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327 posts categorized "Releasing the press"

March 06, 2015

10 years of blogging Rochester

On March 4, 2005, I wrote my first blog post. Kiger's Notebook blogo 2x

It was my sixth year at the Post-Bulletin. I created the "Heard on the Street" column about three years before the blog began. 

More  than 6,200 posts, stacks of columns, mountains of tweets and many gray hairs later, I'm still here writing about business and things vaguely related to businesPhoto on 2015-03-03 at 18.11s in southeastern Minnesota.

It'syou, the readers, who make this career such a fulfilling and entertaining one. Thank you everyone for your feedback, criticism and support over these past 10 years. 

10 years of blogging Rochester

On March 4, 2005, I wrote my first blog post.Kiger's Notebook blogo 2x

It was my siPhoto on 2015-03-03 at 18.11xth year at the Post-Bulletin. I created the "Heard on the Street" column about three years before the blog began. 

More than 6,200 posts, stacks of columns, mountains of tweets and many gray hairs later, I'm still here writing about business and things vaguely related to business in southeastern Minnesota.

It's you, the readers, who make this career such a fulfilling and entertaining one. Thank you everyone for your feedback, criticism and support over these past 10 years.  

June 04, 2012

Crenlo's owner buys a cab-maker in Brazil

The corporate owner of Crenlo, one of Rochester's largest manufacturers, has added a Brazilian firm that also makes cabs for heavy equipment to its portfolio.

International Equipment Solutions announced Monday that it acquired Brazil-based Siac do Brasil from SIAC S.p.A. of Bergamo, Italy. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

International Equipment, which is owned by KPS Capital Partners, Office-buildingdescribes Siac do Brasil as "the leading manufacturer of cab enclosures in Brazil."

KPS formed IES last year and used it to purchase Rochester-based Crenlo for $290 million, along with Paladin Brands of Iowa, from Dover Corp. Crenlo employs about 750 people here at two facilities. It makes cabs for construction and agriculture companies such as Caterpillar and John Deere, as well as electronic enclosures under the EMCOR brand.

Picking up this Brazilian company fits with the international strategy that KPS and IES announced last year.

"The acquisition of Siac do Brasil is a critical strategic step in the growth and globalization of IES," stated CEO Steve Andrews in Monday's press release. "The acquisition not only expands many of our current North American OEM supply partnerships into the Brazilian market, but further broadens our customer base as well. Additionally, the acquisition introduces IES as an important supplier in the rapidly growing Brazilian locomotive market."

Crenlo's president says this move is good for the local company, though it does not directly affect the Rochester operations.

"This is a positive development for Crenlo, as it broadens the overall cab enclosure business under IES to be more global in scope," says Dave Kilburn. "This acquisition will not have any unfavorable impact on either jobs or activity at Crenlo, as the acquired company only operates in Brazil."

He also commented that Crenlo is currently doing well and "has bounced back from some tougher times back in 2009."

Founded in Rochester in 1951, Crenlo was under the control of independent Minnesota owners for much its 60 years. It was acquired as a subsidiary by Dover Corp. in 1999.

January 18, 2012

Old Country Buffet to close 81 restaurants, files bankruptcy

The corporate parent of Old Country Buffet announced today that it is going into bankruptcy for a second time and it will close 81 restaurants.

No word on what locations will be axed and pack up their sneeze guards.

Of course, Rochester has an OCB in the TJ Maxx Plaza & More Plaza. It lived through the last bankruptcy round of closings four years ago, so it probably has good odds this time.

Other media sources are reporting that the list of Buffets to close will possibly be released Thursday. So I'll keep an eye on that.

Here's a little from today's press release:

Buffets, Inc. announced today a restructuring agreement that it has reached with senior lenders holding 83% of its senior debt, which will recapitalize the Company while eliminating virtually all of the Company's approximately $245 million of outstanding debt. The recapitalization will provide the Company with resources to invest in its proven reconcepting program, as well as other restaurant and profitability improvement initiatives.


Under the proposed plan, the Company will eliminate its outstanding debt of approximately $245 million, as well as annual interest payments of more than $30 million. The pre-negotiated plan of reorganization anticipates the Company's existing lenders will receive 100 percent of the Company's new common stock upon emergence.

As part of the restructuring plan, the Company expects to promptly close 81 underperforming restaurants, representing approximately 16 percent of its nearly 500 restaurants nationally. "The decision to close these underperforming restaurants, though difficult, resulted from a comprehensive, store-by-store analysis of financial performance, occupancy costs, market conditions and the long-term strategy of our reorganized restaurant portfolio," commented Mike Andrews, Buffets CEO. In addition to the immediate restaurant closings, the Company is seeking more favorable lease arrangements with its landlords at other restaurant locations. To the extent those leases cannot be modified on acceptable terms, additional restaurant closings may be required.

December 29, 2011

Kiger's back and the blog is breathing again

I apologize to you all for abandoning this blog for so long.

I took a vacation and was pretty tied up even before I left. The result was that Kiger's Notebook was left barren for the longest stretch, since I launched it in March, 2005.

I couldn't stay away completely, so I did pop back in to do the CostCo piece and a few columns here and there.

RedjeffMost of my time away was spent on the banks of The Wabash in Indiana. A place Verizon as well as the rest technological world evidently do not know exisits. While I did zip out a few Tweets and email responses when the moon was in the right place, I was mostly out of the loop.

I apologize to everyone who sent me emails, voice messages, Facebook notes and direct messages on Twitter. I'll try to catch up. More than a 1,000 unread emails have piled up.

Anyway, I'm back now and revved up for the new year.

Please keep letting me know what you are interested in and passing along any business tips you might hear.

Look for lots of action on here in as 2012 kicks into gear and thank you for reading.

September 29, 2011

$290M sale of Crenlo finalized

The sale of one of Rochester's largest manufacturers — Crenlo — became official today as a $290 million deal closed.

Crenlo employs about 650 to 680 people at two facilities.

Crenlotruck The new owners have said not how this sale could impact Rochester's workers, though local leaders called it a "positive development" when the sale was announced at the start of this month.

Dover Corp., the $5 billion Illinois-based conglomerate that owns Crenlo, sold the Rochester industrial cab and enclosure maker along with Paladin Brands of Iowa  to International Equipment Solutions, an affiliate of KPS Capital Partners of New York City.

"We are pleased to announce the completion of the sale of Crenlo and Paladin," said Bob Livingston, Dover's president and CEO in a statement. "While both of these companies have strong market positions, their sale is an important step in Dover's long-term vision of strengthening the portfolio, improving margins and reducing our exposure to construction related end-markets. This transaction also provides additional financial capacity to continue Dover's expansion plans in our key growth spaces through both acquisitions and internal initiatives."

Founded in Rochester in 1951, Crenlo makes cabs for construction and agriculture companies such as Caterpillar and John Deere, as well as electronic enclosures under the EMCOR brand.

Crenlo, which was under the control of independent Minnesota owners for much its 60 years, was acquired as a subsidiary by Dover Corp. in 1999.

August 23, 2011

Hormel picks up guacamole maker

Once again showing its taste for Mexican food, Austin-based Hormel Foods is now ready to serve up some guacamole after acquiring the top U.S. producer of the avocado dip.

Wholly MegaMex Foods, a joint venture of Hormel and Herdez Del Fuerte, announced this morning that it had wrapped up the purchase of Fort Worth, Texas-based Fresherized Foods.

The financial terms were not released. MegaMex first announced its intention to purchase this company last month.

"This transaction further demonstrates the clear commitment of the MegaMex Foods partners to become the U.S. leader in Mexican food," said Jeff Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO at Hormel Foods.

Fresherized is described as being the top maker  of guacamole in the U.S. under its Wholly Guacamole. It also makes Wholly Salsa and Wholly Queso products.

It employs about 1,500 people. It has facilities in Mexico, Chile and Peru.

In 2010, it was processing 2 million pounds of avocados a week.

"We are pleased with the closing of this purchase "Guacamole continues to build in popularity among consumers, not only as a nutritious and flavor-enhancing dip, but also as a sandwich spread," said Luis Marconi, managing director at MegaMex Foods.

Hormel estimates annual sales from Fresherized will be about $140 million.

Fresherized officials said in 2010 that the company's annual sales had been increasing by 30 percent a year since 2004.

“This acquisition enhances the position of MegaMex Foods as a one-stop-shop for Mexican foods.” said Enrique Hernández-Pons Torres, CEO of MegaMex Foods in this morning's announcement.

This purchase follows MegaMex's 2010 acquisition of Don Miguel Foods Corp., which makes Mexican flavored appetizers and snacks.


July 26, 2011

Jones to take over 102.5 Fox morning

Here's a quick follow-up to yesterday's announcement about Tracy Dixon leaving Rochester's 102.5 The Fox radio morning show.

Two of the Med City's most well-known radio voices - Julie Jones and Dave Berg - are switching things up. I'll have this in my column tomorrow.

Swt2eftu1h4oym7172009224353This is a note from Craig Erpestad, Clear Channel's operations manager in Rochester:

102.5 The Fox, KMFX radio would like to announce that longtime morning air personality Tracy Dixon is accepting the morning drive position at WMAD in Madison Wisconsin!

  T_912_1309365833 Julie Jones who currently is on 102.5 The Fox in the afternoon drive slot will be taking over the morning show beginning Aug. 8.

Julie is one of the most well known radio personalities in the Rochester Radio market and we are very excited to promote her to be the morning show host.

Dave Berg, who currently hosts the midday show will be moving to the afternoon drive. Dave is not only a very well known air talent, he is also extremely involved in the community as our public service director.

April 05, 2011

Mayo Clinic pal Cardio3 reports 'promising' results

Here's an interesting update on the progress of a Belgium biotech firm using Mayo Clinic technology  to try to find the Holy Grail of cardiac treatments - repair a damaged heart with a patient's own stem cells.

CARDIO3 BIOSCIENCES 3 Cardio3 Biosciences licensed research and technology from Mayo Clinic back in 2007.

Here's the official word on the current relationship:

Mayo Clinic owns an equity position in the company. Mayo Clinic, and the inventors of the technology, Drs. Andre Terzic and Atta Behfar, have a financial interest. While no royalties have accrued to date, Mayo Clinic has rights to receive future royalties which will be shared with Drs. Terzic and Behfar in accordance with the Mayo Clinic Royalty sharing policy.

Cardio Cardio3's breakdown of its investors on its website shows Mayo Clinic controls 30 percent of the company's capitalization.

Anyway, Cardio3 rolled out results today at a conference in New Orleans that they say s


how improvement in heart failure patients after six months of treatment.

Here's some from that release:

Cardio3 BioSciences presented detailed data from the Phase II clinical trial of C3BS-CQR-1 (C-Cure(R)), its novel stem cell therapy for ischemic cardiomyopathy, at the 60th annual American College of Cardiology in New Orleans, USA.

The data were presented by Dr. Jozef Bartunek, Associate Director of the Cardiovascular Center in Aalst, Belgium and Co-Principal Investigator of the C3BS-CQR-1 (C-Cure) trial. The trial demonstrates that heart failure patients improved heart function and exercise capacity at 6 months following treatment


of C-Cure, an innovative and proprietary stem cell therapy based on the Company's "Cardiopoiesis" technology.

The Cardiopoiesis platform is based on fundamental research conducted at Mayo Clinic and is designed to drive the differentiation of adult bone marrow-derived stem cells into cardiac progenitor cells which have the potential to promote heart regeneration when re-injected into the heart of patients suffering from ischemic heart failure.


Dr. Christian Homsy, CEO of Cardio3 BioSciences, said: "Heart failure affects 117 million people and cannot be cured today as current therapies only reduce the severity of disease symptoms. Regenerative therapies, such as C-Cure, may offer new hope to patients who currently have limited choices and potentially avoid the need for heart transplantation.

The positive outcome of this study reiterates our belief that C-Cure can make a real difference to patients suffering from heart failure. Indeed, we are currently planning the next stages of C-Cure development and are committed to taking the steps needed to successfully bring this new and important treatment to patients. With C-Cure, we aim to become the first company with an approved regenerative product for ischemic heart failure."

April 04, 2011

Mayo Clinic exec leaves for N. Carolina

Here's a quick tidbit I spotted floating upon the online waves this Monday morning.

20110404090036ENPRNPRN-UNI-HEALTH-E-CAROLINA-HERMAN-1y-1301907636MR Mayo Clinic's Dr. Dave Herman is heading south for a job in Greenvile, North Carolina with University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina Inc.

UHS owns, leases or has a majority membership interest in seven eastern North Carolina hospitals and has management agreements with one other.

Here's some from a press release from his new employer. I may have a little bit more on this soon.


University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina announced today that Dr. David Herman, a physician leader with the Mayo Clinic, will join UHS as president of the health care system.

Herman currently serves as medical director of the Mayo Clinic Affiliated Practice Network. As UHS president, Herman will be responsible for the health system, including coordinating and integrating health care at all levels of service, from free community screenings and physician practices to local hospitals and tertiary medical care.


Herman said his decision to relocate to eastern North Carolina was based on great potential to unify a system of care that will be critical in the coming years.

"Few organizations are in the unique position of being able to build a true system of care to address the care needs of the populations they serve," Herman said. "I am impressed with the people who make up UHS, and I am eager to work with the team to design, execute and demonstrate this new system of health care. I am honored and eager to have a chance to serve in this new capacity."

Herman currently serves on the board of directors for the Mayo Health System, the board of directors for the Western Region of the Mayo Health System, and is a member of the management team of Mayo Clinic. Herman also served as chair of the Mayo Clinic Rochester Clinical Practice Committee, an executive position similar to the role he will assume at UHS.

Herman will join UHS in summer 2011.