Friday, December 26, 2014

Archive: November, 2011

POSTED: Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 5:13 PM

A little free-association: I say, "December."

You say, "Holidays, gift giving, Rudolph and the Grinch."

But really, who has time for good cheer when there are only four weeks left in the year? There must be corporate mergers, contracts and financings to get done, and not much midnight oil left to burn.

POSTED: Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 9:48 AM
Filed Under: Manufacturing | Technology

Berwyn-based TE Connectivity has offered to buy Deutsch Group SAS for 1.55 billion euros, or about $2.06 billion.

Most of the wire stories call TE Connectivity a Swiss company, which is correct to a point. But TE Connectivity CEO Tom Lynch and his top management team run the Switzerland-domiciled company from Chester County.

Even TE's recently filed annual report lists its principal offices in Berwyn "in a facility that we rent."

POSTED: Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 8:47 AM

A Russian vodka company has acquired a 9.9 percent stake in Mount Laurel-based Central European Distribution, one of the biggest vodka producers in Poland, according to Reuters.

Russian Standard Vodka acquired 7.2 million shares between Nov. 15 and 21, paying a total of $25.4 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

That makes the second major ownership stake acquired by an outsider in recent months. Investor Mark Kaufman reported a 9.6 percent stake in the financially ailing Central European.

POSTED: Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 5:59 PM
Filed Under: Manufacturing

Is it really necessary for Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett to form a public-private council on manufacturing?

Probably not, and I doubt he'll be counting the days until he can read the report that the 23-member panel, announced on Nov. 21, will cobble together during 2012.

In fact, you and I could probably toss off the highlights right now: lower taxes on manufacturers, reduced regulation, more support for exporting, lower energy costs, new incentives for research and development, and renewed emphasis on math and science education.

POSTED: Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 9:37 AM
Filed Under: Consumer Products

Campbell Soup's new CEO Denise Morrison warned earlier that fiscal 2012 would be a "transition year."

On Tuesday, the Camden food processor announced first-quarter results that showed sales declined 1 percent to $2.16 billion. Net income was down 5 percent at $265 million, while earnings per share were flat at 82 cents per share, for the quarter ended Oct. 30.

Shares of the 142-year-old company were down 6 percent, or $2.18, to $31.44 shortly before noon.

POSTED: Monday, November 21, 2011, 10:08 AM
Filed Under: Real Estate

Horsham-based Toll Bros. has acquired CamWest Development, which it says was one of the biggest privately held home builders in the Pacific Northwest.

The amount of cash that traded hands was not disclosed by Toll, the luxury home builder. CamWest houses typically sell from the mid-$300,000s to the $700,000s, according to Toll. The 22-year-old CamWest expects to deliver about 180 homes in the Seattle area in 2011, generating revenues of about $90 million.

Earlier this month, Toll released preliminary results of $1.48 billion in revenues for its fiscal year 2011, which ended Oct. 31. It also delivered 2,611 units. (Final results are due out Dec. 6.)

POSTED: Thursday, November 17, 2011, 12:52 PM

I have noted in other columns that I am a notoriously bad shopper. It's not that I don't know how to price compare. I do it to such a degree that I wind up rarely making a purchase.

That's why, in theory, shopping over the Internet should appeal to me. Price discovery is a click away, there are always many choices, and I don't have to leave the house.

However, I really haven't bought much online over the years. I remain a window shopper, usually talking myself out of many purchases that I sort of wanted, but certainly didn't need.

POSTED: Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 1:56 PM
Filed Under: Energy, Utilities

Layoffs at ConocoPhillips' Trainer refinery, which is in the process of being shut down, will occur during the last two weeks of January 2012.

That's according to a filing with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

In all, 409 workers will lose their jobs when ConocoPhillips permanently closes the Delaware County refinery it has owned since 2002. That refinery can process up to 185,000 barrels of crude oil per day, but it is one of several that the oil company has targeted for closure.

About this blog
Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at marmstrong@phillynews.com.

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