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Gold tops $1,500 an ounce on economic concerns

Gold prices topped $1,500 an ounce Tuesday as investors looked for more stable assets because of worries about U.S. government debt, European financial problems and inflation. Get the full story »

Wealthy don’t make inheritance a priority

Many children of the super-wealthy shouldn’t be counting on getting an inheritance. In a nationwide survey of 457 adults with at least $3 million in investable assets, U.S. Trust found that only 49 percent said that “leaving a financial inheritance is personally important.” Get the full story »

Groupon scoops up Whrrl creator Pelago

Employees work inside Groupon's headquarters at 600 W Chicago Ave., Feb. 15, 2011. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Chicago-based daily deal giant Groupon has acquired Pelago, the Seattle-based maker of Whrrl, a location-based mobile game for people to share recommendations on fun activities.

Financial terms of the deal, which was announced on Groupon and Pelago’s respective blogs on Monday, were not disclosed. Pelago Chief Executive Jeff Holden will oversee product development at Groupon, and many of the company’s employees will assume “integral roles in future Grouponnovations,” Groupon CEO Andrew Mason wrote in his blog post. Get the full story »

Goldman, Morgan Stanley may lead Groupon IPO

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason speaking in August 2010 at Groupon's headquarters, 600 W. Chicago Ave. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Groupon is likely to pick Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to lead a second-half initial public offering that could value the fast-growing daily deals site at $15 billion to $20 billion, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Groupon could raise as much as $1 billion in the IPO, which could come in the second half of 2011, although the exact size had not yet been determined, said the source, who was not authorized to speak to the media. Get the full story »

Local private equity firms raise funds, invest

It has been a busy day for a couple of Chicago private equity firms.

Chicago-based buyout firm Waud Capital has closed its third fund, receiving $463 million in commitments from new and existing investors. Its initial goal was $350 million. Get the full story »

Fortune Brands to invest in liquor business

Bottles of Jim Beam bourbon sit on a shelf in a liquor store in Deerfield, Illinois, U.S., on Nov. 1, 2010. (Tim Boyle/Bloomberg)

Fortune Brands Inc. plans to pour money into marketing its liquor brands like Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark as it prepares to become a standalone spirits company.

A top executive also says it will keep an eye out for potential acquisitions. Get the full story »

Northern Trust survey: Inflation fears spur caution

Fears of inflation and a spike in oil prices are causing institutional investment managers to become more risk-averse, according to a survey of institutional managers by Northern Trust Global Advisors. Get the full story »

Illinois agency OKs program to pay Medicaid bills

With Illinois facing a growing pile of bills from Medicaid providers that is adding to its fiscal woes, the state’s finance authority board on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a program to speed up payments. Get the full story »

Fannie Mae brings back HomePath deal

Fannie Mae is bringing back its offer to help pay closing costs to move some foreclosed homes from its books into the hands of owner-occupants. Get the full story »

Ariel’s Hobson, others on the rise of women

Movie director George Lucas and Mellody Hobson attend the 2009 opening night of "Dreamgirls" at the Apollo Theater in New York City. (Jemal Countess/Getty)

The challenges women face often cut across industries. But some are also unique to specific sectors. Women who have risen high in four industries — finance, health, technology and media — sought to illuminate these issues by recounting their own experiences and assessing how women generally have fared in their fields.

Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments in Chicago, spoke with The Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Blumenstein. Julie Louise Gerberding, president of Merck & Co.’s Merck Vaccines unit, sat down with the Journal’s Laura Landro. Marissa Mayer, Google Inc.’s vice president, consumer products, talked with the Journal’s Julia Angwin. And Debra L. Lee, chairman and chief executive of BET Networks, a unit of Viacom Inc., spoke with the Journal’s Alessandra Galloni. Get the full story »

Sears raises credit facility capacity to $3.275B

Sears Holdings Corp. said Friday that it increased the borrowing amount on its domestic revolving credit facility to $3.275 billion from $2.441 billion. Get the full story »

Audit criticizes College Illinois managers

An audit of the College Illinois prepaid tuition program determined the program’s overseers didn’t follow “sound business practices,” or state law, when it hired San Francisco-based Grigsby & Associates for investment advice.

The firm advised College Illinois on debt restructuring, but gave only one opinion to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission — to invest $12.8 million in ShoreBank Corp. The investment was lost last year when ShoreBank collapsed. Get the full story »

Poggled drinks in $5.6M from Groupon investors

From TechCrunch | Poggled, a Chicago-based daily deals site that focuses on discounts for bars and clubs, has raised $5.6 million from investors including Groupon’s Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell and New Enterprise Associates principal Tom Grossi, according to an SEC form filed today.

College Illinois halts new investments

From Crain’s Chicago Business | The state agency that runs the College Illinois prepaid tuition program is putting all new investments on hold as it confronts mounting questions over its unconventional strategies for the fund that backs the college savings of 55,000 students. Get the full story>>

Facebook exec fired for stock acquisition

Facebook Inc. fired a senior manager for buying shares of the social networking powerhouse in a private, secondary-market transaction last September — four months before Goldman Sachs Group Inc.  announced its investment in Facebook, the Web site TechCrunch reported Friday, citing multiple sources. Get the full story »