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BUSINESS IN BRIEF

Globe union launches ad effort against outsourcing

The Boston Globe's biggest labor union has begun an advertising campaign decrying the paper's plan to outsource the jobs of about 50 workers to India. In radio ads that began yesterday and in an ad published today in the Boston Herald, the Boston Newspaper Guild urges Globe readers and advertisers to call the newspaper and its parent company, The New York Times Co., to oppose the move . "It's the Boston Globe, not the Bangalore Globe," the print ad says. The Globe rejected publishing the ad "because it did not meet our standards," a spokesman said. In January, the Times Co.'s New England Media Group launched a buyout program to cut about 125 jobs at the Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette, including those being outsourced. Globe officials said the outsourcing decision is difficult, but necessary for the paper's long-term health. (Robert Gavin)

THE NATION

Discounter agrees to $6.9b KKR buyout offer
Discount retailer Dollar General Corp. said its board has agreed to a buyout offer of about $6.9 billion from the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in a deal that will take the discount retailer private. Dollar General shareholders must approve the deal that the board is recommending. KKR will pay $22 for each share, a 31.1 percent premium to the closing price Friday. (AP)

SEC files fraud charges against 4 Nortel officials
The Securities and Exchange Commission is filing civil fraud charges against four former executives of Canada's Nortel Networks, including ex-chief executive Frank Dunn, after investigating years of financial accounting and restatements at the telecommunications equipment maker. The agency alleges Dunn and three others repeatedly altered revenue recognition to bridge gaps between performance and market expectations. (AP)

Health insurer plans to buy Sierra Health Services
Health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. agreed to buy Nevada-based healthcare services provider Sierra Health Services Inc. for about $2.6 billion. UnitedHealth is offering Sierra shareholders $43.50 per share, a 21 percent premium to the Friday closing price. (AP)

Trump Entertainment hires Merrill Lynch to advise
Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., which lists Donald Trump as chairman, said it retained Merrill Lynch to help it explore strategic alternatives that could include a possible sale. Merrill Lynch will assist in identifying and evaluating capital structure, financing, and other options. Trump Entertainment would not comment further. (AP)

P&G selling European tissues-towels business
Procter & Gamble Co. said it's selling its European paper towel and tissue business for $672 million to Swedish package and paper products company Svenska Cellulosa AB. The transaction, which represents about 1 percent of P&G's sales, includes the Tempo brand of paper handkerchiefs in Europe and Hong Kong and the licensing of Charmin and Bounty trademarks in Europe. Svenska Cellulosa also will obtain five plants in Western Europe. (AP)

Katrina lawyers withdraw request for settlement OK
Some of the lawyers who helped negotiate a proposed settlement of at least $50 million with State Farm Insurance Cos. over Hurricane Katrina damage claims withdrew their request for a federal judge to approve the deal. At a hearing less than two weeks ago, a team of lawyers joined State Farm in urging US District Judge L.T. Senter Jr. to approve the proposed settlement. However, that legal team is withdrawing its request, citing Senter's apparent "reluctance" to approve the settlement. (AP)

Business to seek easing of corporate regulations
A gathering of influential figures convened by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to discuss the effect on business of laws and rules born of the 2002 corporate scandals likely will produce some ideas that could quickly be turned into policy changes, a top administration official said. Robert Steel, the Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, spoke about a conference being held in Washington today on the monthslong campaign by business interests for a softening of the regulations. (AP)

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