Shale news coming
Interested residents and businesses will get more information today on the productivity of drilling at Ohio’s shale formations.
The state of Ohio will announce at 2 p.m. how much oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids were produced last year through hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, at 87 Utica shale wells. The 2011 report covered far fewer wells.
The report presentation will be streamed online at www2.ohiodnr.gov from Columbus.
The state Division of Oil and Resources Management compiled and analyzed the information in the report.
B&W gets contract
The U.S. Naval Reactors Program has awarded a $366 million contract to Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Operations Group to buy materials to assemble submarine nuclear propulsion components. Lynchburg, Va.-based B&W Nuclear Operations received $75 million of the contract immediately, with the rest to be released over six years. Corporate parent Babcock & Wilcox, based in Charlotte, N.C., has a campus in Barberton with about 2,000 employees in its Power Generation Group division. B&W has some nuclear operations employees in Ohio as well.
Mall owner expands
DDR Corp. of Beachwood is buying 30 of 44 U.S. shopping centers from a joint venture it has with private equity firm Blackstone Group LP in a deal worth $1.46 billion, saying it expects to make money by raising rents at the malls and redeveloping them. They include centers in Boston, Chicago, Washington and Minneapolis among others.
DDR, known as Developers Diversified, owns 445 shopping centers in the U.S. and Brazil. It will pay for the deal by assuming existing debt and by selling stock.
It will hold a public offering for 32 million shares, selling up to $250 million worth of common stock to Blackstone. DDR expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter. Blackstone and DDR bought the shopping centers in June 2012 for $1.4 billion, including nearly $1 billion in debt. Blackstone will keep its 95 percent stake in the remaining 14 properties in the joint venture. DDR shares fell 46 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $18.95 in after-hours trading. The stock has gained 36 percent over the past 12 months.
Timken stake increased
Relational Investors LLC increased its holding in Canton-based manufacturer Timken Co. in the first quarter as the fund leader Ralph Whitworth pressured the company to break itself into separate steel and bearings manufacturing units.
Relational bought 1.12 million shares in the three months ended March 31, increasing its stake to 6.62 million shares valued at $374 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Relational is the largest single shareholder in Timken with 6.9 percent of outstanding shares, according to financial data compiled by Bloomberg.
Whitworth won support in a non-binding vote of Timken shareholders on May 7 urging management to spin off the company’s steel unit from its larger ball-bearing business. Directors said after the vote they will study the results and announce steps within 45 days.
Relational and California State Teachers’ Retirement System, a state pension fund, have been lobbying for a breakup of Timken since November on the grounds that it would boost shareholder value. The board argued that a spinoff would boost expenses, reduce efficiency and inflate borrowing costs for an independent steel operation.
Fiat moving to U.S.?
Italian-based automaker Fiat SpA is considering moving its headquarters to the U.S., a market that is enjoying an auto industry revival, after a planned merger with Chrysler Group LLC. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne is evaluating a switch to the U.S. from Turin, Italy, where Fiat was founded in 1899, Bloomberg News reported, citing three unidentified sources with knowledge. The main sources of revenue and profit for Fiat, Italy’s biggest manufacturer, are shifting to North America. Fiat generated 75 percent of 2012 operating profit in North America. A Fiat representative declined to comment.
Freeh hired to help
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s firm has been hired by trucking companies suing Pilot Flying J over allegations that the nation’s largest diesel fuel retailer bilked customers out of rebates.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Tate confirmed that Freeh has agreed to work on the lawsuit filed after federal agents raided Pilot’s headquarters in Knoxville last month. Pilot is run by CEO Jimmy Haslam, who is also the owner of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and the brother of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.
Compiled from staff and wire reports