Monthly gas price down
There’s good news on two fronts for customers who have chosen Dominion’s Standard Choice Offer (SCO) or those who don’t choose their own supplier for their natural gas.
The monthly SCO price is decreasing in January and the monthly service fee is also going down slightly.
Effective Jan. 14, the identical SCO and Standard Service Offer (SSO) prices will be $3.95 per thousand cubic feet (mcf). The new rates are 35 cents, or 8 percent, lower than the December SCO/SSO price of $4.30. It’s also 13 cents, or 3 percent, lower than the price a year ago at $4.08.
The average SCO/SSO residential customer’s bill for January will be $117.48, down 75 cents, or 0.6 percent, from $118.23 a year ago.
Residential customers pay the same usage-based charges (to deliver gas to a residence) and monthly service fee, regardless of whether customers choose their own supplier or stay with Dominion. That flat fee, approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, is going down 15 cents to $20.80 from $20.95.
Timken buys Wazee
Specialty steel and bearings maker Timken Co. of Canton said it is diversifying through purchasing the assets of Colorado-based crane services business Wazee Companies LLC.
Terms were not announced. Wazee, in Denver, has more than 100 employees and provides motor, generator, wind and industrial crane services to the oil and gas, wind, agriculture, material handling and construction markets. Sales from December 2011 to December 2012 were about $30 million, Timken said.
Wazee will expand Timken’s bearing and gearbox repair services; the company will be put under Timken’s process industries segment. Timken said Wazee offers motor rewind, generator rebuild, electric controls, industrial bridge cranes and uptower wind maintenance and repair from four western U.S. locations.
“We continue to focus our strategy on further diversifying the Timken services portfolio,” Carl Rapp, vice president of industrial services for Timken, said in a statement. “Wazee complements our industrial repair capabilities at existing customers and takes us into critical motor and generator services.”
Timken said the purchase includes the assets of H&N Electric Inc., which Wazee bought in 2011 and which also offers repair, maintenance and overhaul services for critical motors and wind generators in the Pacific Northwest. Timken had 2011 sales of $5.2 billion.
Avis to take over Zipcar
Avis Budget Group Inc. agreed to buy Zipcar Inc., which rents cars by the hour or day, for $491 million, as short-term rentals pioneered by Zipcar become more important in the industry.
Zipcar’s board agreed to a bid of $12.25 a share, Avis Budget said Wednesday in a statement. The offer, which has been accepted by holders of 32 percent of Zipcar’s shares, is 49 percent higher than the company’s Dec. 31 closing price. Zipcar’s initial public offering price was $18 in April 2011.
Avis Budget, by acquiring Zipcar, joins Enterprise Holdings Inc. and Hertz Global Holdings Inc., the two largest U.S. car-rental companies, in the race for expanding hourly rentals.
Closely held Enterprise last year acquired Mint Cars On-Demand, an hourly car-rental firm with locations in New York and Boston. Hertz said last year it planned to equip its entire 375,000-vehicle U.S. fleet for hourly rental.
Avis Budget saw Hertz last year acquire Dollar Thrifty for $2.6 billion, solidifying Hertz’s No. 2 spot behind Enterprise, which operates the Enterprise, Alamo and National brands. Revolution Living LLC, the fund started by America Online Inc. co-founder Steve Case, was among Zipcar’s early investors, backing the business model when it was still in its infancy in the mid-2000s.
Hyundai makes forecast
Hyundai Motor Co. and smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s two largest automakers, forecast their slowest sales growth in seven years.
The two companies plan combined sales to rise 4.1 percent to 7.41 million vehicles in 2013, the company said. That’s the lowest growth since 2006, when deliveries shrank 1.2 percent, and compares with the 7.43 million average of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Both companies are also coping with a domestic currency that’s appreciated more than any other major Asian currency in the past six months, undermining their ability to compete against Toyota and General Motors.
Hyundai and Kia’s 2013 growth forecast is half the 8 percent increase posted last year. The automakers sold an estimated 7.12 million vehicles in 2012, exceeding their goal of 7 million units, the company said.
Compiled from staff and wire reports