In other items: Cathay Pacific puts 777-300s back in air; Pioneer completes Safeco mutual-fund handoff; Davis quits as American Seafoods COO, will serve on board; GM, DaimlerChrysler team up to develop hybrids; and Krispy Kreme's delay in SEC filing renews questions.

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TECT of Thomasville, Ga., said yesterday that it has bought Neuvant Aerospace, an aircraft-parts manufacturer employing 207 people in Everett and Woodinville. The terms were not disclosed.

In a notification letter to the state Employment Security Department before the sale, Neuvant said it “anticipates that many if not all of the employees will be hired by the buyer.”

TECT’s aerospace unit already includes a facility in Kent, acquired with the October purchase of Wichita, Kan.-based Tru-Circle.

TECT, originally Turbine Engine Components Technologies, has units serving the aerospace, power generation, rail, off-highway, automotive and other industries.


Cathay Pacific puts 777-300s back in air

Cathay Pacific Airways plans to put four Boeing 777-300 planes back in service this week after they were grounded because of problems with engine parts.

Cathay suspended the four aircraft last Wednesday, after a series of incidents during flights. On Dec. 1, a 777-300 flying to Mumbai from Bangkok returned to the Thai capital within an hour of takeoff after a section of a duct covering one of its two engines tore off. The Hong Kong-based airline inspected all 10 of its 777-300 planes and found damaged ducts in four of them.

“We’ve come up with a way to further strengthen these parts with some fasteners,” said Mark Hooper, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Boeing.


Mutual-fund handoff to Pioneer completed

Pioneer Investment Management said yesterday that it has completed its acquisition of 22 former Safeco mutual funds with assets of more than $3.1 billion and will merge 15 of them into existing funds and portfolios with similar objectives.

Pioneer, the asset management arm of Unicredito Italiano, said the remaining seven funds have been renamed as Pioneer products.

They are the Pioneer Municipal Bond Fund, Pioneer California Tax Free Income Fund, Pioneer Growth Opportunities Fund, Pioneer Tax Free Money Market Fund, Pioneer Growth Opportunities VCT Portfolio, Pioneer Small Cap Value II VCT Portfolio, and Pioneer Bond VCT Portfolio.

Pioneer became the investment manager of the Safeco funds Aug. 2, replacing Symetra Asset Management, formerly Safeco Asset Management. The switch occurred when Seattle-based Safeco sold Safeco Life & Investments to an investor group, whose holding company then announced its exit from the mutual-fund business and a pending transaction with Pioneer.

American Seafoods

Davis quits as COO, will serve on board

Jeffrey Davis has resigned as chief operating officer of American Seafoods Group effective Jan. 1, the Seattle-based fish processor said yesterday.

Davis, 54, is leaving “to pursue other outside interests,” according to a company statement, but will join American Seafoods’ board of directors and continue to consult for the company. Other executives will take on Davis’ duties.

According to his employment agreement with American Seafoods, Davis’ employment term was set to expire Jan. 28.

He has been the company’s COO since January 2000, when an investment group bought it from Norway Seafoods. Davis had been CEO of Baader North America, a maker of fish- and poultry-processing equipment, from 1980 to December 1999.

GM, DaimlerChrysler

Two auto giants team up to develop hybrids

General Motors and DaimlerChrysler are teaming up to develop fuel-saving hybrid engines in hopes of cashing in on an expanding market already dominated by hybrid leaders Toyota and Honda.

Financial terms of the agreement between GM, the world’s largest automaker, and its German-American rival weren’t disclosed yesterday, but GM said the collaboration likely will involve an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Hybrids make up only a tiny percentage of global auto sales, but some analysts believe hybrids eventually could account for 5 to 15 percent of global volume. GM and Chrysler already sell hybrid pickups, but the systems are less advanced than those on Toyota and Honda cars and on Ford’s hybrid version of its Escape SUV.

Krispy Kreme

Delay in SEC filing renews questions

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts missed a deadline last week for making a regular quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the commission said yesterday.

The troubled company filed an extension late yesterday afternoon giving it an additional five days to make the required 10-Q report, the SEC said.

The delay raised renewed questions about Krispy Kreme, which has been battered by financial losses and an SEC investigation in recent months.

In filing the extension form, Krispy Kreme Chief Financial Officer Michael Phalen said the company was still analyzing the accounting of “certain franchise matters in the company’s third fiscal quarter, primarily concerning the company’s consolidation of KremeKo Inc.,” which develops Krispy Kreme stores in Canada.

Krispy Kreme’s fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 31; companies are required to file quarterly 10-Q reports no later than 40 days after the quarter’s end, SEC spokesman John Heine said.

Seattle Times business staff, Reuters, Bloomberg News and The Associated Press