BLACKSBURG -- Global Energy Franchise said Monday it is opening a solar panel plant in Cherokee County. The Greenville company announced plans to build solar systems in a former textile mill in Blacksburg. Global Energy will initially employ 81 people at the plant.

Production should begin next spring. Expansion plans call for more than 200 jobs over the next four years, as well as up to 20 jobs in corporate offices in Greenville.

The company plans to offer solar energy systems to residents and businesses in South Carolina. It hopes to make and assemble photovoltaic panels for companies worldwide.

Up to $1.2B missing from MF Global client accounts

WASHINGTON -- The court-appointed trustee overseeing MF Global's bankruptcy said up to $1.2 billion is missing from customer accounts, double what the firm had reported to regulators last month.

Regulators are investigating whether MF Global tapped money from clients' accounts as its financial condition worsened. That would be a violation of securities rules. MF Global was led by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine. The firm collapsed after a disastrous bet on European debt.

Firm's hepatitis C work spurs Gilead acquisition

INDIANAPOLIS -- Gilead Sciences Inc. has agreed to pay about $11 billion for drug developer Pharmasset Inc. in a huge bet on experimental hepatitis C treatments. The offer includes an 89 percent premium over the stock's latest closing price.

Pharmasset has no products on the market, but it is studying a possible oral treatment combination for the viral infection that could become a preferred option if studies show it works as well as drug cocktails containing the injectable drug interferon.

Hepatitis C can lead to life-threatening liver damage. Analysts expect the disease to become a bigger health problem due to the aging population of U.S. baby boomers.

Chevy to build Equinox at Tennessee auto plant

SPRING HILL, Tenn. -- General Motors said it will begin building its Chevrolet Equinox at a plant in Tennessee next year and plans to begin making a midsized vehicle there in the future. Monday's announcement of the $61 million investment will create nearly 700 jobs at the plant outside Nashville.

GM said the subsequent $183 million investment into the unspecified midsized vehicle will create another 1,200 jobs. Production on the Equinox is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2012. The timing on the second vehicle was not announced.

CEO of toy giant Mattel to retire at end of year

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Toy maker Mattel Inc. said Monday that Chief Executive Robert Eckert will retire at the end of the year. Eckert, 57, who has led Mattel for 11 years, will be replaced Jan. 1 by chief operating officer Bryan G. Stockton, 58. Eckert will remain chairman. Before he came to Mattel, he was CEO at Kraft Foods.

HP results hurt as 3 key units report falling sales

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hewlett-Packard said Monday its net income plunged in the latest quarter as revenue fell in three of its main business lines.

HP's personal computer unit, its printer and ink division, and its servers and networking segment each experienced declines. HP also absorbed heavy costs for shuttering its tablet and smartphone businesses.

The results illustrate the challenge HP faces as it charts a new course under new leadership.

HP earned $239 million, or 12 cents a share, versus $2.53 billion, or $1.10 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, HP earned $1.17 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $1.13. Revenue rose 3 percent to $32.12 billion. Analysts expected $32.05 billion.