Arkansas Business

Tyson
Tyson Foods

Hillshire Brands has another suitor. Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Co. is offering to buy Hillshire for $50 per share. That's $5 per share higher than Pilgrim's Pride offer earlier this week.

Hillshire Brands, which makes Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages, has been trying to buy Birds Eye frozen vegetables maker Pinnacle Foods for $4.23 billion.

But Tyson, one of the world's largest meat-processing companies, said its offer would make a more profitable company.

The Environmental Protection Agency says Clean Harbors El Dorado L.L.C. has agreed to pay a more than $581,000 penalty for improperly identifying and disposing of hazardous waste; improper storage of hazardous waste; and failure to comply with air emissions standards at its plant in El Dorado.

The EPA says the violations were discovered during inspections.

The Osceola City Council has unanimously approved the issuance of $1.5 billion in industrial revenue bonds for the planned Big River Steel mill.

The council approved the ordinance Monday night. Under the agreement, the city will take the title for the property then lease it back to Big River Steel for $1 a year.

According to the Blytheville Courier News, the agreement also calls for Big River Steel to pay 35 percent of regular millage taxes to the city annually for 20 years.

An environmental regulatory panel is to vote on whether to issue an air quality permit for the proposed $1.1 billion Big River Steel mill that backers want to build in northeast Arkansas.

The Pollution Control and Ecology Commission on Friday is to hear arguments from lawyers from steel business competitor Nucor, which is trying to block construction of the new mill.

An administrative law judge earlier rejected Nucor's challenge, but the permit still has to be approved by the commission for the plant to be built.

The Osceola City Council has scheduled a meeting to discuss issuing $1.5 billion of economic development bonds for the Big River Steel mill.

Mayor Dickie Kennemore says the council will meet May 5 to discuss issuing $1.5 billion in Act 9 bonds for the project. Kennemore tells The Jonesboro Sun that the city would not be liable in any way for the bonds.

Under the proposal, the steel mill would be owned by the city of Osceola and leased back to Big River Steel for $1 a year.

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An electronics company in Fayetteville is being awarded a $3.5 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop a power module for fighter jets.

Arkansas Power Electronics International is to build a high-temperature, silicon carbide power module for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.  

Lauren Kegley, business development engineer with Arkansas Power Electronics International, said the company was chosen because it specializes in advanced electronics for a variety of customers in the defense, aerospace, and electric vehicle industries.

Governor Mike Beebe is to join Arkansas Economic Development Commission officials and local leaders to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Community Development Block Grant program.

The program was created by Congress in 1974 and has since provided more than $700 million to Arkansas communities for projects such as community centers, street repair, wastewater systems, local museums, homeless shelters, childcare facilities and libraries.

A shoe company says more than half its workforce at a Hot Springs manufacturing facility will be laid off, leaving 56 people out of work.

Munro & Co. says the first round of layoffs will happen in June with a second round occurring in July. The company produces the Munro American line of women's footwear and also imports shoes.

Last year, Munro & Co. closed its Mount Ida facility, putting 85 people out of work.

CEO Bruce Munro says the company has moved some operations to the Dominican Republic to remain competitive.

The Chi family of Little Rock is announcing it will turn the century-old Boyle Building at the corner of Main Street and Capitol Avenue into an Aloft Hotel.

The family already owns two hotels and several restaurants in Little Rock.

David Robinson, one of the partners for Main Street Lofts who until recently was the owner of Boyle Building, said the Chi Hotel Group purchased the building for $4.6 million.

Arkansas Business

Arkansas Securities Commissioner Heath Abshure has been cleared of any ethical violations after a complaint was filed by Little Rock-based investment firm Stephens Incorporated.

But now the company’s top lawyer says there ought to be a law against what the commissioner did.

Arkansas Business Editor Gwen Moritz has been following the ongoing allegations being fired back and forth between the Abshure and Stephens.

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