Business & Finance

Fifth Third Bancorp, based in Cincinnati, will expand its Florida operations by purchasing First National Bankshares of Florida Inc. for nearly $1.6 billion in stock, Fifth Third said Monday. Upon completion of the deal, Fifth Third, which has about 950 branches, mostly in the Midwest and mid-South, will have more than 90 banking centers in the Sunshine State.

The US Army selected Lockheed Martin Corp. Monday over Northrup Grumman Corp. to start developing a new spy plane in a contract worth $875 million for the first five Aerial Common Sensor planes, and potentially $6 billion over the extended program. The planes will perform battlefield intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

Mexico's fourth-largest bank, Grupo Financiero Banorte SA, which is based in Monterrey, will trim 12 percent of its workforce, or approximately 2,000 employees by September, Bloomberg.com reported Monday. The bank is seeking to increase consumer lending as it faces increased competition from international banks.

In an appeal to software developers, IBM planned to announce Tuesday that it will contribute $88 million worth of software code, or more than half a million lines, to an open-source software group, according to The New York Times. IBM is hoping that the move will encourage software developers to write applications in their Java programming language.

The Quebec Labor Relations Board has accredited a union formed at a Wal-Mart store in Quebec, which thus becomes the first unionized store among more than 1,300 owned by the world's largest retailer. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is based in Bentonville, Ark., says it will fight the Canadian effort, the Associated Press reported Monday.

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