Business & Finance

The cofounders and chief executive of Google Inc. notified the Securities and Exchange Commission that they'll sell millions of shares each in the online search engine, a plan that could enrich each by hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more. Under a plan decided upon in September - shortly after Google's initial public offering - but not made public until last Friday, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and chief executive Eric Schmidt will dispose of the stock through automated trading, a device often used by corporate executives to prevent investors from questioning the timing of such sales. If their plan is successful, Page and Brin each would keep more than $5 billion in shares each, while Schmidt would still own more than $2 billion.

Nike Inc. cofounder Phil Knight is stepping down as chief executive of the world's largest athletic shoe and clothing company, he announced late last week. During 36 years in building the corporate name and "swoosh" logo into a global icon, Knight has become a billionaire and a sports-marketing legend. He will retain the chairmanship of the company. But, effective Dec. 28, the day-to-day operations will be handed over to William Perez, who currently heads S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., the maker of Glade air fresheners and Drano drain cleaner. Nike reported $12.3 billion in sales for fiscal 2004. It is based in Beaverton, Ore.

In a deal valued at just under $1 billion, the buyout firm Nordic Capital agreed to acquire rescue- and emergency-services specialist Falck AS, Bloomberg.com reported. The move ends a siege of Falck by prospective buyers and means that the company will become private less than four months after it was spun off by industry giant Group 4. Falck provides firefighting, roadside breakdown, and ambulance service; survival training; and certain forms of healthcare in the Scandinavian countries and Poland. It is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Nordic Capital is based in Stockholm.

United Natural Foods Inc., a leading distributor of organically grown produce, anticipates creating more than 250 jobs at a new Midwest hub over the next three years, it announced Friday. The company, based in Dayville, Conn., delivers to consumer clubs, supermarkets, and other retailers in 49 states. The new facility, in Greenwood, Ind., will begin operation next July.

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