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Investors eye LI Seacrets site

Investors have expressed interest in opening a Long Island franchise of the Ocean City, Md., beach resort Seacrets, a trade publication says. Initial investments would range from $1.6 million to $3 million including a franchise fee of $45,000, and franchisees pay 6 percent of gross revenues as royalties, along with up to 2 percent of gross revenues for marketing. The online report did not give the names of those interested in a Long Island franchise for Seacrets. "After 23 years of continuing success in Ocean City, Md., Seacrets is looking to franchise the business. Seventy prospective franchisees from locations like Myrtle Beach, Florida, Long Island and Virginia have already expressed interest in opening a franchise," Franchise Hound said. "New Seacrets locations must be waterfront with a sizable amount of surrounding land. They are also interested in locations where mass transit is available and would like to possibly incorporate a hotel into a new franchise as well." -- JOSEPH MALLIA

LI firm upgrades weather network

Federal agencies that monitor weather now have a faster, more streamlined data network, recently installed by Hauppauge-based Globecomm Systems Inc., the company has announced. The Globecomm network is intended for use by the National Weather Service, and was provided on a subcontract basis for the prime contractor, Raytheon. It basically triples the federal government's weather-forecasting network speed and capacity, according to the company, which said the network "distributes large amounts of data collected and produced at NOAA's national centers to Weather Forecast Offices." Forecasters at the offices use the data to generate severe weather watches, alerts and warnings of various types of severe weather. -- JOSEPH MALLIA


Dunkin' revises IPO upward

The parent of Dunkin' Donuts plans to raise as much as $461 million when it takes the company public, up from the $400 million it originally estimated. Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., which runs Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, disclosed the estimated pricing in a regulatory filing yesterday. It didn't say when the stock might start trading. The company's current owners, a coterie of three well-known private equity firms, will continue to play a powerful role at the company even after it goes public. Together, Bain Capital Partners, Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners will own as much as 78 percent of the public Dunkin' Brands, which will make it nearly impossible for any dissident shareholders to effect substantial changes. The three firms control six of the nine seats on the board of directors. -- AP

Oil prices slip on inflation woes

The latest readings on Chinese inflation and renewed worries about European debt pushed oil lower. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.05 to settle at $95.15 per barrel yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price many international oil varieties, dropped $1.09 to settle at $117.24 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Oil started falling after a weekend announcement that inflation in China hit a three-year high in June. China has been raising interest rates in an attempt to control inflation and cool off its economy, but on Saturday the government said consumer prices continued to increase, jumping 6.4 percent last month. Rising consumer prices will heap even more pressure on the country's expanding economy, and that could affect energy demand. Oil has been climbing all year on the expectation that China will drive world oil demand. The dollar shot up against other currencies, and that also weighed on oil futures. -- AP

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