TransCanada receives bids to use proposed pipeline

TransCanada Corp. has received multiple bids from “major industry players” that want to use its proposed pipeline to transport natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope to market, a company official said Friday.

Few details were released Friday, when TransCanada ended its 90-day process of courting gas producers and seeking shipping commitments for a proposed line. One reason cited for the secrecy was competition: Denali-The Alaska Gas Pipeline, a joint venture of BP PLC and ConocoPhillips, began its own open season a few weeks ago.

Tony Palmer, TransCanada’s vice president of Alaska development, said he is encouraged about the pipeline’s prospects for moving forward if “key conditions” are met. He said the next step will be to work with potential customers to try to resolve their issues. 

Number of failing banks reaches 108 for this year

Regulators have shut banks in Florida, Georgia, Oregon and Washington, lifting to 108 the number of U.S. banks to fail this year as the industry has struggled to cope with mounting loan defaults and recession.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over Bayside Savings Bank in Port Saint Joe, Fla.; Coastal Community Bank, based in Panama City, Fla.; NorthWest Bank and Trust, based in Acworth, Ga.; Cowlitz Bank in Longview, Wash.; and LibertyBank, based in Eugene, Ore. 

Disney sells Miramax Films to investors for $660 million

The Walt Disney Co. is selling Miramax Films to a group of investors for $660 million, marking a new phase for a studio that helped push independent movies into the mainstream.

The deal announced Friday ends speculation that founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein could regain control of the studio.

With ownership of the studio passes the rights to a catalog of Oscar winners, including “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), “Chicago” (2002) and “No Country for Old Men” (2007). It also comes with challenges, most notably a decline in DVD sales that has called into question the value of Hollywood movie libraries.

Disney had been looking to sell Miramax since January, deciding that the label no longer resonated with its other family-centric brands, such as Pixar and Marvel. Disney said the deal with Filmyard Holding, an investor group, and Colony Capital LLC, a real estate investment group, could close by Sept. 10. 

Chevron earnings triple while BP reels from spill

Chevron’s second-quarter earnings tripled on better refining margins and higher prices for oil and natural gas, the company said Friday.

The company is the latest oil major to report big gains in the second quarter as demand for oil and gasoline has pushed prices higher.

Chevron Corp. reported net income of $5.4 billion, or $2.70 per share, for the three months ended June 30. That compares with $1.7 billion, or 87 cents per share, in the same part of last year. Revenue jumped 32 percent to $53 billion.

Among oil giants, BP PLC has been the only one to disappoint as it continues to reel from the massive oil spill in the Gulf. 

Chrysler will add 900 jobs at suburban Detroit plant

Chrysler Group LLC said Friday that it will add nearly 900 jobs at a factory in suburban Detroit and spare it from a planned closure. The decision is a show of optimism that consumers will embrace the company’s refurbished midsize sedans.

The automaker made the announcement at another Detroit-area plant just before President Obama spoke there about the success of the government-funded auto industry bailout.

The jobs will staff a second shift at Chrysler’s assembly plant in Sterling Heights, just north of Detroit, which makes the slow-selling Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring midsize sedans.

In the fall, the company plans to start selling new versions of the cars that it says will be updated from top to bottom.