COLONIAL BUYS UNION: Colonial BancGroup Inc. will buy Union Bank of Florida for about $233-million to expand its Florida franchise. Colonial, which is based in Montgomery, Ala., said Tuesday it expects the deal with privately held UB Financial Corp., the Union Bank holding company, to add to its 2005 operating earnings. Colonial has 112 branches in Florida, including 18 in the Tampa Bay area. Union, which is based in Sunrise, operates 18 branches with $687-million in deposits. It owns no branches in the bay area.
MOTOROLA CUTS 1,000 JOBS: Motorola Inc. will eliminate 1,000 jobs and take a charge of $50-million for severance benefits as it moves to complete a spinoff of its money-losing semiconductor unit, the company said Tuesday. Analysts said the reductions will help the world's No. 2 cell phone maker fine-tune its operations.
STARBUCKS RAISING PRICES: Starbucks Corp. said it would raise the average price of its beverages by 11 cents at 4,500 stores in North America because of increases in the cost of coffee and sugar. The company did not reveal what the average price of individual beverages would be after the increase Oct. 6. The price hike _ the first since August 2000 _ will amount to an estimated 3 percent for all the company's drinks, Smith Barney analyst Mark Kalinowski said.
SEC MIGHT RECOMMEND ACTION AGAINST WACHOVIA UNIT: Wachovia Corp. said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission might recommend enforcement action against its Wachovia Securities brokerage unit for alleged improper mutual fund trading. Wachovia, the fifth-largest U.S. bank, made the disclosure in a securities filing Monday. The case concerns a deal involving a former Evergreen Investment Management Co. employee and a broker who made excessive trades on behalf of a client in Evergreen's Mid Cap Growth fund between December 2000 and April 2003.
DISNEY CRITICS SUPPORT PLAN: Two of The Walt Disney Co.'s biggest critics are supporting company directors' plan to announce a replacement for longtime CEO Michael Eisner by next June. Roy Disney and Stanley Gold praised the board's announcement last week that it would hire an independent search firm to identify outside candidates besides Disney President Robert Iger, the only internal candidate. The board "displayed precisely the kind of leadership and independence which we and the vast number of shareholders who share our concerns had been requesting," Roy Disney and Gold said in a statement Tuesday.
MARSHALL FIELD'S PRESIDENT TO RETIRE: In a move that might foreshadow other changes ahead at Marshall Field's, company president Linda Ahlers has announced her retirement less than two months after the department store retailer changed corporate owners. May Department Stores Co., which bought Minneapolis-based Field's from Target Corp. for $3.2-billion this summer, said Tuesday Ahlers, 54, will retire on Dec. 31. Frank Guzzetta, 59, head of May's Hecht's/Strawbridge's division, succeeds Ahlers as Field's president and will also serve in the new post of chief executive officer.
T-BILLS DOWN . . .: The U.S. Treasury sold $19-billion in four-week bills at a high discount rate of 1.59 percent in Monday's auction, down from 1.605 percent last week and the lowest since 1.525 percent on Sept. 14. The return to investors is 1.614 percent, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,987.63.
. . . AS ARE T-NOTES: The U.S. 10-year Treasury note fell as investors said a yield of less than 4 percent was too low given expectations for economic growth and inflation. The 4.25 percent note maturing in August 2014 fell almost [, or $1.25 per $1,000 face amount, to 102, according to bond broker Cantor Fitzgerald LP. Its yield rose 1 basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 4 percent.