The Buzz On Business

COMERCIANTES UNIDOS MIXER: The business group Crows Landing Road of Stanislaus County Comerciantes Unidos will hold its first "primavera" spring mixer on Thursday at 6 p.m. Business owners will discuss their group and its activities at the mixer, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Los Montañas Supermarket in the Caruso Shopping Center, 1337 Crows Landing Road. The group lobbies Modesto and Stanislaus County for improvements and seeks increased visibility for businesses along Crows Landing Road. Comerciantes Unidos will have its regular meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at El Marinero Restaurant, 1239 Crows Landing Road. The meeting will include presentations by Raul Mendez of the Stanislaus County chief executive's office and Rafael Rodriguez from the city's code enforcement division.

JAGUAR, LAND ROVER SALE IMMINENT: Ford Motor Co. is expected to announce the sale of British automakers Jaguar and Land Rover to India's Tata Motors Ltd. today. Two people briefed on the talks say the sale price is about $2 billion. They didn't want to be identified because the sale hasn't been formally announced. Ford says it will use money from the sale to boost quality and product development. A British union says Tata has agreed to keep the British work force at about the current 15,300.

McQUEEN ESTATE SUES APPAREL COMPANY: Heirs of the late actor Steve McQueen have gone to court to stop an apparel manufacturer from using his name and likeness to promote its products without their consent. Chadwick McQueen and The Terry McQueen Testamentary Trust say in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that McQueen's name and likeness have been used improperly by Belstaff USA Corp. They have asked the court to stop the company from marketing jackets, coats, sweaters, T-shirts, pants, shoes and other apparel under the name of the actor, who died in 1980.

MERVYNS NAMES NEW CEO: Hayward-based Mervyns named John Goodman, who formerly led the Dockers division of Levi Strauss and Co., as its new president and chief executive last week. Goodman replaces Rick Leto, who left the company in December after three years. The announcement marks another change in Mervyns' recent company history, which has involved large-scale shifts in ownership, leadership and strategy. Mervyns, founded close to 60 years ago in San Lorenzo, was purchased by Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, that led a group of investors in buying the company from Target Corp. in 2004 and took it private. During Leto's tenure, the retailer shut about 80 stores, left several states and now operates 177 stores. In recent years, analysts say, Mervyns' has fought to hold on to customers who were gravitating to discount stores and competitors such as Kohl's.

P&G ADDS HIGH-END HAIR CARE COMPANY: Procter & Gamble Co. is adding luster to its beauty business, making a deal for a luxury hair care brand on Tuesday. The Cincinnati-based consumer products company is acquiring New York-based Frederic Fekkai & Co., which includes high-end hair care products and salons. Terms of the acquisition from private equity firm Catterton Partners weren't disclosed. The deal is part of P&G's focus on building its high-margin, fast-growing beauty business. The company, whose biggest-selling brands include Pantene and Head & Shoulders shampoos, makes a range of household products from Tide detergent to Pampers diapers to Gillette shavers.


Figuratively Speaking

72: Percentage of U.S. employees who say they are open to a new career opportunity in 2008, according to a survey conducted by Yahoo! HotJobs.

43: Percentage who say they would be willing to leave their current job because they either dislike their boss's management style or feel there is a lack of mentorship at their company.

55: Percentage of U.S. employees who agree with the statement, "People don't leave companies, they leave managers."