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BUSINESS IN BRIEF

MTV agrees to purchase Cambridge's Harmonix

THE REGION
Viacom Inc.'s MTV unit agreed to buy Harmonix Music Systems Inc., the developer of video games such as Guitar Hero, for $175 million to expand its interactive and digital businesses. MTV, based in New York, and Harmonix, of Cambridge, will develop products for the cable television network's online and mobile businesses, spokeswoman Marnie Black said in an interview. ``Key employees" of Harmonix will stay in their roles with the company once it is acquired, MTV said. (Bloomberg)

O'Neill to step down from hospital trustees board
Thomas P. O'Neill III, the former lieutenant governor and son of the late speaker of the US House of Representatives, is stepping down from the Mount Auburn Hospital board of trustees after 25 years, including the last seven as chairman. O'Neill will remain chairman of a Mount Auburn capital fund-raising campaign to raise $21 million to help finance an $80 million expansion at the Cambridge hospital. O'Neill will retain a title as board member emeritus and will be succeeded by biotechnology executive Stephen Chubb. ``It really is somebody else's turn," O'Neill said. (Christopher Rowland)

Charles River Labs lands $111.6m US agency pact
Charles River Laboratories International Inc. received a 10-year, $111.6 million contract from the National Cancer Institute. The award more than doubles the size of the current contract with the agency and converts the agreement from one to provide on-site staffing to a long-term one using dedicated space, Wilmington-based Charles River said in a statement. Charles River said it will build a facility near the institute's research and development Center in Frederick, Md. (Bloomberg)

Commercial lender sets sights on public offering
NewStar Financial Inc., a two-year-old Boston commercial lender, said it plans to go public. The company, founded by former executives from FleetBoston Financial, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase, filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission that will allow it to move ahead with a planned initial public offering. The date, share price, and number of shares to be sold have yet to be determined. (Keith Reid)

Analog Devices, other chip firms may attract buyers
Analog Devices Inc. and Intersil Corp., computer chipmakers with no debt and predictable profits, may become the next targets of buyout groups following four takeovers in the semiconductor industry. The two are among at least 10 identified by analysts as appealing to the private equity groups who buy companies, often with debt, in the hope of selling them for a profit a few years later. Interest is building after Freescale Semiconductor Inc., a supplier of mobile phone processors, agreed last week to a $17.6 billion buyout by investors led by Blackstone Group LP. (Bloomberg)

An additional 330 cuts slated at American Power
American Power Conversion Corp. said it plans to cut an additional 330 jobs, or 4 percent, of its workforce. When combined with the company's job reductions in Ireland disclosed in June, American Power said it plans to reduce roughly 7 percent of its total workforce, or 580 positions. West Kingston, R.I.-based American Power, a maker of power control products, expects total annual pretax savings of $32 million, primarily in 2007, and pretax savings of $5 million in the fourth quarter. (Dow Jones)

Novell increases CEO's salary, target bonus
Novell Inc. said it increased chief executive Ronald W. Hovsepian's salary to $825,000, retroactive to his promotion to the head post in June. The Waltham software firm also raised Hovsepian's target bonus to 125 percent of his annual base salary, from 100 percent, according to a filing with the SEC. (Dow Jones)

Oscient told to give more data on pneumonia drug
Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corp. must supply more information to the Food and Drug Administration before the drug Factive can be approved as a five-day treatment for community-acquired pneumonia. Shares rose as much as 16 percent. The FDA wants ``clarification and additional interpretation regarding certain data," the Waltham company said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

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