Maine restaurant owners, innkeepers joining forces

The Maine Restaurant Association and the Maine Innkeepers Association will create a jointly owned company to provide management services for both organizations.

The Maine Restaurant Association said Dick Grotton, its president and chief executive, will retire at the end of the year. The current executive director of the Maine Innkeepers Association, Greg Dugal, will lead the new management company and become CEO of both associations.

Each association will maintain its own independent board of directors, committees, staff and budget. The two associations will be located in adjoining office space in Augusta by no later than June 2014, equally sharing the cost of management services, rent, equipment leases and other expenses where appropriate.

Grotton has agreed to play a limited consulting role through 2014. A search will begin in early July to seek a chief operating officer to assist Dugal with management responsibilities for the two organizations.

Americans age 60, older see steepest dive in credit scores

It seems everyone was racking up debt before the 2007 recession hit. But once the economy tanked, consumers started paying it down. That is, except those who are age 60 and up, according to FICO, the credit score company.

In fact, consumers in that age group saw the steepest decline in credit scores. Back in 2005, 55.4 percent of consumers older than 60 had healthy FICO scores of 760 or higher. That dropped to 51.6 percent last year.

Debt is a factor in credit scores. And FICO found that debt among those 60 and older rose from $49,330 to $55,200 in the five years after October 2007, a nearly 12 percent increase.

Tenet hospital chain buying Vanguard for $1.8 billion

Tenet Healthcare will buy hospital operator Vanguard Health Systems for about $1.8 billion in cash to grow in new markets as the U.S. health-care overhaul promises to expand insurance coverage to more Americans starting next year.

Tenet, the third biggest publicly traded U.S. hospital chain, will pay $21 a share, the companies said in a statement Monday. That’s 70 percent above the June 21 closing price of $12.37 for Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanguard Health on the New York Stock Exchange. Tenet also will assume $2.5 billion of debt, according to the company statement.

When the sale closes, Tenet will operate 79 hospitals and 157 outpatient centers.

Neiman Marcus will seek up to $100 million in IPO

Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus plans to raise up to $100 million by returning to the stock market with an initial public offering.

That amount is likely to change, though, as bankers gauge investor interest. The plan to go public, announced in a regulatory filing Monday, comes about eight years after private equity firms TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus bought Neiman Marcus for $5.1 billion.

Neiman Marcus has benefited from affluent shoppers who are willing to drop $1,000 for a pair of shoes. During the recession, Neiman Marcus was not as hurt by the consumer spending pullback as other retailers because the wealthy suffered less.

Vodafone launches bid for Kabel Deutschland

Britain’s Vodafone PLC has launched a takeover bid for Germany’s biggest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland.

The British cellphone company confirmed the$10.2 billion deal.

Men’s Wearhouse founder quits board following ouster

Ousted Men’s Wearhouse founder George Zimmer has quit the company’s board.

Zimmer was fired as the company’s executive chairman last week. On Monday he submitted a letter resigning from the board.

Court upholds conviction of hedge fund’s founder

The conviction of a onetime billionaire on insider trading charges was upheld Monday by a federal appeals court that concluded the government did not cheat to obtain permission to make its most extensive use of wiretaps ever in such a case.

Lawyers for 56-year-old Raj Rajaratnam had argued on appeal that the government improperly persuaded a judge in 2008 to permit a wiretap to be placed on Rajaratnam’s cellphone. The wiretap was used to record 2,200 private conversations by Rajaratnam, the founder of the Galleon group of 14 hedge funds.

– From staff and news services