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Tennessee contractor to build portable disaster shelters

Chattanooga, TN (AP) — A military contractor in Tennessee is ready to start building portable disaster shelters that quickly assemble with one push of a button.

The portable shelters can be used after a natural disaster or by the military in war zones. The shelters can be shipped as 20-foot containers and unfold in less than two minutes into a camperlike design, complete with a generator, heating and air conditioning.

Adaptive Methods in Chattanooga plans to eventually add about 100 jobs as it builds the shelters. The company is looking for buyers such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Guard units.

4 firms to help investors tap Fed lending plan

Washington (AP) — The Federal Reserve on Tuesday named four more financial firms to help investors tap a government program intended to spark lending at cheaper rates to consumers and businesses.

The companies are: CastleOak Securities, Loop Capital, Wells Fargo Securities and Williams Capital Group.

The Term-Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, started in March and figures prominently in efforts by the Fed and the Obama administration to ease credit stresses, stabilize the financial system and help pave the way for a lasting economic recovery.

Under the program, investors secure loans from the Fed. Investors use the money to buy securities backed by, among other things, auto and student loans, credit cards, business equipment and loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. Securities backed by commercial real-estate loans were recently added to the TALF.

EBay to sell part of telecom service Skype for $2 billion

New York (AP) — EBay Inc. is trading control of the online telecommunications service Skype for about $2 billion.

The company famous for its online marketplace said Tuesday it is selling a 65 percent stake in the business to a group of private investment funds for $1.9 billion in cash and a $125 million note, while retaining a 35 percent stake.

EBay said the deal values the company at $2.75 billion.

The group of investors buying the stake includes Andreessen Horowitz, the new $300 million fund set up by Web browser pioneer Marc Andreessen. Led by the private equity firm Silver Lake, the group also includes Index Ventures and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

EBay expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

U.S. Olympic team adds big sponsor in Procter & Gamble

Cincinnati (AP) — The Procter & Gamble Co. has thrown its sponsorship dollars behind U.S. Olympic athletes, the latest in a push to beef up its sports promotions. The deal announced Tuesday comes within a few weeks of a multiyear agreement with the National Football League and the launch of a global advertising campaign featuring sports stars Tiger Woods of golf, Derek Jeter of baseball and Roger Federer of tennis.

Financial details weren’t released, but deals with companies of this size are usually worth at least $15 million. The Olympics tie-in involves 17 P&G brands, from Olay skin care to Pantene shampoo to Pringles snacks.

U.S. manufacturing grows in August for first time in 19 months

New York (AP) — The U.S. manufacturing sector grew in August for the first time in 19 months, adding to evidence that the recession is ending.

The reading Tuesday by the Institute for Supply Management showed the highest number for its manufacturing index since June 2007. New orders from customers jumped to the highest level since late 2004.

The ISM, a trade group of purchasing executives, said its manufacturing index rose to 52.9 in August, from 48.9 in July. It’s the first reading above 50, which indicates expansion, since January 2008. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a reading of 50.5.

Ukraine, Russia reach agreement on natural gas deliveries

Kiev, Ukraine (AP) — Russia will continue to let Ukraine import less natural gas than previously agreed upon without penalties amid a severe financial crisis, the two countries’ prime ministers said Tuesday.

The agreement between the two increasingly tense neighbors decreases the threat of future disruptions in Russian gas deliveries to European consumers.

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