June 15, 2013

Briefcase

State reviewing proposal for MaineHealth, hospital

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office is reviewing a proposed affiliation agreement between a North Conway hospital and the MaineHealth system.

If the proposal goes through, MaineHealth will become the sole corporate member of Memorial Hospital with certain controls over the hospital's governance and operations.

MaineHealth is the corporate parent of several hospitals and health care organizations in Maine, including Maine Medical Center in Portland, Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford and Spring Harbor Hospital in South Portland.

The attorney general's Charitable Trusts Unit is reviewing the proposal. Public comments can be directed to the director of the Charitable Trusts Unit.

Groupon shares rise 12% as mobile app adds users

Groupon Inc., the biggest daily deal website, jumped 12 percent after analysts at Deutsche Bank AG upgraded the stock, citing optimism that increasing use of the company's mobile application can boost sales.

The shares rose to $7.65 at the close in New York, for the biggest gain since March 1. The stock has advanced 57 percent this year, compared with a 14 percent gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

Co-Chief Executive Officers Eric Lefkofsky and Ted Leonsis are working to stabilize the company while they search for a replacement for Andrew Mason, the Groupon co-founder they ousted as CEO in February amid faltering growth. Groupon, which started out promoting discounts via email alerts, is adding customers as more smartphone users turn to its mobile app, according to Ross Sandler, an analyst at Deutsche Bank.

"Groupon is surprisingly the most mobile penetrated e-commerce company we track," Sandler wrote in a research report Friday.

Aided by a surge in sales to mobile users, revenue will surge 53 percent to $3.56 billion in 2015 from $2.33 billion last year, Sandler estimated. That exceeds analysts' average projection for 2015 sales of $3.04 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Lululemon Athletica posts joke-filled want ad for CEO

If you can hold a headstand for at least 10 minutes, communicate in Sanskrit and enjoy downing wheatgrass and tequila shots on Fridays for work-life balance, Lululemon has a job for you.

After a rocky few months, the company is seeking a new CEO. Lululemon Athletica Inc. has posted a joke-filled want ad that it says shows its "fun and irreverent" brand.

The ad comes with the Canadian company's stock down 20 percent since Monday when it announced that its current CEO plans to leave.

In March, Lululemon suffered a public relations nightmare after pulling too-sheer yoga pants from shelves. The company is known for its pricey yoga pants, which go for $100 a pair.

Lululemon posted a sign on its Facebook page and in stores Thursday reading "CEO Wanted, Apply Within."

A job listing on its website says, "You report to no one, you are the CEO (duh)."

Chrysler to freeze pensions of 8,000 in U.S. at year's end

Chrysler Group LLC said that it is freezing the pensions of roughly 8,000 U.S. salaried employees at the end of the year.

The U.S. automaker said it is making the move to stay in line with industry trends and to comply with Internal Revenue Service regulations.

The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company declined to detail the specifics of the IRS issue, but said it is currently in compliance. Company spokeswoman Shawn Morgan said the compliance matter is not related to underfunding of the pension.

U.S. companies in general have moved away from traditional, or "defined benefit," pensions due to the cost. General Motors made a similar move last year when it froze traditional pension benefits for 19,000 salaried workers hired before 2001.

- From staff and news services

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