c.2013 New York Times News Service

c.2013 New York Times News Service

PEPSI DEAL UNDERSCORES A RELIANCE ON SNACKS

In an unusual deal that goes far beyond the soda wars, PepsiCo is to announce Thursday that it is unseating Coca-Cola as the beverage supplier to one of the nation’s hottest restaurant chains, Buffalo Wild Wings. The deal is the biggest sign so far of how PepsiCo is deploying its thriving snacks business and Quaker, which it also owns, to offset declines in its traditional soda business. While details are still in the discussion stages, the two companies envision blends that include things as diverse as chip-flavored dishes and sports celebrity appearances fostered by PepsiCo’s sports affiliations.

TOP CANDIDATE FOR FED VICE CHAIRMAN LED ISRAEL’S CENTRAL BANK

Stanley Fischer, the former governor of the Bank of Israel and a mentor to the Federal Reserve’s chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, is the leading candidate to become vice chairman of the Fed, according to former and current administration officials. If nominated, and then confirmed by the Senate, Fischer, 70, would succeed Janet L. Yellen, whom President Barack Obama nominated to succeed Bernanke as the Fed’s leader when his term ends in January. Fischer is a highly regarded economist with significant policymaking experience, yet many had considered his selection improbable because of his recent service in a foreign government.

FDA TO CURB ANTIBIOTIC USE IN LIVESTOCK

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday put in place a major new policy to phase out the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in cows, pigs and chickens raised for meat, a practice that experts say has endangered human health by fueling the growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance. This is the agency’s first serious attempt in decades to curb what experts have long regarded as the systematic overuse of antibiotics in healthy farm animals, with the drugs typically added directly into their feed and water. The waning effectiveness of antibiotics — wonder drugs of the 20th century — has become a looming threat to public health.

HILTON PRICES IPO AT $20 A SHARE

When Hilton Worldwide went private in a $26 billion deal with the Blackstone Group, it became one of the biggest companies ever to sell itself in a leveraged buyout. Now Hilton has become one of the largest companies to go public this year. Hilton priced its initial public offering Wednesday at $20 a share, at the midpoint of its expected range, giving the company an equity value of about $19.7 billion. In all, Hilton raised nearly $2.4 billion from the sale of 117.6 million shares after raising the size of the offering by about 4 percent from its original estimate.

ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND TO PAY $100 MILLION TO SETTLE INQUIRY

The Royal Bank of Scotland is paying $100 million in fines to New York and federal banking regulators to settle civil investigations into accusations that some of its former employees helped conceal transactions involving customers from Iran, Sudan and other nations subject to international sanctions for about a decade. The joint action announced Wednesday by the New York State Department of Financial Services, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control is part of a continuing crackdown on banks that violate U.S. laws against money laundering, specifically banks that enable transactions with countries that are subject to international sanctions.

WEINSTEINS SUE WARNER OVER PROCEEDS ON ‘HOBBIT’ FILMS

Bob and Harvey Weinstein escalated a legal dispute over their claim to a share in the proceeds from the new “Hobbit” films by Warner Bros. with a lawsuit filed in a New York state court Tuesday. The brothers sold film rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth fantasies before founding their current studio, the Weinstein Co. Warner, which disputes the claim, says the Weinsteins committed “one of the great blunders in movie history” by entering into a contract that gave them a stake in only one film.

S&P 500 ‘LIKES’ FACEBOOK

Facebook stock jumped close to 4 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday on news that the social media giant would join the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index at the end of next week. The move will become official at the close of trading Dec. 20. The company currently has a market capitalization of more than $120 billion. Facebook will knock Teradyne, a testing equipment firm, out of the index. Teradyne, in turn, will replace the publisher Scholastic Corp. in the S&P MidCap 400, which lists companies with a market capitalization of $2 billion to $4.5 billion. Other technology giants listed in the S&P 500 index include Yahoo, Google, eBay, Yahoo and Microsoft.

BOIES SCHILLER AGAIN PAYS ASSOCIATES LARGER BONUSES THAN RIVALS

The law firm co-founded by the well-known litigator David Boies is again breaking away from the pack when it comes to showering big year-end bonuses on young lawyers. The Boies, Schiller & Flexner law firm is paying bonuses of as much as $300,000 to some of its associates, with the average young lawyer taking home an additional $85,000, a firm spokeswoman, Dawn Schneider, confirmed late Tuesday. Last year, the maximum bonus handed out to some of the young lawyers at the firm, which specializes in trial and appellate litigation, was $250,000. Other major law firms are giving much smaller bonuses to their young lawyers, with payments topping out around $60,000.