Business Briefs – February 5, 2019

‘Bond King’ Bill Gross to Retire From Janus

DENVER (AP) – William H. Gross, the legendary and colorful bond investor who once controlled the world’s largest mutual fund, is retiring to focus on his personal assets and private charitable foundation. Gross was nicknamed the “Bond King” after co-founding the investment firm Pimco in 1971 and delivering returns that were the envy of the fixed-income market. But his star dimmed in recent years as his returns fell short of competitors.

Struggling Papa John’s Names Activist Investor as Chairman

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Papa John’s has turned to activist investment firm Starboard Value to help it engineer a turnaround. Starboard CEO Jeff Smith will become chairman of the pizza chain’s board. Meanwhile, Starboard Value will invest $200 million in Papa John’s through the purchase of new convertible preferred shares.

 

Nissan Decision Seen as Sign Of Brexit Business Jitters

LONDON (AP) – With Brexit just seven weeks away, Britain’s ruling Conservative Party was locked in tense negotiations with itself Monday to rework the U.K.’s divorce deal with the European Union — as the EU stood firm in ruling out any renegotiation.

Meanwhile, pro-EU and pro-Brexit U.K. politicians traded allegations about whether Nissan’s decision not to build a new SUV in northern England was the latest Brexit-induced damage to Britain’s economy.

Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29, and many businesses fear economic chaos if there isn’t an agreement on the rules and conditions that will replace the 45 years of frictionless trade that came with being an EU member. The uncertainty has already led many firms to shift some operations abroad, stockpile goods or defer investment decisions.

Nissan announced over the weekend that it has decided not to build the X-Trail model at its existing U.K. plant in Sunderland, England, canceling plans announced two years ago after May’s government promised to ensure the carmaker’s ability to compete after Brexit.

FAA: Chicago’s O’Hare Airport Busiest in U.S. in 2018

CHICAGO (AP) – O’Hare International Airport in Chicago was the busiest airport in the U.S. in 2018, surpassing Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the first time in four years.

The Federal Aviation Administration released data on Monday showing that O’Hare had more than 903,000 arrivals and departures during 2018. Atlanta’s airport was second, with more than 895,000 arrivals and departures.

Los Angeles International Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Denver International Airport round out the top five.

O’Hare last held the top spot in 2014.