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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
New York plans to sue Wells Fargo and Bank of America, Neiman Marcus preps for a possible IPO, and more
 
Neiman Marcus' owners are reportedly looking to raise several billion dollars in an IPO.
Neiman Marcus' owners are reportedly looking to raise several billion dollars in an IPO. JOHN GRESS/Reuters/Corbis

1. PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES HUNT FOR LESS ADDICTIVE PAINKILLERS
After the FDA moved last month to block the manufacture and sale of generic OxyContin, pharmaceutical companies are competing to produce and patent a painkiller that's more difficult to abuse. A new formulation of OxyContin now includes an ingredient that makes it harder to crush for snorting, and another drug, Opana, contains an ingredient that turns into a jelly-like substance when heated up for injection. One biotech firm is experimenting with a plastic injection molding — the same kind used in Legos — that makes the pill so hard that it chips the blades of a coffee grinder. A recent Cowen & Co. report predicts prescription pain drug sales will reach $8.4 billion by 2017. [Wall Street Journal]
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2. NEIMAN MARCUS GROUP PREPS FOR POSSIBLE IPO
Private equity firms TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus LLC, which bought Neiman Marcus in 2005 for $5.1 billion, are weighing a sale or IPO for the retailer. The two firms have interviewed banks and are close to hiring Credit Suisse Group AG to run the deal, two people close to the matter told Bloomberg. The department store owns 40 namesake stores and two Bergdorf Goodman stores. Owners may ask for around $8 billion. [Bloomberg]
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3. NEW YORK TO SUE WELLS FARGO AND BANK OF AMERICA
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman plans to sue Wells Fargo and Bank of America for "repeatedly violating" a $26 billion mortgage settlement, his office said Monday. The National Mortgage Settlement, signed by five of the U.S.'s biggest banks and 49 attorney generals, named 300 servicing standards for banks to follow when working with homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages. The New York attorney general's office says it has documented 210 incidents in which Wells Fargo violated the pact, and 129 involving Bank of America. The banks apparently have yet to publicly comment on the matter. [New York Times]
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4. BEEF PRICES HIT RECORD HIGH
With Memorial Day weekend and grilling season fast approaching, wholesale beef prices have risen to record highs, with "choice cut" prices up to $201.68 per 100 lbs — compared to the previous record of $201.18, set in 2003. The sky-high beef prices can be attributed to droughts in the southwest and plains, which forced feed prices up and shrunk cattle herds. Memorial Day weekend beef sales ring in around $370 million, the year's third largest haul behind Labor Day at $380 million and the Forth of July at $400 million. [Reuters]………………………………………………………………………………

5. AL GORE IS WORTH SOME $200 MILLION
Al Gore made about $70 million in January when Current TV, which he helped found, sold to Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Satellite Network for about $500 million. Then two weeks later, the ex-Vice President pocketed about $30 million more after exercising options on 59,000 shares of Apple stock he was given for serving on the company's board. According to Apple filings, Gore still has about $45.6 million in Apple holdings. These windfalls, plus Gore's other known assets, add up to around $200 million. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

 
Carmel Lobello is the business editor at TheWeek.com. Previously, she was an editor at DeathandTaxesMag.com.

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