Pacific Northwest Shares of Washington Banking fell more than 22. 3 percent after the company's announcement Tuesday it was terminating...

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Pacific Northwest

Shares of Washington Banking fell more than 22.3 percent after the company’s announcement Tuesday it was terminating its acquisition by Frontier Financial.

Stock in the 19-branch bank, based in Oak Harbor, lost $2.81 to $9.69, on more than 34 times its average volume. Frontier shares ended trading down 2 percent, or 29 cents, at $14.25.

Each company claims the other one should pay a $5 million termination fee that was part of their September 2007 deal, according to a statement issued late Tuesday by Everett-based Frontier Financial.

Washington Banking said Tuesday it was ending the agreement because Frontier had not obtained regulatory approval for the sale “in a timely manner.”

Frontier stock was above $23 when the cash-and-stock acquisition was announced. Washington Banking said in regulatory filings the agreement called for Frontier to supplement that package under certain circumstances if the stock declined.

No increased offer by Frontier was announced, however.

Washington Mutual

New legal chief from Bear Stearns

Washington Mutual has named Michael S. Solender chief legal officer and executive vice president.

He’ll oversee legal, compliance and government relations functions for the Seattle bank, the nation’s largest savings and loan.

Solender has been general counsel for Bear Stearns. He succeeds Stewart M. Landefeld, who is returning to private practice.

Real estate

Everett company, Calif. firm hook up

Coast Real Estate Services, an Everett-based real-estate asset and property-management firm, has signed a 10-year contract to join forces with Sperry Van Ness, one of the country’s largest commercial real-estate brokerage firms.

The new venture will be called Coast Sperry Van Ness.

The move will help Coast grow the brokerage and leasing-services portions of its business, said Tom Hoban, managing director of Coast Sperry Van Ness.

Coast, founded in 1987 by Tom and Shawn Hoban, has nearly $1 billion in real-estate assets under management, including hundreds of Western Washington apartments.

Sperry Van Ness, headquartered in Irvine, Calif, was founded the same year and operates in more than 150 locations.

Click Wine Group

N.J. importer to buy company

A New Jersey wine and spirits importer has agreed to acquire Click Wine Group of Seattle.

Privately owned Click will keep its name and continue to be based in Seattle, but other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founder Peter Click will remain president of the Seattle operation and be executive vice president of Montvale, N.J.-based Winebow.


Infringement bid by Alcatel rejected

Microsoft didn’t violate a patent owned by Alcatel-Lucent when producing its Xbox 360 video-game player, a jury said, rejecting Alcatel-Lucent’s bid for $419 million in damages.

The third of five trials scheduled between the two companies over alleged patent infringement ended Wednesday in San Diego federal court.

Alcatel-Lucent, the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications equipment, claimed the Xbox console and DVD player infringed a 1993 patent for coding video frames.

The jury, which began deliberations May 30, found that a separate Microsoft patent was invalid because it didn’t cover a new invention.

The jury also said Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent didn’t violate four other Microsoft patents. Microsoft was seeking $11.5 million in damages.


Vought deal wins EU approval

Boeing won European Union antitrust approval to buy Vought Aircraft Industries’ stake in Global Aeronautica, a South Carolina facility that assembles parts for the new 787 Dreamliner.

The European Commission, the 27-nation European Union’s antitrust regulator in Brussels, announced the approval in a statement Wednesday.

The transaction will make Global Aeronautica a 50-50 joint venture between Boeing and Alenia North America, a subsidiary of Italy’s Finmeccanica, Boeing said March 28.

The 787 is Boeing’s first new model since the 777 in 1990.

Hawaiian Airlines

4 jets will be added to meet demand

Hawaiian Airlines is adding four aircraft to its interisland fleet this year to meet the demand created by the shutdown of Aloha Airlines.

Hawaiian says two Boeing 717-200 jets will enter service in September and the remaining two will join the fleet later in the year.

The planes, leased from Boeing Capital, will increase Hawaiian’s interisland fleet to 15.

Nation / World

J.D. Power & Associates

Honda, Porsche top quality survey

Honda and Porsche lead the pack in J.D. Power and Associates’ annual ranking of initial vehicle quality.

Porsche is the top brand, with the fewest reported problems per vehicle. Honda has winners in three segments, more than any other nameplate. The Honda Civic, Fit and CR-V all got awards.

The study released Wednesday measures problems in the first 90 days of ownership. It questioned 81,500 people who bought or leased vehicles from the 2008 model year.

J.D. Power says overall quality improved to an average of 118 problems per vehicle from 125 problems last year.

Jeep was the worst performer, with 167 problems per vehicle.


Jobs interviewed in backdating suit

Apple CEO Steve Jobs was interviewed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of the agency’s option-backdating lawsuit against the company’s former general counsel, Nancy Heinen.

The deposition interview isn’t part of an SEC investigation of Jobs or the company.

The SEC sought his testimony in its civil lawsuit against Heinen in San Jose, Calif., over claims she backdated a 7.5 million-share option grant to Jobs in 2001 and earlier grants to his executive team.

The SEC’s lawsuit also named Fred Anderson, Apple’s former chief financial officer, who settled the SEC claims, but it didn’t name Jobs.

Stock options allow holders to buy shares later, usually at the trading price on the day the options were granted. Through backdating, companies retroactively change grant dates to those with lower stock prices, giving recipients built-in profits.

Unless disclosed and recorded as expenses, the practice is illegal.


S. Korea to issue $25M antitrust fine

South Korea’s antitrust regulator says it will order Intel to pay $25.4 million for violating fair-trade rules.

The Korean Fair Trade Commission said today in a statement that it was issuing the order because the semiconductor giant offered rebates to South Korean computer companies and undercut competitor Advanced Micro Devices.

Intel expressed disappointment with the ruling and says it will consider its options, including a possible appeal.

The commission charged Intel with violating South Korean antitrust laws last year after a two-year probe.

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