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Byline: - Staff and Wire Services

CVS talking about acquiring Sav-on

BOISE, Idaho - Drugstore chain CVS Corp. said Thursday it has been in discussions with Boise-based Albertson's Inc. regarding the purchase of the supermarket chain's Sav-on and Osco drugstores.

But CVS, a Rhode Island-based company that operates more than 5,400 retail and specialty pharmacy stores nationwide, said no agreement on any transaction between the company and Albertson's has been reached. It canceled a planned conference call with analysts Thursday morning after reports that the supermarket chain had ceased negotiating with bidders and was planning alternatives to selling the entire company.

The New York Times cited unidentified sources Thursday in saying Albertson's broke off negotiations Wednesday night with a group of investors that was bidding for the company.

Agency accepts energy-firm pact

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Thursday it has accepted a $512 million settlement with Reliant Energy Inc., California utilities and commission staff to resolve claims stemming from the 2000-01 Western energy crisis.

Specifically, the settlement resolves claims that the Houston-based merchant generator charged unfairly high prices for electricity during the crisis.

``This marks another significant milestone in bringing closure to the 2000-2001 energy crisis,'' FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher said.

Calpine pushes to void contracts

NEW YORK - Calpine Corp. asked a federal judge to void eight power-supply agreements as part of the company's bankruptcy proceedings, including a massive, politically sensitive contract that serves the California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Calpine, a power producer and marketer based in San Jose, would lose $1.2 billion if forced to supply power through the expiration of all eight contracts, it said Wednesday in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York.

Calpine signed the contracts between 2001 and 2003, when natural gas, the main fuel for Calpine's power plants, was much cheaper than it is today.

Calpine customers with threatened contracts are Edison International unit Southern California Edison, Acadia Power Partners, PG&E unit Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Reliant Energy Electrical Solutions, and the Northern California Power Agency and Strategic Energy, which is the retail supply subsidiary of Great Plains Energy.

UPS pilots seek impasse in talks

ATLANTA - UPS pilots will ask the National Mediation Board to declare contract talks at an impasse and start a countdown toward what would be their first strike, union officials said Thursday.

``Our hand has been forced,'' said Tom Nicholson, president of the Independent Pilots Union, which represents 2,400 UPS fliers. ``We no longer believe UPS is serious about reaching an agreement.''

But UPS spokesman Mark Giuffre said that the two sides were making meaningful progress in talks this week and that the company expects a negotiated settlement.

Civil charges filed against managers

WASHINGTON - The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday filed civil charges against two former San Francisco hedge-fund managers, accusing them of making thousands of illegal trades that cheated mutual funds out of $49 million between 2000 and 2003.

Brent Federighi, 34, and Michael Hoffman, 42, were accused of making the trades on behalf of the $130 million Ilytat hedge fund, which they co-managed. Federighi was also charged with his trading in the $55 million Gage Capital hedge fund, which he managed after Ilytat closed.

``We were disappointed that they decided to go ahead with the filing of the lawsuit,'' said Bill Goodman, an attorney for Federighi. ``It has utterly no merit whatsoever, and we're convinced that we will prevail in court.''
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 23, 2005

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