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    Arkansas Business headlines Dec. 14

    7:41 AM, Dec 14, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- The Dow had been down 98 points before news of another planned meeting between President Obama and Speaker John Boehner came in the late afternoon.

    The two sides continue to hammer out negotiations to solve the fiscal cliff problem before January 1.

    Here in Arkansas, Arvest Bank of Fayetteville announcing Thursday that it will buy 29 Bank of America branches in four states, including Arkansas.

    Nine cities in Arkansas will see new Arvest locations-- Harrison, Hot Springs, Hot Springs Village, Mountain Home and Russellville. The company also picked up new locations in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

    Arvest, ranked by Arkansas Business as the largest bank in the state by total deposits, had deposits of more than $6.4 billion.

    A purchase price for the deal wasn't disclosed -- but it comes a year after Bank of American pledged to cut $5 billion annually by 2014 and shed as many as 750 bank branches.

    Some bad news in Fort Smith as the city's Rheem manufacturing plant announced plans to lay off between 75 and 100 people.
    The maker of heating and air-conditioning units says the cuts will be made next month, due to "seasonal adjustments in volume."

    Fort Smith still reeling from the loss of its Whirlpool plant earlier this year, which put 800 out of work.

    And finally, Bloomberg news reporting that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kroger are among the bidders for assets of bankrupt Twinkie maker Hostess Brands.

    Bloomberg citing unnamed sources in a report yesterday that said put the world's largest retailer among bidders for parts of the company's business, which includes bakeries and other assets.

    Neither company would comment on the report.

    Arkansas Business recently told you about an obscure Pine Bluff company that was filing papers to buy Hostess, the bankrupt Twinkie maker.

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