Seattle-based Loudeye said in a regulatory filing yesterday that it received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market because its share price has been less than $1 for 30 days.

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Seattle-based Loudeye said in a regulatory filing yesterday that it received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market because its share price has been less than $1 for 30 days. Nasdaq has given the digital-music company a deadline of Jan. 3 to get its share price back above $1 for 10 consecutive days. Loudeye said it may implement a reverse stock split in the future. Its share price closed yesterday at 81 cents.


Spanish airline chooses Airbus

Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España, Spain’s No. 1 carrier, signed a contract to buy 30 planes from Airbus as the airline replaces short- and medium-distance aircraft from Boeing.

Iberia agreed to buy 10 Airbus A318 narrow-body jetliners, seven A319s, 10 A320s and three A321 planes, Toulouse, France-based Airbus said yesterday. The airline has an option for an additional 49 aircraft. If it buys all 79 planes, the order would be worth about $4.5 billion, the airline said in February when the initial contract was signed.

Iberia snubbed Boeing with the purchase after holding talks with former Chief Executive Harry Stonecipher a week before the initial agreement with Airbus was announced. The airline is replacing 19 of Boeing’s MD-87 aircraft, 13 MD-88 models, seven Boeing 757 planes as well as its oldest Airbus A320 aircraft.


67-acre smelter site in Tacoma for sale

The old Asarco smelter site in Tacoma — 67 acres with 5,000 feet of unobstructed waterfront and the last toxic remnants of 100 years of industrial use — is on the market.

Asarco on Thursday listed its Ruston copper-smelter site, one of the largest undeveloped waterfront properties left on Puget Sound. The hope is that a private owner would speed development and cleanup, which so far has cost $180 million.

Once home to one of the worst polluters in the region, the land now is valuable for its stunning views of Commencement Bay.

Asarco has spent two decades cleaning arsenic and lead contamination from the site, which once produced 10 percent of the nation’s copper and employed 1,700 people.

With most of the work done and nearby property values climbing rapidly, this seems like an opportune time to sell, said Tom Aldrich, vice president of environmental affairs.

Sterling Financial

Spokane S&L now commercial bank

Sterling Savings Bank in Spokane has converted from a state-chartered savings and loan to a state-chartered commercial bank, a move that allows it to make more business loans. It also received approval from the Federal Reserve Board to switch its parent, Sterling Financial, to a bank holding company.

CEO Harold Gilkey said in a statement that the savings-and-loan charter served the company well for decades, but “it limited our bankers’ ability to expand corporate and business banking relationships.”


Firm, 2 ex-directors agree to truce in feud

The Walt Disney Co. and two ex-directors who have waged a bitter two-year fight have agreed to a truce, including dropping a contentious shareholder lawsuit challenging the selection of the company’s new chief executive officer.

The company said yesterday it has named former director Roy E. Disney as a director emeritus and a consultant.

In exchange, Roy Disney and ex-board member Stanley Gold have agreed not to run a challenge slate of directors or submit shareholder resolutions for the next five years.

The two also pledged to back the leadership of Robert Iger, who succeeds longtime chief executive Michael Eisner in September.


FDA orders warning about loss of vision

The government yesterday ordered warnings onto the labels of Viagra and two other impotence drugs that some users have developed a form of blindness — while cautioning that it’s impossible to know if the pills are to blame.

At issue is sudden vision loss when blood flow to the optic nerve is blocked, a condition called NAION or non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.

NAION is considered one of the most common causes of sudden vision loss in older people, with anywhere from 1,000 to 6,000 cases a year. Moreover, risk factors include diabetes and heart disease, two of the leading causes of impotence.

The Food and Drug Administration has 43 reports of NAION among the impotence drug users: 38 for Viagra, four for Cialis and one for Levitra. They include varying degrees of vision loss, including blindness.

Those are rare numbers, given that Viagra alone has been used by 23 million men worldwide since its approval in 1998, according to maker Pfizer Inc.


Mobile subscribers surpass land lines

U.S. mobile-telephone users for the first time surpassed the number of traditional land-based phone lines in the second half of 2004, the government said, reflecting the two-decade rise of the gadgets in the world’s biggest economy.

The number of cellphone subscribers rose 15 percent to 181.1 million in 2004, while land lines declined 2.8 percent to 177.9 million, the Federal Communications Commission said yesterday. The shifting market has led land-line companies — including SBC Communications — to invest in and control the majority of the U.S. mobile-phone market. Last year, Cingular Wireless, owned by SBC and BellSouth, bought AT&T Wireless Services for $41 billion to become the No. 1 U.S. wireless company.

In December, Sprint Corp., the No. 3 U.S. mobile-phone company by customers, agreed to buy the fifth-largest carrier, Nextel Communications Inc., for $35 billion. As part of the transaction, Sprint will spin off its local-phone operations.

In 1999, there were 189.5 million local phone lines, compared with 79.7 million cellphone users.

Neiman Marcus

Shareholders to vote on buyout proposal

Neiman Marcus Group, the luxury retailer known for merchandise like $4,800 Gucci purses, has set an Aug. 16 shareholder vote on its $5.1 billion purchase by Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus.

The acquisition, at $100 per share, will be completed in the last quarter of the year, Dallas-based Neiman Marcus said yesterday. The family of Chairman Richard Smith, which held 12.7 percent of the company’s shares, has said it will vote for the transaction.

Neiman Marcus, which operates 37 stores including two Bergdorf Goodman locations, might open additional stores and expand efforts to sell merchandise on the Internet under the new owners.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff, Bloomberg News and The Associated Press