Friday, March 6, 2015

Archive: June, 2008

POSTED: Thursday, June 5, 2008, 12:18 PM
 That makes Verizon the No. 1 U.S. wireless company, with 80 million customers, outgunning AT&T, and also flanking Comcast and other telecom competitors in the war to sign up phone-video-Internet-data users. Bloomberg story here.
POSTED: Thursday, June 5, 2008, 10:47 AM

  UPDATE: GMAC Financial Services is counting on increased lending from its GMAC Bank division in central Montgomery County, to lift it out of its financial hole. Yesterday's refinancing plan for GMAC's troubled Residential Capital devision relies on "increased production at GMAC Bank," along with cost-cutting, a preference for solvent borrowers over subprime customers, and asset sales, says Standard & Poor's analyst John K. Bartko and his team. 
   Bartko lowered some S&P credit ratings on the company, said it was treating its own unsecured bonds like "distressed" debt, underlining the "gravity" of its financial situation.
   ORIGINAL ITEM: Like a big family with damaged credit struggling to pay its mortgage and credit cards, GMAC Financial Services and its home loan affiliate Residential Capital LLC (ResCap) has nailed what it called "one of the largest global refinancings ever completed," a $60 billion, 50-lender complexity with key guarantees from GMAC godparent General Motors Corp. and its lead investor, Cerberus Capital Management LP.
  ResCap is based in Minneapolis, but its major office center is in Ft. Washington; the company employs nearly 1,900 in the Philadelphia area.
 "ResCap will live to fight another day, though its long-term prospects remain uncertain at best," wrote analyst Kathleen Shanley of Gimme Credit in a note to clients. "There are no indications that ResCap is on the road back to profitability," she added, citing ResCap's still-increasing capital needs and its inability, so far, to sell loan portfolios to raise cash.
  More on the refi at

POSTED: Thursday, June 5, 2008, 10:10 AM

  LLR Partners Inc., the $1.4 billion Philadelphia private equity firm run by Seth Lehr, Howard Ross and their partners as a key province in  Ira Lubert's investment empire, has acquired Singer Equities Inc., Bethesda,, which makes rubber hoses, belts, fittings and gasket blanks.
  LLR won't say what it paid Paul Singer and his family for the group. LLR and its managers raised the equity; Sovereign Bank's Robert Mindick arranged the debt, backed by Commerce Bank.
  Singer owns five companies with $75 million in yearly sales thru 11 offices scattered around the East, said LLR spokeswoman Kristy Lash.
  That includes R/W Connection, Landisville, Pa; Allied Rubber and Rigging, Butler, Pa.;  Hampton Rubber Co., Norfolk, Va.; National Hose and Accessory, Pasadena, Tx.; and PRC Industrial Supply, Portland, Me. The Singers acquired Allied, Hampton and RW from Baltimore heavy-wire maker Indusco Group in 2005, and bought the others later.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 12:21 PM
DANGER: Falling tomato plants have injured 155 Americans as imported home planters collapsed in accidents so far this growing season, the federal government says.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced a recall of China-made Topsy Turvy Tomato Planters with Stand, imported by All-Star Marketing, Hawthorn, New York, after 347 of the stands fell apart, injuring 155.

Some 82,000 were sold, at $30 each, after West Chester-based QVC advertised them in March and April, according to the commission.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 9:15 AM
  Aircraft maker Boeing and electronic warfare systems maker Lockheed Martin, aren't known for their land vehicles. But both companies, which have big Philadelphia-area operations, are facing off against General Dynamics/Am General and BAE Systems/Navistar in bidding for a huge post-Jeep, post-Humvee contract to supply the military with its next troop vehicle. Bloomberg story here.
POSTED: Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 3:27 PM

  The $34 billion Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System lost 4.1 percent, or over $1 billion, as investment markets tumbled in the first quarter. 
  The market made up most of its loss in April and May, chief investment officer John C. Winchester told the SERS board in its monthly meeting. Still, it "may be difficult to meet" SERS's 8.5 percent profit target, SERS said in a statement. Check SERS reports at
  If returns fall below the target, they'll be even farther below the long-term 12 percent goal Gov. Rendell is touting in his plan to have SERS manage state highway funds from the sale of the Pennsyvlania Turnpike.
  Even so, the fund's gains in recent years have enabled it to avoid a projected dramatic increase in state pension subsidies,  said chairman Nicholas Maiale. Right now, it looks like the "employer contribution" will hit 5.7 percent of the state's payroll in 2012, compared to the current 4 percent. But SERS once thought it could go up to 30 percent.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 1:13 PM

  Debt is up and gambling is down, higher gas and home loan costs keep casino patrons home, and highly-leveraged chains like Harrah's face possible bankruptcy, analysts tell Bloomberg here.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 11:34 AM

  Internet Capital Group, Wayne, said Tuesday that it will collect around $85 million from the sale of its stake in Creditex, a New York company that processes credit-default swap trades, to the Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange. The stock deal was valued at around $625 million, including ICG's stake, and subject to changes in Intercontinental's share price and a working-capital adjustment at closing. Release here.
  ICG paid around $25 million for its Creditex stake three years ago, CEO Walter Buckley said at an investor conference last month. The sale was ICG’s biggest payday since it grossed $150 million in 2005 for selling its stake in LinkShare Corp., an online marketing company, to Raukten Inc., said ICG spokeswoman Michelle Musburger.
  ICG sales rose above $10 a share on the news. The stock peaked at a split-adjusted $4,000 in 2000, when it was hyped by Internet pitchmen like Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget. It's traded between $8 and $12 for most of the past three years.

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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