Pacific Northwest Seattle Genetics said it intends to sell 10 million shares, which at current prices could net more than $100 million. The Bothell company is the...

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Seattle Genetics said it intends to sell 10 million shares, which at current prices could net more than $100 million.

The Bothell company is the area’s second-largest independent biotech firm. Its share price has more than doubled in the past year in the wake of a lucrative partnership with biotech giant Genentech and promising results in several of its experimental therapies.

The proceeds would pay for research and clinical trials, as well as other corporate purposes, the company said in a regulatory filing. It expects to spend between $55 million and $65 million this year as it ramps up its clinical program and hires more employees.

Seattle Genetics shares fell $1.40 or 12 percent, to $10.29 Monday.


Former CEO, wife lose court appeal

Former InfoSpace Chief Executive Naveen Jain and his wife lost their appeal Monday in the Washington state Court of Appeals. The two were suing a stock brokerage for what they claimed were errors that led to a multimillion judgment against them.

In the suit, the Jains claimed they were not to blame for stock transfers that a federal judge found violated insider-trading laws. The Jains were ordered to repay InfoSpace $247 million.

A King County Superior Court Judge found that Hambrecht & Quist — now part of JP Morgan Securities — is not responsible for the errors, a decision the appeals court upheld.

Jain is now president and chief executive of Intelius, a Bellevue company.

Fines for shipping for free in France, the world’s largest online bookstore, will pay 1,000 euros ($1,500) a day in fines to continue offering free delivery in France while it appeals a December court ruling that declared the practice illegal.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of the Seattle-based company, sent an e-mail to customers of its French Web site saying Amazon will continue the free shipping while awaiting the outcome of the appeal.

The Tribunal de Grande Instance in Versailles awarded a French booksellers’ syndicate 100,000 euros and ordered Amazon to charge for shipping. The group argued that Amazon’s practice violated the 1981 Lang law, which sets minimum prices for books sold in France.


Europe operations are being sold

Federal Way-based lumber and paper company Weyerhaeuser is selling its European engineered-wood-products operations to Finnforest of Finland.

Terms of the sale of iLevel operations in Europe were not disclosed.

Delta Air Lines

Merger talks with United, Northwest

Delta Air Lines is talking with both United Airlines and Northwest Airlines and aims for a merger pact with one in the next two weeks, The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Delta’s board gave CEO Richard Anderson the green light Friday to talk with both carriers, the newspaper said. A Delta spokeswoman would not comment.

A merger between Delta and either of the two would create the biggest airline in the nation.

Northwest is viewed as the more likely partner, The Journal reported, and it is less likely to run into problems with regulators concerning the impact on competition.

A deal could be announced as soon as mid-February, the people familiar with the talks told The Journal.


Air Pacific wants more Dreamliners

Fiji-based Air Pacific has added three of Boeing’s new 787s to a previous order for five of the midsize, long-haul jetliners as part of a plan to update its fleet, the companies said Monday.

Terms were not disclosed. Boeing said the 787-9s were worth $580 million at list price, but based on price estimates by aircraft-valuation firm Avitas, the airplanes are worth about $373 million after standard discounts.

Air Pacific also reserved purchase rights for additional 787-9s, one of three 787 models Boeing is offering.

Air Pacific will use the 787s to update its twin-aisle fleet, which includes two 747-400s and one extended-range version of the 767-300, serving the United States, Japan and other destinations in the Pacific.

Virgin Atlantic

First 747 jetliner to fill up on biofuel

Virgin Atlantic Airways will fly a plane powered by biofuel, the first in commercial aviation, 10 months earlier than planned.

The London-based airline will operate one of its Boeing 747s from London Heathrow to Amsterdam in February using the alternative fuel, Virgin said Monday. The test flight, without passengers, is part of a joint project of the carrier, Boeing and engine maker General Electric.


Congress requests ex-CEOs testify

Former Citigroup Chief Executive Charles Prince and Former Merrill Lynch CEO Stanley O’Neal were asked to testify before Congress about the exit pay they received after the banks lost billions of dollars on subprime mortgages.

The House Oversight Committee asked Prince, O’Neal and Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo to testify about their pay Feb. 7, according to letters sent to the executives Monday.

The hearing “will address executive compensation and severance agreements for CEOs involved in the ongoing mortgage crisis,” said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the committee’s chairman.

O’Neal left Merrill Lynch, the world’s largest brokerage, in October with a $161.5 million compensation package. Merrill will write down $8.4 billion in the third quarter.

Prince, who resigned from Citigroup in November, was to receive roughly $30 million in exit pay.

Mozilo may get $83 million in severance and other compensation if he leaves after Countrywide’s takeover by Bank of America, according to compensation consultant Brian Foley.


Cancer-drug sales disappoint Wall St.

Genentech, the world’s second-biggest biotechnology company, said profit climbed 6.4 percent. Sales of its top product, the cancer drug Avastin, fell short of analysts’ expectations and shares declined in extended trading.

Fourth-quarter net income rose to $632 million, or 59 cents a share, from $594 million, or 55 cents, a year earlier, the company said. Profit excluding some costs beat analysts’ estimates.

Revenue in the quarter rose to $2.97 billion, driven by a 23 percent gain in U.S. sales for Avastin, the first drug to cut blood supply to colon and lung tumors. Sales of the drug fell short of the $616 million analysts were expecting.

“It’s not much to write home about — they were light on product revenues,” said Christopher Raymond, an analyst with Robert W. Baird in Chicago, in a telephone interview. He rates the shares “outperform” and doesn’t own any. “Avastin was light, and it’s a key number.”

Genentech shares dropped $1.14 to $69.50 Monday.

Fidelity Investments

Magellan welcomes new investors

For the first time in a decade, new investors will be able to put money into a mutual fund that helped fuel Fidelity Investments’ rapid growth in the 1980s and ’90s, but has recently seen many retirement-age investors withdraw their cash.

The nation’s largest mutual-fund company said it will reopen its $44.8 billion Magellan Fund to new investors effective today.

Fidelity closed Magellan to new accounts on Sept. 30, 1997, after a run of market-beating returns in the 1980s by star money manager Peter Lynch and three lesser-known successors in the 1990s.

In recent years, Magellan’s investors have crept closer to retirement, when many redeem investments to pay for needs after their working lives.


IPO unlikely in ’08, CEO says

The hot Internet social-networking company Facebook probably won’t try to go public this year, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said.

“I think what I can announce is that it’s highly unlikely that we will go public in 2008,” Zuckerberg told CBS News program “60 Minutes” in an interview aired Sunday.

Zuckerberg said the company could make an initial public offering later.

“When going public makes sense to do, we’ll do that. Maybe that’s two years out. Maybe it’s three years out,” he said.

Microsoft paid $240 million in October for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook, valuing the startup at $15 billion. Facebook reportedly has turned away offers to buy the company outright, stoking speculation that it is preparing for an eventual IPO.

Bankers are expecting 2008 to present a less welcoming environment for technology-sector IPOs than 2007.

Sears Holdings

Profit skid likely for fourth quarter

Sears Holdings told investors Monday it would likely post fourth-quarter earnings well below Wall Street forecasts as eroding sales push its profit down as much as 57 percent.

The retailer said it expects to earn between $350 million and $470 million, or $2.59 to $3.48 a share, for the quarter ending Feb. 2 — far less than the $4.43 a share sought by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Compiled from Seattle Times staff and news services