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200 hires at ‘5-hour’ site in Wabash

Living Essentials on Wednesday announced plans to invest $25.5 million and create up to 200 new jobs by 2013 as it builds and equips a new Wabash factory to make its 5-hour Energy supplement drinks and possible future products.

The Farmington Hills, Mich.-based company already employs 370 in Wabash at two plants that produce 5-hour Energy. The company sells more than 9 million bottles each week.

The company plans to begin hiring immediately for positions including engineers, production and administration. The 1 million-square-foot factory, being built in two or three phases, is expected to open in September 2013 in the Wabash Business Center.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered the company up to $375,000 in training grants, which depend on meeting hiring projections. The city of Wabash also approved a property tax abatement.

Gov. Mitch Daniels attended the company’s Wednesday morning announcement.

Biomet cuts loss to $31.5 million

Biomet Inc. on Wednesday reported a net loss of $31.5 million for the first fiscal quarter, 20 percent less than the $39.2 million loss reported for the same three months a year ago.

The first quarter of the Warsaw-based orthopedic devices maker’s fiscal year ended Aug. 31. As of that date, Biomet reported gross debt of $6.28 billion and cash and cash equivalents of $619 million.

Special items during the quarter totaled almost $123 million, including $74.7 million of non-cash amortization expense related to the 2007 “merger.” A private-equity consortium paid $11.4 billion for Biomet, a transaction the new owners characterize as a merger.

During the three months, Biomet substantially completed its $280 million acquisition of DePuy Orthopaedics Inc.’s worldwide trauma business. With the acquisition, Biomet’s net sales increased 6 percent during the quarter to $707 million. Without the trauma addition, sales increased by only 1 percent.

DePuy sold its trauma business before completing a $21.3 billion acquisition of Synthes Inc., which made orthopedic devices for the trauma market. The Warsaw-based operationis now DePuy Synthes Cos.

BAE Systems, EADS NV suspend merger talks

A deal to create a European defense and aerospace giant to rival Boeing Co. collapsed Wednesday when BAE Systems and EADS NV called off merger talks in the face of government objections.

The companies said they had “decided to terminate their discussions” over the proposed $45 billion tie-up because of conflicting interests between the British, French and German governments.

The proposed merger between Britain’s BAE and Franco-German EADS, the parent of Airbus, would have created a company with a market value just shy of Boeing’s.

Wal-Mart to accelerate small store openings

Wal-Mart is accelerating the expansion of small stores, particularly its Neighborhood Market stores, as it looks to compete with a variety of rivals.

Bill Simon, president of Wal-Mart’s U.S. division told Wall Street analysts at a meeting that it plans to have 500 Neighborhood Market stores and 12 Express stores by fiscal 2016.

As of the end of July, Wal-Mart had 10 Express stores.