Business Digest: H-E-B says it is now Texas’ largest private employer


RETAIL

H-E-B says it is now Texas’ largest private employer

H-E-B, with more than 100,000 workers, is now Texas’ largest private employer, the company announced this week.

The San Antonio-based grocery chain now employs more than 90,000 people in 325 stores across Texas and some 10,000 in 56 stores in Mexico. Those counts will change in 2017, however, as the company plans on adding nine new stores in Texas and six new stores in Mexico.

H-E-B has created 24,000 jobs since the 2008 financial crisis, the company said in a news release.

It also offers employees who have worked at least 1,000 hours an option to participate in a “partner stock” plan equal to 3 percent of their salary along and an additional $100 for each year the employee remains with H-E-B.

TECHNOLOGY

BlackBerry wins $815M in dispute with Qualcomm

WATERLOO, Ontario — BlackBerry Ltd. says it has been awarded $814.9 million in a binding interim arbitration decision in a dispute with Qualcomm Inc. over royalty overpayments.

The two companies agreed last year to arbitrate a disagreement regarding whether Qualcomm’s agreement to cap certain royalties applied to payments made by BlackBerry under a license agreement.

BlackBerry chief executive John Chen said Wednesday in a statement the two companies have a longstanding relationship and continue to be valued partners.

BlackBerry says a final award including interest and reasonable legal fees will be issued after a hearing on May 30.

Qualcomm says while it does not agree with the decision, it is binding and not appealable.

The San Diego-based chip maker says the decision is limited to provisions unique to BlackBerry’s license agreement with Qualcomm.

FINANCE

Buffett’s firm selling some Wells Fargo shares

OMAHA, Neb. — Warren Buffett’s company is selling a chunk of its Wells Fargo stock to avoid some federal regulations.

The sale isn’t tied to the scandal over the bank’s sales practices that led to its CEO’s departure last year, Berkshire Hathaway said Wednesday.

Instead, Berkshire said it’s selling the stock to keep its stake in the San Francisco-based bank below 10 percent to avoid additional Federal Reserve regulations. It will said it continue selling shares as needed to remain below that threshold.

Berkshire’s holdings crept above 10 percent last year because of Wells Fargo’s stock repurchases. Berkshire asked the Fed for a waiver that would allow it to continue holding its Wells Fargo shares without being treated as a bank holding company.

Regulators, however, said Berkshire would have to restrict its commercial dealings with Wells Fargo if it kept all the shares.

A Wells Fargo spokesman said the bank appreciates the confidence Berkshire has shown it over the years, both as its largest shareholder and as a large customer.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate said it has already sold 7.1 million Wells Fargo shares and will sell about 1.9 million more. That will bring its holding to around 491 million shares.

FAST FOOD

Wikipedia users derail Burger King’s ad stunt

NEW YORK — Burger King’s latest ad stunt is resulting in some less-than-flattering descriptions of its Whopper sandwich.

The hamburger chain unveiled a 15-second ad Wednesday designed to trigger Google Home devices into reciting the definition of a Whopper, pulled from the website Wikipedia. But the website can be edited by users, and the definition had been changed to insert “cyanide” as an ingredient in one version. Another user later changed the definition to say the Whopper is “the worst hamburger product” sold by the chain.

Burger King, owned by Restaurant Brands International, says it is not behind the negative edits and that it has been trying to change the definition back to one that it was hoping to promote.



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