FirstEnergy completes sale
FirstEnergy Corp. said Wednesday it completed the sale of 11 hydroelectric power stations to Harbor Hydro Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of LS Power Equity Partners II, for about $395 million. The sale was originally announced in September.
The hydroelectric power stations included in this sale are owned by FirstEnergy Generation, LLC, Allegheny Energy Supply Co. LLC and Green Valley Hydro LLC and have a total capacity of 527 megawatts, which represents less than 3 percent of FirstEnergy’s generation fleet output.
The stations are in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.
Allstate invests in strategy
Allstate Corp., the largest publicly traded U.S. home and auto insurer with a large regional office based in Hudson, is seeking privately negotiated investments as the company works to improve returns in its portfolio.
“This year, we’ll be focusing on shifting from public fixed-income corporate securities to investments that offer higher-yielding assets, typically in the private market,” Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson said at an investor conference.
Home Depot to add staffing
Home Depot Inc., the largest U.S. home-improvement retailer, plans to add the same number of part-time workers for its busiest sales season as it did in 2013, capitalizing on what it believes is rising demand for home renovations.
More than 80,000 seasonal employees will be hired to prepare for the spring, when Americans traditionally spend more to fix up their homes, said Tim Crow, executive vice president of human resources for the Atlanta-based chain. That matches the company’s seasonal hires for last year and for 2012, he said.
Home Depot, which has almost 2,000 stores in the United States, is adding workers as it benefits from surging home values in the past two years that have encouraged owners to spend on their properties. The chain’s sales gained 9.4 percent to $79.4 billion in the 12 months through Nov. 3. The stock gained about 16 percent in the 12 months compared with a 20 percent increase for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
CEO recommended at Cliffs
Casablanca Capital LP, the activist hedge fund pressing Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. to spin off its foreign assets, said it’s backing Lourenco Goncalves as chief executive officer of the largest U.S. iron-ore producer.
Goncalves was formerly the CEO of Metals USA Holdings Corp., the steel distributor acquired last year by Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. He has made a recent investment of about $1 million in Cliffs shares and has agreed to be a director nominee, Casablanca said in a statement.
Cliffs said in October it hired Gary Halverson as its next CEO, without saying when he would take over. Halverson is currently Cliffs’ president and chief operating officer.
Casablanca, Cliffs’ fourth-largest shareholder according to data compiled by Bloomberg, said in a Jan. 28 letter the Cleveland-based miner should double its dividend, convert its U.S. assets to a master limited partnership and cut costs.
Cliffs said Tuesday it would stop operations at its Wabush mine in Newfoundland and Labrador by the end of the first quarter because of “unsustainably high” costs. The company plans to cut its capital expenditures by more than half, to $375 million to $425 million, it said.
Verizon to shift 3,000 jobs
About 3,000 Verizon Wireless workers will have to transfer to different offices or find new jobs as five of the company’s customer call centers will close.
The changes affect Verizon offices in California, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland and Georgia. Verizon is closing customer service centers in some of those states and changing the types of jobs located in other states, said company spokesman Paul Macchia.
The upheaval imperils the current jobs of about 4 percent of the 73,000 people who work for Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless carrier. Verizon is making the changes amid signs that competition is heating up in the wireless market.
Rivals AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have been rolling out less-expensive subscription plans.
Compiled from staff and wire reports