans to buy U.S. medical device-maker ArthroCare in a $1.5 billion deal that it says will strengthen its sports medicine business.

Smith & Nephew said Monday it will pay $48.25 in cash for each share of ArthroCare Corp., based in Austin, Texas.

That’s a premium of about 6 percent to its closing price of $45.38 on Friday.

Smith & Nephew PLC said ArthroCare’s expertise in shoulder joint repair will complement its strength in knee repair. CEO Olivier Bohuon said in a statement that the broader product portfolio and the combined sales force will help generate significant new revenue.

Apple claims mount in e-book price suit

Apple faces as much as $840 million in state and consumer antitrust claims related to electronic-book deals with publishers as it continues to oppose a court-ordered monitor in a related U.S. government case.

Apple, in an emergency request to be considered today by a federal appeals court in New York, is seeking to halt oversight by Michael Bromwich, the court-appointed compliance monitor in the Justice Department’s lawsuit.

State attorneys general and consumers who sued the world’s most valuable technology company are seeking $280 million in damages and want that amount tripled, a lawyer for them said in a Jan. 31 filing with the Manhattan judge presiding over the federal case.

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