Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Delphi explores going public

Delphi is "sounding out" investment banks about an initial public offering, possibly early next year, Reuters has reported, citing unnamed sources. The auto parts maker still has a local presence in the form of a research and development center in Lockport, with about 250 employees.

Delphi emerged from bankruptcy last year, and the Upper Mountain Road auto parts manufacturing operation adjacent to the technical center was reacquired by General Motors.

GM is reportedly nearing an IPO of its own.

-- Matt Glynn

Hope for housing helpers. Bad buzz for builders.

   Optimism and pessimism about financing and building houses in America in Business Today:

- Head of Buffalo housing group cites state program as model - Jerry Zremski/The Buffalo News
   WASHINGTON—The head of a nonprofit group that is working to rebuild Buffalo’s older housing told federal officials Monday that they should look to New York to see how to improve a federal law forcingBankowned lenders to invest in low-income communities.
   Aaron Bartley, who directs
People United for Sustainable Housing, said at a hearing held by three agencies that Green Jobs/Green NY can be a national model. The state program creates a revolving loan pool that low-and moderate-income homeowners can access to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
   The federal
Community Reinvestment Act “should require that big banks provide capital for well-constructed programs like Green Jobs/Green NY that create pathways to employment in devastated neighborhoods while greening our cities,” Bartley said at the hearing.
   Sponsored by the
Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Comptroller of the Currency, the hearing was an attempt to find ways of improving the decades-old law aimed at encouraging lending in poor communities.
   Related:
- Fed's Duke:Time For Review Of Community Reinvestment Act - Dow Jones Newswires

- Builders losing confidence in industry - Alan Zibel/AP/Buffalo News
   Homebuilders are feeling increasingly pessimistic about their industry, more evidence that the economic recovery is slowing.
   The National Association of Home Builders said Monday that its monthly reading of builders’ sentiment about the housing market sank to 14 — the lowest level since March 2009. Readings below 50 indicate negative sentiment about the market.
   The
weak job market and an increasing number of foreclosed properties have prompted builders to limit construction of new homes. A modest revival in sales over the past year ended in May after federal tax credits expired at the end of April.
   Conditions are not likely to improve soon. Reports this week on
new home construction and previously owned home sales in June are expected to show the housing market remains deeply hobbled. An update on the Obama administration’s effort to help those in danger of losing their homes is also expected today.
   Related:
- Home construction sinks to lowest level since Oct. - AP/Buffalo News
- Pace of economic growth has slowed, survey finds - AP/Buffalo News
   Economists say the U.S. recovery continued during the second quarter of this year, with more businesses hiring workers and fewer cutting jobs, but the pace of growth has slowed, a new survey shows.
- Official: China's slowdown helping restructuring - AP/Buffalo News
- Stocks slump on weak revenues from Goldman, IBM - AP/Buffalo News

    Finally, today's lesson in banking:

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

International flavor

   Want to improve your personal economy? Well, according to Business Today, you might bring a new business to America, or follow the example of Canada.

- Business with British flavor finds home in Cheektowaga - Dino Grandoni/The Buffalo News
   Damian and Vickie Parker were living professional lives most Britons would envy, practicing corporate law in Bradford, England. Damian, though, had one curious hobby: He made traditional English meat pies Porkpies and sausages at his friends' butcher shops on his days off. And what was once a weekend diversion soon became a full-fledged career for both of them.
   "We got bored one day with the 9-to-5 office job, so we came up with the idea of coming to America to do something completely different," Damian Parker said.
   Eighteen months ago they packed their bags and came to Buffalo to start the English Pork Pie Company. Their brief baking careers have already paid off: In April the company was named the Best British Shop in the World in this year's Best of British awards given out by the Telegraph, a popular British newspaper. ...
   Its customer base consists mostly of English expatriates, Americans of European descent and U.S. veterans who served in Europe. But they are finding new customers all the time. For instance, they sent an order of 2,500 pies to Orlando, Fla., for Universal Studio's new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park attraction two weeks ago. The company also exports pies around the world, to places like Australia, South Africa and the British Virgin Islands.

- Canada’s economy remains strong - Don Lee/McClatchy Newspapers/Buffalo News
   Whatever else they’ve thought about their neighbor to the north, Americans have almost never looked to Canada as a role model.
   Indeed, during the long, bitter push to revamp the U.S. health care system, opponents repeatedly warned that if we weren’t careful, we could end up with a
medical system like Canada’s.
   But on health care, and such crucial issues as the deficit, unemployment, immigration and prospering in the global economy,
Canada seems to be outperforming the United States. And in doing so, it is offering examples of successful strategies that Americans might consider. ...

   But having learned to tighten their belts in the 1990s, Canadians such as Michael Gregory have little sympathy for U.S. consumers who pile debt onto their credit cards and homes.
   “We’ve been taught: You don’t buy what you can’t afford,” said Gregory, a senior economist at the
Bank of Montreal.
   Or maybe not:
- Some in Canada doubt recession is really over - Douglas Turner/The Buffalo News

   Oh, and that pork pie place above. It's NOTHING like this:

 

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

A souped-up supercomputer. And a question it can't answer.

   From the Sunday Business Today section:

- Computing expansion: UB center to spend $9 million on upgrades to serve growing clientele - Matt Glynn/The Buffalo News
   The University at Buffalo's downtown supercomputer center is an impressive electronic powerhouse.Ccr
   The center, which has won $11.45 million in grants in the past year, helps university professors and other researchers run myriad projects. But with supercomputer centers around the world chasing funding and talent, there is no room for complacency.
   "It's tough to stay on the leading edge, and you have to keep working at it," said Thomas Furlani, director of the Center for Computational Research, its official name.
   The center will install $9 million in new equipment this year, improvements that will ramp up capabilities while aiming to reduce energy consumption. ...
   The center sits on the first floor of the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Its location is more than symbolic. Economic development officials see the campus — also home to Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute and Kaleida Health, among others — as a source of growth, amid job losses in such traditional high-wage sectors as manufacturing.

- Fight brews over medical tax breaks - David Robinson/The Buffalo News
   Amherst Supervisor Dr. Barry Weinstein is drawing a line in the sand against giving tax breaks for doctors and medical offices.
   Weinstein, himself a physician, stood up at the Amherst Industrial Development Agency’s meeting Friday morning and made no bones about his belief that the IDA has no business handing out tax breaks for medical projects. ...

Continue reading "A souped-up supercomputer. And a question it can't answer." »

Hiring. Giving. Taco with your gas?

   In Business Today:

- Region’s job market seen as stabilizing - David Robinson/The Buffalo News
   The region added a modest number of jobs for the second straight month during June in a sign that the painful job losses that the area endured since the end of 2008 may be a thing of the past.Ineedajob
   But while the job losses have stopped, the ensuing job growth is tepid, with the region gaining 2,400 jobs over the last year, more than half of that coming from temporary census jobs that now have largely ended. Excluding those government jobs, private-sector employment increased by 0.3 percent, or 1,200 jobs.
   Even with that job growth, the region’s
unemployment rate inched up to 7.7 percent during June as a growing labor force offset the modest improvement in the number of jobs available, the state Labor Department said Thursday.
  
Related:
- Senate close to restoring jobless benefits - AP/Buffalo News
- Manufacturing cools in June as factory output falls 0.4% - AP/Buffalo News  
- City’s Unemployment Rate Fell to 9.5% in June, the 6th Straight Monthly Dip - New York Times
- Unemployment rises to 12.8% in Miami-Dade - Miami Herald
- Georgia jobless rate drops for third straight month - Atlanta Journal Constitution
- State’s jobless rate declines to 12 percent - Providence Journal
- Tennessee jobless rate falls in June to 10.1 percent - Chattanooga Times Free Press
- Unemployment hits 7.9 percent in June - Anchorage Daily News
- Ohio unemployment rate falls to 10.5 percent - Cleveland Plain Dealer 

- Ford dealers donate 2 vans in 15th year of a tradition - Dino Grandoni/The Buffalo News
   The Ford Dealers of Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania presented vans to two area charities in its annual Ford Friendship Express program Thursday.
   The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns and Homespace Inc. each received the keys to a 2010 Econoline van at a ceremony at Marcy Casino in Delaware Park. Since 1996, the dealerships have donated 60 vehicles to nonprofits that have racked up 1.25 million miles with the vehicles. This year marks the program's 15th anniversary.

- Noco adds Mighty Taco to Buffalo store - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News
   ... Continuing its “store-within-a-store” concept, Noco Express Shops is introducing a new Mighty Taco location inside its South Buffalo store. The popular taco shop has already started operating there but will have a formal opening today at 155 Bailey Ave., at McKinley Parkway. ...

Continue reading "Hiring. Giving. Taco with your gas?" »

Spending less. Spending some. Spent too much.

   The money goes round and round and round and the economy comes out here:

   Nationally:
- Slumping retail sales weaken recovery - AP/Buffalo News
   A second straight month of declining retail spending will likely keep unemployment high and help Bargain weaken the recovery.
   Not everyone, however, is suffering. Shoppers with stable jobs and steady pay can find lots of bargains. The economy is bleaker for anyone seeking a job or at risk of losing one. Still, Americans as a group are spending less, and that threatens the pace of the recovery.
   At last month’s meeting,
Federal Reserve officials took note of the weakness, minutes of the session show. The Fed signaled that it stood ready to take new steps to sustain the recovery if the economy worsened.
   Americans, in the meantime, are likely to spend only warily.
   Related:
- Companies pile up cash but remain hesitant to add jobs - Jia Lynn Yang/The Washington Post

   Locally:
- Buffalo consumers are now more willing to spend - David Robinson/The Buffalo News
   Consumers in the Buffalo Niagara region are more willing to spend today than they’ve been in 2-1/2 years, but they still plan to continue their stingy ways well into the future.
   A quarterly survey of consumer confidence in major New York cities found that local consumers are more willing than their counterparts in other parts of the state to buy things today. But their current confidence isn’t strong enough for those consumers to step up their future buying plans, which now are weaker than they’ve been since the end of 2008.
   “There certainly is a feeling that we’ve bottomed out of the recession,” said Douglas Lonnstrom, the founding director of the Siena Research Institute, which conducts the quarterly survey of consumer buying plans.

   In arears:
- Proposal on buying of old debt opposed - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News
   A Democratic state lawmaker from Buffalo, the state’s banks and the region’s burgeoning debt-collection industry are fighting a proposal in Albany to tighten state collections rules, reduce lawsuits and prevent abusive tactics by debt-buying firms. ...

Continue reading "Spending less. Spending some. Spent too much." »

Private development. Public cost.

   In Buffalo:
- Waterfront project hearing turns tense - T.J. Pignataro/The Buffalo News
   ... Susan M. Davis, a Buffalo resident and economics professor at Buffalo State College, said that given the extent taxpayer dollars are used to finance the project, the city should make sure that money goes to Socialism_vs_capitalism creating "living wage jobs" in Buffalo.
   "I'm sure you notice the irony of business people asking for subsidies and then turning around and calling it "socialism,'" Davis said.
   Davis directed her statements at Buffalo businessman and gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino, who, in a fiery speech moments before, used the word "socialism" in chastising those trying to hold the project up and constrain business development at the harbor.
- Canal Side project gets significant investment - Mark Sommer/The Buffalo News
   From the New York Power Authority.

In Kansas City:
- Power & Light District will need big subsidies from city - Kevin Collison/The Kansas City Star
  In a major shift from its original financing plan, Kansas City officials now project that the Power & Light District will require a long-term $10 million to $15 million annual cash subsidy.
   When the city in 2006 approved issuing $295 million in bonds for the downtown entertainment project, it was conceived as a self-sustaining venture. But a delayed opening, the economic downturn and higher-than-expected borrowing costs have meant that so far it has not generated enough revenue to cover debt payments.

Continue reading "Private development. Public cost." »

Power Drives generates green. Tops rotates the stock.

The Business Today color for today: Green. As in green energy. As in raising money.

- Power Drives keeps profits up with 'green' diesel warmers - Dino Grandoni/The Buffalo News
   "Evolve or die" is as much of a mantra of the business world as it is of biology. Those companies that Powerdrives fail to adapt to a changing marketplace often become tomorrow's has-beens.
   Louis P. Panzica, president and CEO of
Power Drives Inc., is trying to save his 64-year-old company from that fate.
   The
South Buffalo-based manufacturer has kept up with the times (and kept up profits) by repurposing some of its facilities for products in "green" technology. The company has recently received a patent for a line of diesel warmers that save fuel.
   "A lot of people think
manufacturing has ended in the United States," said Larry Southwick Jr., professor emeritus at the University at Buffalo's School of Management. "It has not."
   Related:
- U.S. trade gap widens as imports, exports rise - AP/Buffalo News 

- Tops reveals exchange of debt - David Robinson/The Buffalo News
   Tops Markets is exchanging its $350 million in high-yield bonds in a move that will make the supermarket company’s debt available to a wider pool of investors.
   The plans for the debt exchange, revealed this week in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, would not reduce the company’s interest expense or increase its overall borrowings.

Continue reading "Power Drives generates green. Tops rotates the stock." »

Expensive houses. Apartment houses. Pancake houses.

    Business Today news from The Buffalo News:

- Mansions move into millions - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News
   A million-dollar price tag on a home isn't the hurdle it once was.
   In recent days, two mansions -- one in Buffalo and the other in Amherst -- each sold for more than $1 Middlesexroad million, and 24 other homes in Erie County -- including five in Buffalo -- are listed at similar prices.
   Last week's sale of a home at 62 Middlesex Road
[right] for $1.45 million might rank as the most expensive ever in Buffalo.
   "You're going to see more million-dollar sales. The houses are worth it. The market is there," said
Susan Lenahan, a broker associate at MJ Peterson Corp., who sold three million-dollar homes last year in Buffalo and has three currently listed. "They don't sell quickly, and it takes a little more time on the market, but they do sell."
   Related:
- Biggest Defaulters on Mortgages Are the Rich - The New York Times
   Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the rest of the population.
   More than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of a million dollars are seriously delinquent, according to data compiled for The New York Times by the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.

- West Side apartments to get tax breaks - David Robinson/The Buffalo News
   A project to convert the former Horsefeathers building on the West Side of Buffalo into 16 loft-style apartments and a year-round food market will receive $167,000 in sales and mortgage tax breaks through the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. [More about Horsefeathers below...]  

Continue reading "Expensive houses. Apartment houses. Pancake houses." »

Buying banks. Losing jobs.

   Dots to be connected from different days of Business Today.
   If you are a bank, someone probably wants you. If you are a worker, not so much.

- Feeling crunch of a high jobless rate - Samantha Maziarz Christmann/The Buffalo News
   The day Erin Mahoney-Lamb [right] found out her job as a paralegal had been eliminated, the news came that Lamb her husband's extended unemployment benefits were being cut off.
   "Our whole world just kind of crumbled in a matter of 24 hours," said the Town of Tonawanda mother of two. "We had already cut everything down and were being very careful with money. It was like, "Oh, no. What do we do?'"
   Early last month, 9,300 laid-off Western New Yorkers found their
federal unemployment benefits abruptly cut off after Congress adjourned without approving an extension. A temporary measure to extend emergency unemployment benefits to the jobless — beyond the typical 26 weeks and up to 99 weeks — expired June 2. Efforts to reinstate the benefits stalled when Senate Republicans blocked a bill to continue the payments. ...
   In May, the Buffalo Niagara region had 13,900 fewer jobs than the same month two years earlier. With 44,400 people on the
unemployment rolls, it was the second-highest jobless count in May on record and a large chunk of the two counties' total work force population of 581,400. ...
   "It's a difficult period for many people," said Robert Durante, business services specialist at the
Buffalo & Erie County Workforce Development Consortium.
   Related:
- Jobless claims drop but remain nearly at level they were in January - AP
- Analysis: How 2 million lost jobless benefits - Andrew Taylor/AP
   [Comic relief below...]

- Local banks put forth great effort after mergers - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News
   Want to see an army kick into high gear? Just go inside one of Buffalo’s big banks after it announces a new acquisition — something that has happened frequently in recent years. ...

Continue reading "Buying banks. Losing jobs." »

« Older Entries Newer Entries »