Business & Finance

Michael Foods Inc. is being acquired for $1.05 billion by a Boston private-equity firm, Thomas H. Lee, the former announced Monday. The company, based in a Minneapolis suburb, makes egg and potato products for the food- service industry and grocery stores under the MG Waldbaum, Papetti's, Better 'N Eggs, and Diner's Choice brands, among others.

HealthSouth Corp. may have shredded documents relevant to an insider-trading inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission, The Wall Street Journal reported. A law firm hired by the rehabilitation giant's board found shredded material in a room holding the files of four executives, three of whom later pleaded guilty in a $2.5 billion accounting scandal, the paper said, citing an internal report by the legal team. A House panel investigating HealthSouth is scheduled to hold its first public hearing Thursday.

The maker of Nivea cream and other skin-care products, Beiersdorf AG, is "actively" involved in plans to buy back up to 10 percent of its own stock so it can remain German-owned, The Wall Street Journal reported. Such a purchase - with financial help from the city of Hamburg, the state government of Schleswig Holstein, at least one local bank, and other investors - would be made from insurance giant Allianz AG, which owns a 43 percent stake in Beiersdorf. For more than a year, reports have linked consumer products giant Procter & Gamble of the US to a hostile takeover bid for Beiersdorf.

An across-the-board layoff of 1,500 employees was announced by Air New Zealand as part of a rebuilding effort aimed at saving more than $140 million over the next four years. The company, which narrowly avoided bankruptcy two years ago, is pursuing an alliance with larger Australian carrier Qantas.

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