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POSTED August 30, 2013 10:38 p.m.

LOWE'S COMPLETES ORCHARD SUPPLY ACQUISITION: MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Home improvement retailer Lowe's said it has completed its acquisition of 72 stores from Orchard Supply Hardware Stores for approximately $205 million.

Orchard is a Sears spinoff that filed for bankruptcy in June. That same month the San Jose, Calif., company received the offer from Lowe's Cos. The "stalking horse" bid also included the assumption of debts owed to nearly all of Orchard's suppliers.

The deal allows Lowe's to expand in California and reach into urban areas. Because Orchard's has smaller stores, it can operate in areas of dense population.

Orchard will continue to run as a separate, stand-alone company.

Last week Lowe's reported that its second-quarter results topped Wall Street's expectations and the chain raised its full-year earnings and revenue forecasts.

Shares of Lowe's, based in Mooresville, N.C., shed 55 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $45.87 in Friday morning trading. Its shares are still trading near their 52-week high of $47.51 reached late last week.

APPLE OFFERS IPHONE TRADE-IN AHEAD OF UNVEILING: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Excited about the new iPhone expected to be unveiled Sept. 10? Apple will now join others in allowing you to trade in your old model.

The company said starting Friday that it would give customers credit for functioning older models at Apple Stores. The credit can be used toward the purchase of a new iPhone, which will be activated in the store.

It didn't say how much older phones would be worth. But other brokers such as Gazelle.com offer anywhere from $10 for a working iPhone 3G to $350 for an iPhone 5 that is in pristine condition.

Similar trade-in programs are run by retailers including Best Buy, Target and Radio Shack.

 

BILL WOULD HELP FARMWORKERS COLLECT BACK WAGES: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Farmworkers would have an easier time retrieving the back wages they are owed under a bill heading to Gov. Jerry Brown.

SB168 makes farm labor contractors liable for any wages or penalties owed by a labor contract they inherit, such as through an ownership change of the business.

Sen. Bill Monning, a Democrat from Carmel, says his bill is designed to end a "shell game" that is practiced when some contractors slightly alter their corporate identity to avoid paying farm laborers.

Sen. Jim Nielsen, a Republican from Gerber, said the legislation could harm the agriculture industry. It is opposed by nearly a dozen growers' organizations.

The United Farm Workers and other unions support the bill.

The Senate approved SB168 on a 23-11 vote Friday.

 

CAL FIRE FUNDS SHOULD HAVE GONE TO STATE : LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than $3.5 million the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spent on training and new equipment should have gone into California's cash-strapped general fund, according to a new audit.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the money, obtained over the years from legal settlements, was parked in a fund controlled by the nonprofit California District Attorneys Association.

An audit released Thursday by the state Finance Department says Cal Fire was required to turn the money over to the general fund.

Auditors also say Cal Fire tracked the money so poorly that some of it could have been lost.

Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott says his agency believed it had the authority to place the money in the fund, as long as it was spent for "proper purposes."

 

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