Bank buys 29 Emigrant branches

Apple Bank for Savings, based in Manhasset, said Thursday it had received federal and state approval to acquire 29 branches of Emigrant Savings Bank, including seven on Long Island. Privately held Apple didn't disclose the acquisition costs but said the deal includes $3.2 billion in deposits and represents most of Emigrant's retail branch network. The 29 branches include one in Huntington Station and six in Nassau County -- in Long Beach, Westbury, Bethpage, Elmont, Locust Valley and Sea Cliff. Approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the New York State Department of Financial Services, the acquisition increases Apple's size from $9.8 billion in total assets to $13 billion, and the number of branches to 79.-- Tom Incantalupo

Suffolk IDA event set for April

The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency will hold a networking event April 10 in Huntington Village to introduce startup businesses in the county to government agencies and financiers that could help them. IDA executive director Anthony Manetta said Thursday the startups should be in one of five industries: information technology, biotechnology, energy, green technology and pharmaceuticals. The two-hour event will start at 6 p.m. in The Paramount theater at 370 New York Ave. Manetta said admission is free but registration before the event is required. The IDA expects to spend about $3,500. More information about the agency's Start-Up Connect initiative can be found at suffolkida.org. -- James T. Madore


Groupon ousts CEO, founder

Struggling online deals pioneer Groupon has ousted its quirky founder and CEO Andrew Mason amid worries that people are tiring of the myriad of online restaurant, spa and Botox deals that Groupon built its business on. Shares jumped following Thursday's announcement, which had been anticipated for months. "I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding -- I was fired today," Mason, 32, wrote in a memo to staff. "If you're wondering why, you haven't been paying attention." The announcement came a day after Groupon reported a bigger-than-expected loss and gave a weak outlook for the current quarter.

Wendy's keeps its '13 outlook

Wendy's is standing by its outlook for the year as it pushes ahead with restaurant remodeling plans intended to boost its image. The Dublin, Ohio, company says it will remodel 100 company-owned locations and 100 franchised locations in 2013, with the new look intended to have a more inviting atmosphere including comfortable seating areas and flat-screen TVs. Remodeled locations will also sport a new logo, which was updated for the first time since 1983. The company's push to reinvent itself comes as people are increasingly eating at fast-casual chains such as Panera Bread Co., which offers food that's perceived as higher quality for slightly higher prices. By remodeling, Wendy's is hoping it can have more wiggle room to raise prices without scaring off customers.

Freddie tallies a $4.5B quarter

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac earned $4.5 billion from October through December, its fifth straight profitable quarter. The government-controlled company credited fewer delinquencies on home loans and rising home prices for the gains. Freddie said Thursday it paid a dividend of $1.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and requested no additional federal aid. The earnings compared with net income of $619 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The government rescued Freddie and larger sibling Fannie Mae during the financial crisis after both incurred massive losses on risky mortgages. Taxpayers have spent about $170 billion to rescue the two, the costliest bailout of the crisis. So far, the companies have repaid a combined $52.3 billion.-- AP

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