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GE in talks to buy Avio from Cinven

General Electric is in talks to acquire Italian defense company Avio from buyout firm Cinven Ltd., which rejected a previous offer from two private-equity funds, according to people with direct knowledge of the talks.

CVC Capital Partners and Clessidra SGR don’t plan to raise their offer of about $3.9 billion for Avio, said sources who declined to be identified because the talks are private, leaving GE to pursue the deal. Cinven is also considering holding an initial public offering of Avio next year, the people said.

Cinven, which is seeking 5 billion euros for a new fund, began preparing Avio for a sale last year when it hired banks to manage an IPO of the company. But the stock sale was postponed amid stock-market swings, after London-based Cinven received inquiries from suitors including France’s Safran, which makes jet engines and aerospace components, and GE.

Officials for Cinven, Avio, CVC, Clessidra and GE declined to comment.

Avio makes components for GE’s newest engine, the GEnx, which powers Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 jumbo jet, according to the company’s website. It’s also a supplier to CFM International SA, a GE-Safran joint venture.

Database to connect solar power business

A new Ohio database of companies in the solar-power industry is part of a larger effort to help those businesses attract customers and work together.

The Columbus Dispatch reported the nearly 300 companies shown on the online map include component manufacturers and installers. They range from one-person firms to larger operations like DuPont’s solar-components plant in Circleville.

The Ohio Development Service Agency and Ohio University created the map. The head of energy and environmental programs at the university’s Voinovich School of Leadership says the project takes a broader view at an industry serving a growing market.

Owner Kevin Eigel of the solar-power installer Ecohouse in central Ohio says he’s happy to be part of such databases because they help customers find him.

Blackberry makerís shares up 14 percent

Shares of Research in Motion Ltd. jumped nearly 14 percent Friday as investors seemingly grew more optimistic about a February launch of the Canadian company’s much-delayed BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

RIM will release the latest version of its smartphone “not too long” after a Jan. 30 launch event, according to Kristian Tear, the company’s chief operating officer.

The new phones are seen as critical to RIM’s survival as the smartphone pioneer struggles in North America to hold on to customers who are abandoning BlackBerrys for flashier iPhones and Android phones.

RIM shares on the Nasdaq closed up $1.41, or nearly 14 percent, to $11.67 Friday in an abbreviated trading session on Wall Street.

Cirrus shares rise on buyback authorization

Chipmaker Cirrus Logic Inc. said this week that its board authorized the repurchase of $200 million worth of its common stock.

The buyback will be funded from working capital and cash expected to be generated from the company’s operations. The stock purchases will be made from time to time, depending on market and economic conditions.

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