Starbucks roast club to ship small bags of special coffee

Starbucks is launching a coffee club that will ship small bags of rare coffee roasted at its fancy new Seattle roastery directly to customers.

The move helps the coffee giant extend the impact of its latest retail concept well beyond the borders of the Seattle metro area. Starbucks unveiled the roastery last December, in an attempt to infuse its brand with a more sophisticated aura in the face of strengthening competition from high-end, so-called “third wave” coffee roasters.

Starbucks says its Reserve Roastery subscription works as follows: On the second Sunday of each month, the roastery will roast a batch of “new, exceptional” coffee, which it will ship the next day. It’s expected to arrive within five to eight business days.

The service is not cheap: A three-month subscription that will yield a monthly 8.8-ounce bag of whole bean coffee is $72. Shipping included.

Buffett’s company sheds all of its shares in Exxon Mobil

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway eliminated its holding in Exxon Mobil, exiting a $3.7 billion investment in the world’s largest energy company.

Berkshire had no holding in Exxon as of Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday from Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based company detailing its U.S. stock portfolio. That compares with about 41 million shares three months earlier.

Oil prices have fallen by about half since June amid a glut in production.

Ace Hardware experiments with same-day delivery

Ace Hardware said Tuesday that it is testing same-day delivery at 33 of its more than 4,400 stores as it prepares for a wider rollout of the service.

The hardware store cooperative, headquartered outside Chicago, is offering Express Delivery to customers within 5 miles of a participating store when the order is placed online by 1 p.m. local time. The program is available at 33 stores in select neighborhoods in Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Maryland, Texas and Arizona.

Boston Scientific settles suit by paying out $600 million

Boston Scientific says it will pay $600 million to settle with drugmaker Johnson & Johnson over the medical device maker’s $27 billion acquisition of Guidant Corp. in 2006.

Johnson & Johnson, which lost a bidding war for Guidant, sued Boston Scientific and Abbott Laboratories, accusing them of interfering with its Guidant deal. To avoid antitrust problems, Boston Scientific had sold Guidant’s stent and vascular unit to Abbott for $4.1 billion plus a $900 million loan.

Boston Scientific said Tuesday that Johnson & Johnson had wanted $7 billion in damagest. Under the settlement, Boston Scientific also won’t sue Johnson & Johnson over several stent products.

— From news service reports