Jan 8 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Edward Lampert, the hedge-fund manager and Sears Holdings chairman who engineered the 2005 merger of Sears and Kmart, is taking over as chief executive of Sears Holdings because the current head, Louis D'Ambrosio, is departing. ()
* The board of AIG will meet on Wednesday to consider joining a $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the U.S. government, court records show. The lawsuit claims that the rescue by the government deprived AIG's shareholders of tens of billions of dollars and took private property for public use without appropriate compensation. ()
* U.S. regulators on Monday reached an $8.5 billion settlement with 10 major lenders to resolve claims of foreclosure abuses, including the use of flawed paperwork and bungled loan modifications that may have led to wrongful evictions. ()
* Royal Bank of Canada has hired Mark Mahaney, the former Citigroup analyst who was dismissed after regulators discovered that he responded to a reporter's e-mail inquiry about the financial results of YouTube, a division of Google, without getting permission from the bank. ()
* Sony and BMG, onetime partners, are said to be teaming up again on a bid to buy - and then divide between themselves - some of the EMI-recorded music assets being sold by the Universal Music Group. ()
* Illumina Inc, the leading manufacturer of DNA sequencing machines, said on Monday it would buy the privately held Verinata Health for at least $350 million in cash to expand its push into the diagnostics business. ()
* Investment firm Weld North plans to expand Organic Avenue, a juice and raw foods purveyor with eight stores in the New York area, into cities like Los Angeles and Miami and gain distribution in grocery stores and other retail outlets. ()