VIP auto parts business being sold to O’Reilly Automotive

VIP Parts, Tires & Service has agreed to sell its auto parts business to O’Reilly Automotive Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

Lewiston-based VIP will continue to own and operate the tire and service components of the business, while O’Reilly will own the automotive parts sales and distribution operations.

VIP now operates 56 stores throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and a distribution center in Maine.

The deal is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, the companies said in a prepared statement.

Founded in 1957 by the O’Reilly family, O’Reilly Automotive operates 3,896 stores in 39 states.


Optimism over budget deal puts stocks at 2-month high

Stocks climbed on Wall Street Tuesday, pushing the Standard and Poor’s 500 to its highest level in two months, on optimism that lawmakers are closing in on a budget deal that will stop the U.S. from going over the “fiscal cliff” at the beginning of next year.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 115.57 points to 13,350.96, its biggest one-day gain in almost a month. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 16.43 points to 1,446.79, its highest close since Oct. 18. The Nasdaq composite rose 43.93 points to 3,054.53.

Stocks slumped after the presidential election Nov. 6 on concern that a divided government would struggle to reach an agreement before Jan. 1, when a series of series of tax increases and government spending cuts are scheduled to take effect if no deal is reached. Those measures could push the U.S. back into recession. The S&P 500 has since recouped all of those losses.

Some investors say stocks are already pricing in too much optimism. Any deal, while ensuring that the economy avoids the full impact of the “fiscal cliff,” will still involve higher taxes and less government spending. That will be a drag on economic growth, said David Wright, a managing director and co-founder at Sierra Investment Management in Santa Monica, Calif.


TV ratings giant Nielsen agrees to buy Arbitron

Nielsen, the dominant source of TV ratings, on Tuesday said it had agreed to buy Arbitron for about $1.26 billion to expand into radio measurement.

Arbitron pays 70,000 people to carry around gadgets that register what stations they’re listening to. Since Nielsen also collects cash register data, CEO David Calhoun said buying Arbitron will let Nielsen be a one-stop shop for advertisers who want to know how the radio advertising they buy affects product sales.

The acquisition will let Nielsen expand the amount of media consumption it tracks by about 2 hours per person per day to 7 hours, Calhoun said in an interview.

“You don’t find many mediums that allow for that kind of increase,” Calhoun said.

Arbitron’s operations are mainly in the U.S., while Nielsen operates globally.

Calhoun said another major driver for the deal is that Nielsen wants to spread Arbitron’s tracking technology to other countries.


— From news service reports