Share this article

print logo


First Niagara receives key approval in HSBC deal

First Niagara Bank has cleared the final hurdle in its acquisition of HSBC Bank USA's New York and Connecticut branches.

The Buffalo-headquartered bank's acquisition has received regulatory approval for the $1 billion purchase from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

First Niagara said it plans to close 35 overlapping branches, eight of which are in the Buffalo area. It has already sold 64 offices to three other banks.

The deal is expected to close May 18. It will give First Niagara the No. 1 retail market position in Buffalo by deposits and nearly double its number of locations.

"We are very pleased to have received the OCC's approval which was the final requirement to completing the transaction," said John R. Koelmel, First Niagara president and CEO, in a statement. "We have begun communicating with our customers as to what they can expect in the weeks ahead and I am fully confident that our team will again deliver a smooth transition."


2 health centers win grants

Two health care clinics -- one on Buffalo's West Side and one in the Southern Tier -- have received grants of $100,000 each.

Neighborhood Health Center/Northwest Buffalo Community Health Care Center in Buffalo and Southern Tier Community Health Center in Olean were awarded the grants by the New York State Health Foundation, a private foundation aiming to expand health care coverage and reduce health care costs.

The grants targeted clinics in medically underserved areas in an attempt to help them handle increased demand as more consumers gain health coverage through federal reform. Buffalo's clinic will use the money to grow its management infrastructure, while the Olean clinic will use it to expand its primary care in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties.


Health billing rules delayed

Doctors facing new rules for how they code bills to insurers and classify diseases are getting a one-year reprieve from the U.S. government because of concern that health care providers wouldn't meet a 2013 deadline.

Implementation of the 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases, or ICD-10, is being pushed back to Oct. 1, 2014, according to a regulatory proposal Monday. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Feb. 16 the department planned to delay implementation.

The new system would increase the number of codes more than fivefold to 68,000 from 13,000, according to the American Medical Association, the nation's largest physicians' lobby.

-- Bloomberg News


Mazzuto sentenced in fraud

NEW YORK (AP) -- A former bank director who pleaded guilty to grand larceny in a $60 million stock fraud scam has been sentenced in New York.

A Manhattan judge says John Mazzuto will serve between 1 1/2 years and 4 1/2 years in prison.

Mazzuto was accused of illegally giving stocks to friends and relatives, lying to investors and pumping up stock prices as CEO of Industrial Enterprises of America Inc.

He pleaded guilty last year to grand larceny and scheming to defraud.

The company filed for bankruptcy in 2009. It remains in business.


Waterpark bid topped

Great Wolf Resorts received a $234 million takeover offer from KSL Capital Partners, topping a bid from Apollo Global Management for a second time and extending a private-equity bidding contest for the waterpark operator.

KSL made an unsolicited offer of $7 a share in cash, Madison, Wis.-based Great Wolf said in a statement, adding that it would consider the proposal. Shares of Great Wolf, which said on Friday that it agreed to a sweetened bid from Apollo of $6.75 a share, rose to the highest in almost four years. It rose 86 cents a share on Monday, to $7.44.

Great Wolf operates a waterpark in Niagara Falls, Ont.