Woolworths to Sell Australian Fuels Unit

BP PLC has agreed to buy the Australian fuels business of Woolworths Ltd. for 1.79 billion Australian dollars ($1.29 billion), in the latest move by the British oil company to rebuild following the deadly Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The deal adds 527 gas stations and 16 development sites to BP's retail footprint that already spans around 1,400 sites in Australia. BP also owns the Kwinana oil refinery in Western Australia state, and stakes in the active North West Shelf liquefied natural gas facility and proposed Browse gas-export venture.

--David Winning


FDA Denies Bid

For Asthma Inhaler

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had denied its new drug application for its over-the-counter Primatene Mist asthma inhaler.

The original Primatene Mist was phased out because it used chlorofluorocarbons in its delivery system, a chemical that can deplete the ozone layer.

The new inhaler is made with the same active ingredient that was used in the original version but uses a different delivery method.

The FDA said in a complete response letter that the company should make further changes to the label and packaging for the inhaler and then conduct another validation study to assess consumers' ability to use the product.

--Austen HuffordGAZPROM

Energy Major Makes Commitments to EU

Russian energy company PAO Gazprom said Tuesday it had sent its proposed commitments to the European Commission in a bid to assuage the regulator's charges of market abuse.

Gazprom's move is the latest effort to wrap up a case that has been running since September 2011. The case gained extra significance once the European Union stepped up efforts to diversify energy supplies away from Russia after the start of the Ukraine crisis in early 2014.

The commission has investigated Gazprom over concerns the company charges unfair prices in several Central and Eastern European countries. In October, both sides agreed to settle, allowing the company to escape hefty fines.

The regulator filed formal charges against Gazprom in 2015, alleging the state-controlled company breached the EU's antitrust rules in eight countries where it is the dominant natural-gas supplier: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia.

Gazprom has denied any wrongdoing. A person familiar with the company said Tuesday that Gazprom's commitments addressed these concerns.

--Laurence Norman


Industrial Profits

Rose in November

Earnings growth accelerated in China's industrial sector in November, indicating that Beijing could reach its annual economic growth target, official data showed Tuesday.

Industrial profits grew 14.5% in November from a year ago, faster than the 9.8% increase posted in October, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The acceleration of industrial production and sales growth and a surge in factory-gate prices were the main drivers of the growth, He Ping, an economist, said in a statement accompanying the data release. He also said that contributions from the telecommunication and petroleum-refining sectors helped buoy overall growth.

--Pei Li


Digital Mapper HERE To Sell a 10% Stake

Internet services group Tencent Holdings Ltd., NavInfo Co. and Singaporean fund GIC plan to buy a joint 10% stake in digital mapping company HERE from Germany's premium car makers, HERE said on Tuesday.

The companies didn't disclose a price. As part of the deal, HERE plans to create a joint venture with Chinese mapping company NavInfo, extending its services to China using NavInfo's data. Tencent, also based in China, will look into using HERE's mapping and location platform services in its own products and services, HERE said.

The German car makers that own HERE -- Daimler AG, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG's Audi AG unit -- bought the mapping company from Nokia Corp. last year for roughly EUR2.5 billion ($2.61 billion), aiming to build a platform for autonomous cars that would compete with Alphabet Inc.'s Google.

--Sarah Sloat

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 28, 2016 02:47 ET (07:47 GMT)

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