Business digest: Mars repays Berkshire’s bonds

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Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2013 12:00 am

Mars Inc. said it retired $4.4 billion in bonds that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bought in 2008 when he helped the candy company acquire Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. The maker of M&M's candies was paying 11.45 percent on the notes, which were due in 2018. Mars had the right to end the arrangement with a prepayment premium. Buffett backed Mars's $23 billion purchase of the chewing gum maker in October 2008 with the debt financing and an agreement to take a $2.1 billion stake in the Wrigley division. Closely held Mars joins Goldman Sachs Group, General Electric and Swiss Re in repaying Berkshire for investments made during periods when Buffett was able to charge historically high interest rates.

The Lincoln Airport Authority has been awarded a $750,000 grant that could help the airport land service to Atlanta. The authority says the money would be used to guarantee revenue for possible Delta flights. The money would provide some financial protection for Delta if first-year revenue from the Lincoln-Atlanta flights falls short of expectations.

Operating profit at Samsung Electronics hit another record in the July-September quarter, likely driven by robust sales of its cheaper midrange smartphones in developing countries. The maker of Galaxy smartphones said Friday that its third-quarter operating income rose 25 percent over a year earlier to $9.4 billion. Third-quarter sales increased 13 percent to a record high of $55 billion.

Facebook will sell advertising on its Instagram photo service, the first effort to make money from the company's largest acquisition on record. Promotions will start to appear on the mobile application, which lets users share images from smartphones, in the next couple of months in the United States, Facebook said. Instagram will deliver a “small number” of pictures and videos from a handful of companies that users aren't necessarily following.

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