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Top News Links: Thursday, June 9

Mercedes-Benz supplier to do expansion, create 200 jobs

A Pell City auto supplier is undergoing a $14.5 million expansion that will eventually bring 200 new jobs. German supplier Eissmann Automotive will build a new 130,000-square-foot facility for a new production line. When complete, Eissman will have 850 employees in St. Clair County. It currently has 650. – AL.com

Hubbard returns to stand today in Opelika

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard is returning to the witness stand for the third day in his ethics trial. A state prosecutor will resume cross-examination of the Republican speaker Thursday morning. Prosecutor Matt Hart on Wednesday quizzed Hubbard on $2.3 million in contracts, party campaign business and investments his companies received. He also questioned Hubbard about email he sent former Gov. Bob Riley, now a lobbyist, seeking employment help. – AP/FNR

Northrop Grumman wins $600M modification contract

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Space & Mission Systems business unit has secured a modification contract from the missile defense agency to extend the period of performance of task orders. The contract is valued at $600 million but with this extension the total contract value goes up to $3.85 billion. The company will provide support services, development, and test and evaluation of integrated missile defense capabilities at U.S. Air Force bases in eight states including Alabama. – Zacks

Olam International acquires Brooks Peanut Company

Olam International on Thursday said it has acquired a 100 percent interest in the largest Alabama-based sheller, Brooks Peanut Company, at its enterprise value of $85 million. Brooks, based in Samson, is the sixth largest peanut sheller in the U.S. The latest acquisition follows Olam's purchase of U.S. peanut sheller McCleskey Mills Inc., in December 2014. Headquartered in Singapore, Olam is a leading agri-business company operating across 70 countries. – Business Times

House Minority Leader Craig Ford: Six years later, and no jobs

For six years, Alabama’s leaders have talked about “jobs, jobs, jobs” and bragged about how they’ve made us one of the most pro-business states in the country, but the facts don’t back that claim up. Chief Executive magazine recently printed their “Best and Worst State’s for Business” issue. CEOs from all over the country weighed in to rank each state. Alabama ranked in the middle, at 20th. While Alabama rated 17th on taxes and regulation, we came in 33rd in workforce quality and 33rd in living environment. – DothanFirst.com

Survey: Southeast manufacturing down 12.3 points in May

Southeast manufacturers reversed a strong April report with sharp decreases, according to the Southeast’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report released Wednesday by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business. Southeast manufacturing activity decreased 12.3 points to 48.8 in May, based on decreases for all five of its underlying components. This is the lowest Southeast reading since August 2015. – News release

AIG, Caremark to pay $310M for alleged lawsuit misrepresentation

In April, AIG and CVS Caremark agree to pay a combined $310 million ($280 million for AIG and $80 million from CVS) to settle a long-running class action claiming that way back in 1999, when a CVS predecessor company was facing a potentially ruinous shareholder fraud case, they deceived plaintiffs’ lawyers about the company’s insurance coverage. – Reuters

Federal judge issues final order upholding same-sex marriages

A federal judge in Alabama has issued a permanent injunction barring state officials from denying same-sex couples the right to marry in that state, according to court documents made public on Wednesday. The order, filed on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Callie Granade, came in response to a 2014 lawsuit challenging Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage, finalizing a decision Granade made in early 2015 that the state law was unconstitutional. – Business Insider

Tullos departs from Wiregrass Economic Development Corp.

The man who has served as Wiregrass Economic Development Corp. executive director since 2013 has resigned and the search is on for his replacement. Jonathan Tullos will “pursue other job opportunities,” according to a statement from WEDC Chairman David Hayes. – Southeast Sun

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