GM to lend $40 million to start-up in Ohio

General Motors has agreed to lend $40 million to a newly formed company that wants to make electric pickup trucks at a massive Ohio assembly plant GM shut down earlier this year.

The agreement between the two companies also will allow GM to buy back the plant up until May, documents filed last week show. The amount available will be more than enough to cover the $20 million price tag for the plant.

Lordstown Motors announced a month ago that it had bought the once-bustling factory near Youngstown that made the Chevrolet Cruz up until March. The new company wants to begin making electric trucks by late 2020, but it also said that it still needs more investors before manufacturing can begin.

GM’s decision to end production in Lordstown, where it employed 4,500 two years ago, came into the political spotlight after President Trump criticized the plan last year.

GM spokesman Jim Cain said that the company wants to help Lordstown Motors stick to its launch schedule and that the company does not expect it will buy back the plant, nor is it an investor in Lordstown Motors.

— Associated Press


Two big firms to buy makers of cancer drug

Two of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies agreed to pay substantial premiums to acquire smaller cancer-drug makers, underlining the eagerness of the drug giants to add promising treatments to their oncology pipelines.

In separate deals announced Monday, Merck agreed to buy ArQule, which is developing drugs known as kinase inhibitors, for $2.7 billion, while French drug giant Sanofi agreed to buy Synthorx, a maker of therapies that harness the immune system to fight tumors, for $2.5 billion.

Merck already markets one of the world’s biggest-selling cancer treatments, the immunotherapy Keytruda, but like other large pharmaceutical companies, it has been searching for ways to expand its oncology offerings.

ArQule, based in Woburn, Mass., is focused on kinase inhibitor discovery. Its lead drug candidate, ARQ-531, is being studied in patients with a range of blood cancers.

— Bloomberg News


Former employee

sues Credit Suisse

A former Credit Suisse banker who was found guilty of espionage in Romania is suing the lender for $89.5 million.

In a London court hearing Monday, the lawyers for the bank applied for an early dismissal of the claim, saying it had no real prospect of success.

Vadim Benyatov was arrested in Romania in 2006 while working for the Swiss bank on privatizing state utility companies. In a court filing, he said he was rousted in an early-morning raid of the Bucharest Hilton by Romanian secret police wielding machine guns and put in jail. He was later placed under house arrest in Bucharest.

After nine years of legal proceedings, the former managing director was dismissed by Credit Suisse in 2015 following his criminal conviction by Romania’s Supreme Court. He has remained a fugitive in Los Angeles after leaving Europe in 2015, when a European arrest warrant was issued for him. He’s suing the bank, saying it failed to intervene to help him during the legal proceedings. He says his conviction means he can’t get cleared by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority or the Securities and Exchange Commission.

— Bloomberg News

Also in Business

Attorneys general from 18 states are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to allow construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to continue. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said his office will lead the coalition. A friend of the court brief scheduled to be filed Monday argues that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond erred when it ruled in December that the U.S. Forest Service lacked authority to grant the pipeline rights of way across the Appalachian Trail and through the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests. The Supreme Court said in October that it would hear appeals filed by energy companies and the Trump administration.

Xerox Holdings believes its proposed HP takeover would create as much as $1.5 billion in potential revenue growth, according a presentation to HP’s shareholders made public Monday. The printer maker outlined its case for a tie-up between the companies, arguing the combined firm will be worth about $31 a share to HP investors on a pro forma basis. The merged entity will generate more than $4 billion in free cash flow in the first year before taking any synergies into account.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s operation to inject cash into the financial system over the end of the year was oversubscribed on Monday, indicating that participants are still hungry for funding to take them into 2020. Market participants submitted $43 billion in bids for the Fed’s 28-day term repo operation, which matures Jan. 6. That was more than the $25 billion on offer. This was the last of three term operations scheduled to provide funding past the year-end period.

— From news services

Coming today

8:30 a.m.: Labor Department releases revised third-quarter productivity data.

All day: Federal Reserve policymakers begin a two-day meeting to set interest rates.