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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: July, 2012

POSTED: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 11:04 AM

(UPDATED with CEO comments) Armando Anido, former boss at Malvern-based drugmaker Auxilium Pharmaceuticals and a 30-year veteran drug salesman, is the new chief executive at brain-medicine developer NuPathe Inc., of Conshohocken.

NuPathe, which employs around 35, has burned through more than $2 million a month for the past two years as it struggles to bring its treatments for migrane, Parkinson's and bipolar disease to market. Shares debuted at $10 two years ago, but have lately traded below $4.

What's Anido going to do about it? "This is a great little company," he told me. NuPathe's "NP 101 is an innovative product for those who suffer from migrane and migrane-related nausea." To sell it, "we have to generate resources. We intend to raise capital," continue working with FDA to prove it works -- an area in which "there's not a need for a change, the team here has built up a good relatoinship with them" -- and to hire salespeople to target neurologists once sales begin.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 9:13 AM

Sandy Weill, who paid himself hundreds of millions of dollars as a reward for persuading President Clinton and the Republican-led U.S. Senate and Federal Reserve to retroactively bless his acquisition of Citibank by his Travelers insurance and high-risk loan conglomerate, now says the policy was a mistake. 

“What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking, have banks be deposit takers, have banks make commercial loans and real estate loans, have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not too big to fail,” Weill said this morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” More here.

Highlights:

POSTED: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 4:03 PM

It's ten years since the Enron scandal prompted the Sarbanes-Oxley act that requires stepped-up audits of big U.S. companies. President Obama has encouraged Congress to chip away SarBox paperwork requirements for "emerging" companies he hopes will hire more Americans.

So in 2010. the Dodd-Frank law exempted companies with public shares worht less than $75 million. Last Spring the so-called JOBS Act gave companies. with shares worth under $700M and sales under $1B, a five-year SarbOx audit delay.

Now US Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Bucks, is pushing a permanent SarbOx audit exemption for companies with shares under $250 million or sales under $100 million. He calls his bill (HB 6161) the "Fostering Innovation Act."

POSTED: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 3:17 PM

A group led by self-described 'vulture' investor J. Anthony Hayden's Conshohocken real estate firm has paid $52.7 million for Brandywine Realty Trust's 11 buildings (466,000 sq ft) in the Oaklands corporate office center in Exton, Chester County, according to people familiar with the sale.

The buildings, which mostly date to the mid-1990s, are 18% vacant, Brandywine says here.

Hayden, who has been buying up suburban buildings with capital raised from insurance mogul James Maguire, investor H. Scott Miller and other locals, says he's been able to boost tenancy at buildings in Whitelands and other developments that he controls.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 2:25 PM
Amoroso could be to move its bakery out of Philadelphia and possibly to New Jersey. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)

UPDATE: A couple of Amoroso's workers tell me the company arranged to open a new bakery in Bellmawr, Camden County, after talks with New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno last year.

"We have heard" there was interest in moving to Bellmawr, but there has been no formal proposal to the borough council, planning or zoning boards, or any other borough office, borough clerk Chuck Sauter told me, after checking with Mayor Frank Filipek. The town is home to an Interstate Bakeries (Wonder Bread) warehouse depot and store, and the Tosti specialty-breads bakery.

"We haven't received any word that Amoroso plans to move to New Jersey," was all Guadagno spokeswoman Ernest Landante Jr. would say.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 1:15 PM

Rick Ill, head of Triumph Group since the aircraft-equipment maker was spun off by the former Alco Standard in 1994, stepped down at the company's annual meeting last Thursday. A small group of shareholders was on hand, along with staffers at the company's Chesterbrook headquarters.

"It was anticlimatic. Triumph doesn't have a big public following. They sell to industry. But this company, over the years, has done well for shareholders," says Robert Costello of $50 million-asset Costello Asset Management, Huntingdon Valley, a veteran and often acerbic observer of publicly-traded Philadelhia businesses.

Costello has tracked the stock from around $10 after its 1997 IPO to its recent peak in the $60 range. It's up more than 50% since 2010, far ahead of the market indices. "Triumph has grown," says Costello, "even though it's tied to the aircraft cycle."

POSTED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 9:56 AM

UPDATE (with analyst comment at the end) How much will it cost Penn State to lose its lucrative reputation as Football U?  Moody's Investors Service says today that three factors:

- The NCAA's Nittany Lion football program downgrade and five-year, $60 million fine;

- ex-FBI boss Louis Freeh's damning report on dead coach Joe Paterno's and ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier's failures to stop child-raping ex-staffer Jerry Sandusky; and

POSTED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 8:55 AM

Liberty Property Trust, the Malvern-based landlord with 77 million square feet of offices, warehouses and other business property around the U.S., continued selling suburban office complexes in New Jersey and other mostly Eastern states, and buying warehouses in the Midwest and Southwest, as profits slipped in the quarter ended June 30, Liberty says here.

Will suburban office demand ever recover? Here's where Liberty is selling, and where it's (less frequently) buying:

"Liberty sold 54 operating properties containing 2.7 million square feet, and 58 acres of land, for $208.6 million. The properties were 82.3% leased, and consisted primarily of single-story and mid-rise suburban office and high-finish flex product in Wisconsin, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and New Jersey...

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 JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

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