Wagner sworn in as TVA's new inspector general and more business news

Wagner rejoins TVA as inspector general

Ben R. Wagner, who worked in TVA's Office of Inspector General for 31 years before his retirement five years ago, has returned to TVA and took his oath Monday as the utility's inspector general.

Wagner was nominated last October by President Joe Biden to head the watchdog agency and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last month.

"By conducting rigorous oversight, the Office of Inspector General will play a critical role in ensuring that the Tennessee Valley Authority continues to foster and earn the public's trust," Wagner said in a statement after being sworn in during an event Monday in Knoxville. "I am also excited to once again work together with the experienced, dedicated team of the TVA Office of the Inspector General, with whom I worked for more than three decades."

CBL joins Russell Microcap stock index

CBL & Associates Properties is among the top 10 financial additions being made to the Russell Microcap Index on June 24.

The Chattanooga-based real estate investment trust emerged from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding last November with a new common stock after CBL restructured its debt and regained most of its former revenue following the pandemic-related store closings.

The Russell US Indexes are designed to reflect the ever- changing U.S. equity market, and the index is reconstituted based upon the market value of stock-traded companies. Companies are also re-evaluated to determine where they lie along the investment styles spectrum.

Companies on the Russell lists are often included in investment portfolios seeking a diverse mix of stocks.

Spirit Airlines reviews JetBlue revised offer

Hours after Spirit Airlines received a revised takeover bid from JetBlue Airways, the South Florida- based carrier said Monday its board of directors would review it.

The move by JetBlue, which has been waging a hostile bid for Spirit in a now weeks-old battle against Frontier Airlines of Denver, is just days ahead of a scheduled June 10 vote by Spirit shareholders to decide whether to accept a bid from Frontier.

In a statement Monday, JetBlue said it would provide a $350 million reverse breakup fee to Spirit "in the unlikely event the transaction is not consummated for antitrust reasons."

The airline noted the fee represents an increase of $150 million over the one it originally offered, and exceeds the $250 million fee offered by Frontier by $100 million. JetBlue also added an incentive. It's an upfront payment of $164 million payable in cash following a positive vote approving its proposed buyout.

Spirit almost immediately said its board would take a look.

"The Spirit board of directors will work with its financial and legal advisors to evaluate JetBlue's proposal and pursue the course of action it determines to be in the best interests of Spirit and its stockholders," the Miramar, Florida-based airlines said in a statement. "The board will conduct this evaluation in accordance with the terms of the company's merger agreement with Frontier and respond in due course. Spirit shareholders do not need to take any action at this time."

U.S. seeks to seize Russian luxury jets

Federal authorities are moving to seize a $60 million Gulfstream and a $350 million aircraft believed to be one of the world's most expensive private airplanes after linking both aircraft to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

A Manhattan federal court magistrate judge on Monday signed a seizure warrant authorizing the seizure of the Gulfstream and a Boeing jet that authorities said was worth less than $100 million before it was customized into a much more expensive plane.

Abramovich, who recently sold his stake in Chelsea, a Premier League football club in London, is among the wealthier Russians whose assets are being watched for sanction violations after Russian's invasion of Ukraine.

- Compiled by Dave Flessner