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Briefs

Biomet’s earnings rebound

Biomet Inc. on Wednesday reported preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year earnings for fiscal 2014, reflecting the Warsaw orthopedics company’s most profitable performance in years.

Biomet reported annual earnings of $36.8 million on sales of $3.22 billion, a $660 million improvement from fiscal 2013’s $623 million net loss on consolidated net sales of $3.05 billion.

Excluding special items, the company earned $420 million for the year, which ended May 31.

Biomet also reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $66.7 million on sales of $845 million, a $288 million improvement over the same period a year earlier when the company posted a $221 million loss on sales of $784 million.

Zimmer Inc. in April offered to acquire Biomet for $13.35 billion. The deal is on hold, however, while the Federal Trade Commission considers the implications of allowing the competitors to merge.

Fed ready to end its stimulus effort in fall

Federal Reserve officials are in broad agreement that they will likely announce an end to their monthly bond-buying program in October, bringing to a close the third round of massive bond purchases the central bank has relied upon to boost economic growth following the recession.

Minutes released Wednesday of the Fed’s meeting June 17-18 showed that officials were in basic agreement: If the economy continues to improve, the final reduction in bond purchases would total a cut of $15 billion and would be announced at the Fed’s Oct. 28-29 meeting.

With that final reduction, the Fed’s balance sheet will be close to $4.5 trillion, more than four times the amount of the balance sheet when the financial crisis struck in the fall of 2008.

French financier to head Vatican bank

The Vatican has chosen a French financier to become the new president of its bank, which is overhauling the way it operates after a series of financial scandals.

As was widely expected, the Vatican announced Wednesday that it has tapped Jean-Baptiste de Franssu to head the Institute of Religious Works, as the bank is formally called. De Franssu, whose expertise is in investment banking, has been serving on a new Vatican economic council.

He said he would tap an outside management fund to help shift the bank toward asset management. He emphasized that the fund would be chosen based also on its Catholic principles.

The outgoing president, a German industrialist named Ernst von Freyberg, worked to make the bank’s transactions more compliant with international banking standards after Italian money-laundering and cash-smuggling probes stung the institution.

American Apparel to receive financing

American Apparel Inc. announced late Wednesday that it had reached a deal with investment firm Standard General to receive up to $25 million to bolster the clothing chain’s finances. It will also mean a shake-up in the board.

The deal will help pay off a $10 million loan from investment firm Lion Capital, which made a formal demand for payment Monday.

Lion Capital claimed that the chain defaulted on its debt because it ousted founder and CEO Dov Charney.

Five of its seven board members, including Charney, will voluntarily step down.

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