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BUSINESS BRIEFLY

Federal Reserve paying U.S. record $78.4 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve is paying a record $78.4 billion in earnings to the U.S. government, reflecting gains from the central bank's unconventional efforts to lift the economy.

The payment to the Treasury Department for 2010 is the largest since the Fed began operating in 1914. It surpasses the previous record $47.4 billion paid in 2009, the Fed said Monday.

The bigger payment mostly came from more income generated by the Fed's massive portfolio of securities, which includes Treasury debt and mortgage securities.

Critics in Congress have expressed concerns that the Fed's purchases could put taxpayers at risk by reducing the amount turned over to Treasury. The Fed is funded from interest earned on its portfolio of securities. It is not funded by Congress. After covering its expenses, the Fed gives what is left over to the Treasury Department.

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Chipmaker CEO resigns

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) -- The chief executive of chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has resigned.

AMD describes the resignation of CEO Dirk Meyer, 49, as "mutual" and effective immediately. Thomas Seifert, 47, the company's senior vice president and chief financial officer, will succeed him on an interim basis while the company conducts a search for a permanent replacement.

In a statement, the company praised Meyer for leading the company through an ongoing legal battle with rival Intel Corp. But AMD says the board believes it has an opportunity to create increased shareholder value. The company says the chipmaker will need significant growth and a change in leadership to accomplish that.

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DuPont buying Danisco

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) -- DuPont is buying Danish food additives maker Danisco A/S for $5.8 billion as it looks to beef up the products it offers to improve the taste and health benefits of food.

The chemical giant wants to widen its reach as the world's population grows and demand for food increases. The deal also gives DuPont more exposure to alternative fuel markets, like ethanol, where Danisco products are also used.

Danisco's compounds are used in a wide range of industries from bakery, dairy and beverages to animal feed, laundry detergents and bioethanol. Its food additives include enzymes that make low-fat food taste better or extend shelf life, cultures like probiotics for yogurt and sweeteners.

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Hefner leads buyout

NEW YORK (AP) -- The publisher of Playboy magazine has agreed to accept a sweetened buyout offer from a partnership headed by founder Hugh Hefner, allowing the original playboy to fulfill his plans to take the company private.

Hefner is Playboy's largest shareholder with about 70 percent of Playboy Enterprises Inc.'s voting shares and 28 percent of the nonvoting stock. By leading a buyout for a larger portion, the 84-year-old known for his penchant for silk pajamas and young blond women is betting that the racy magazine he launched in 1953 can still reap profits in the digital age.

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Church site fully leased

The former Evangel Assembly of God Church in Amherst is fully leased, with the addition of University Pediatric Dentistry P.C. as a tenant.

The former church, at Maple and Ayer roads, was redeveloped by McGuire Development. The property's anchor, Pediatric and Adolescent Urgent Care Center, opened last November.

The remaining, undeveloped five acres of the site will be used for a two-story, 45,000-square-foot professional office building, said James Dentinger, McGuire's president.

Preparation of the site, including the demolition of three homes, will start in late February, Dentinger said. The new building is expected to open in spring 2012.

University Pediatric Dentistry's newest office is to open at the former church in March and will use 9,000 of the property's 16,000 square feet.

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