Business news

Visitors expected to spend $2.8 million


Augusta tourism officials expect $2.8 million in visitor spending in January.

Tourism will beat activity from a year ago by about $500,000, according to information provided by the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Augusta Sports Council.

Direct visitor spending is based on the number of occupied overnight hotel rooms by guests in town for meetings, reunions and other events.

For January, the big driver of visitor cash will be the Augusta Futurity from Jan. 18-25. The attendance at the cutting horse event is estimated at 2,700 with an impact of $1.2 million. The South Carolina Methodist State Basketball Tournament will bring in 1,500 people and $303,000.

For 2013, the estimated impact was $31.3 million. The agencies do not include an estimate of the visitor impact from the Masters Tournament in April.

Fiat to pay for rest of Chrysler shares

DETROIT — Italian automaker Fiat SpA announced Wednesday that it reached an agreement to acquire the remaining shares of Chrysler for $3.65 billion in payments to a union-controlled trust fund.

Fiat already owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler’s shares, with the remaining 41.5 percent held by a United Auto Workers union trust fund that pays health care bills for retirees.

Under the deal, Fiat will make an initial payment of $1.9 billion to the fund, plus an additional $1.75 billion upon closing the deal.

Chrysler will also make additional payments totaling $700 million to the fund as part of an agreement with the UAW.

Gifts show rebound in philanthropy

WASHINGTON — Philan­thropy made a comeback in large donations in 2013, with the nation’s wealthiest donors giving more than $3.4 billion to charity, according to a tally of the top 10 gifts of 2013 by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The analysis of the year’s top gifts also found there were more gifts of $100 million or more than in 2012. In 2013, there were 15 publicly announced gifts of at least $100 million, compared with 11 in 2012.

The largest donation came from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, who announced in December that they had given 18 million shares of Facebook stock to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The gift was valued at more than $990 million.

It was the first time donors younger than 30 have made the nation’s largest philanthropic gift, according to the report.