Friday, April 15, 2016

Tribune Publishing and 3 other media companies launch joint marketing firm

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - April 14, 2016) - Four leading media companies -- Gannett Co., Inc., Hearst, McClatchy and Tribune Publishing Co. -- today announced the formation of Nucleus Marketing Solutions. This premier marketing solutions provider will connect national advertisers to the top U.S. local publishers' highly engaged audiences across existing and emerging digital platforms.

Former Mashable CRO Seth Rogin, whose career has been built on multi-platform brand growth and digital media leadership, has been named CEO of Nucleus. Rogin has experience in mission-based media and will bring his well-known digital expertise to launch Nucleus.

In addition to the news organizations owned by the founding companies, the network expects to include as many as 11 other affiliate partners across the top U.S. advertising markets.

Nucleus will reach over 70% of consumers in the top 30 U.S. advertising markets and provide clients with integrated solutions that deliver on their marketing goals. Digitally, the network will reach 168 million unique visitors. It is a true national content marketing network for integrated multimedia solutions, offering advertisers a brand-safe, easy-to-access and scalable distribution alternative.

Tony Hunter, Tribune Publishing's President of National Revenue and Strategic Initiatives, who will serve as Chairman of Nucleus, said, "Seth's experience as an innovative, transformational force at both The New York Times and Mashable will suit him well in repositioning our industry with marketers. His thought leading digital expertise, and marketing acumen made him our clear choice."

"My lifelong passion has been to support journalism that matters by helping brands connect with the most desirable audiences in environments of high integrity," Rogin said. "I'm humbled by the opportunity and eager to bring startup drive to this important enterprise. No longer will advertisers have to choose between trust and scale. Nucleus can provide it all in one simple solution."

Rogin was most recently Mashable's Chief Revenue Officer, successfully driving the rapid growth of a diverse revenue portfolio there beginning in June 2013. In his time at Mashable, in addition to sudden, large scale revenue growth, Mashable closed three rounds of venture investor funding and expanded around the nation and the globe.

Previously, he worked for The New York Times for 13 years in various positions, including Vice President of Advertising from 2006 until 2013.

A leader in media across platforms, Rogin is often called upon to speak at conferences around the world, at universities, and to the staff of leading media and consumer brands. He serves as a judge for The Festival of Media Awards, Global and Middle East. He was named "One of the 30 best people in advertising to follow on Twitter" by Business Insider. He is a member of Media Industry Newsletter's Media Sales Hall of Fame. Rogin sits on the Board of Directors of The Ad Council, as well as the Advisory Boards of The Jerry Garcia Foundation and Advertising Week New York and Europe.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Woodridge-based Navitas System named one of 7 leading vendors in Technavio report

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The technology research and advisory firm Technavio has announced the top seven leading vendors in its recent global golf cart battery market report.

Navitas System was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Woodridge, Illinois. The company designs, develops, and manufactures energy storage products and energy enabled system solutions for industrial, commercial, and government agency customers.

Image credit: Navitas System
In October 2014, the company received a contract from Alion Science and Technology (a technology company that delivers operational support and technical expertise to the Department of Defense, commercial customers, and civilian government agencies) worth $1.55 million for the development of the Li-ion 6T battery system that is used in military applications.

Competitive vendor landscape

The global golf cart battery market is highly diverse, with leading vendors providing cost-effective lead-acid batteries with limited features and functionalities. Overall, the market is highly competitive. Intense competition and rapid advances in technology are the key factors that may affect market growth. However, the declining price of lead-acid batteries and end-user preferences for other advanced batteries will also present significant challenges to lead-acid battery vendors.

“The golf course industry is seeing a transformation with the use of the latest technologies. To increase a golfer’s preference and attract new customers, golf clubs are integrating the latest models of golf carts. For instance, the Yamaha Golf-Car Company launched its Drive AC golf cart in January 2015 during the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando,” says Vishu Rai, a lead analyst at Technavio for energy storage.

The other companies listed among the top seven golf cart battery market vendors are:

Axion Power International

Axion Power International, formerly known as Tamboril, was established in 2003 through a reverse acquisition with Tamboril Cigar. It is headquartered in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

The company offers uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries under the brand name SureEnergy. These batteries are used in emergency lighting systems, hospitals, data centers, medical systems, federal data systems, network operation centers, reservation systems, banks and financial markets, emergency response facilities, manufacturing facilities, and industrial process controls, and Internet service providers.

Crown Battery

Crown Battery was founded in 1926 and is headquartered in Fremont, California. It is one of the leading battery manufacturing companies.

East Penn Manufacturing

East Penn Manufacturing was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Pennsylvania. The company offers lead-acid batteries, wire and cable products, and battery accessories.

In July 2015, East Penn Manufacturing received $25,000 from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania to conduct a comprehensive analysis of recycling considerations at its Lyon Station facility. This relates to the growing need for new battery technology to cope with the high demand for HEVs.

Exide Technologies

Exide Technologies was founded in 1888 and is headquartered in Milton, Georgia. The company serves the complex stored energy needs of customers worldwide. It provides services and systems to enhance vehicle performance and fleet utilization with an aim to reduce the risk of temporary power supply interruptions.

Exide Technologies is one of the leading stored electrical energy solution providers, with subsidiaries in more than 80 countries. The company operates through its 33 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. It has partnerships with OEMs and serves the spare parts market for industrial and transportation applications.

EnerSys

EnerSys was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Pennsylvania. The company manufactures, markets, and distributes industrial batteries and related products such as chargers, outdoor cabinet enclosures, power equipment, and battery accessories. It offers related after-market and customer support services for industrial batteries.

EnerSys markets and sells its products to more than 10,000 customers in over 100 countries via a network of distributors, independent representatives, and its internal sales force.

Trojan Battery

Trojan Battery was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Santa Fe Springs, California. It is a manufacturer of deep-cycle batteries. The company offers a broad range of batteries such as deep-cycle flooded, deep-cycle AGM, and gel batteries. These batteries are used in golf carts and utility, aerial work platforms, commercial trucking, marine, floor machines, RVs, material handling applications, and renewable energy systems.

The company operates through its manufacturing plants in California and Georgia. As of 2015, the company had over 600 employees.

About Technavio

Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. The company develops over 2000 pieces of research every year, covering more than 500 technologies across 80 countries. Technavio has about 300 analysts globally who specialize in customized consulting and business research assignments across the latest leading edge technologies.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Orbitz to be sold to Expedia for $1.6 billion

Chicago-based online travel company Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: OWW) will be purchased by Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), according to a news release issued today by Expedia. Expedia, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement under which it will acquire Orbitz Worldwide, , including all of Orbitz Worldwide's brands, for $12.00 per share in cash, representing an enterprise value of approximately $1.6 billion, and a premium of approximately 29% over the volume weighted average share price for the five trading days up to and including February 11, 2015.

The Boards of Directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which is subject to approval by the shareholders of a majority of Orbitz Worldwide's common stock and other customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals. The Board of Directors of Orbitz Worldwide received a fairness opinion from Qatalyst Partners and has recommended that its stockholders vote in favor of the merger.

"We are attracted to the Orbitz Worldwide business because of its strong brands and impressive team. This acquisition will allow us to deliver best-in-class experiences to an even wider set of travelers all over the world," said Dara Khosrowshahi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Expedia, Inc. "From the flagship Orbitz.com brand, to other well-known consumer brands such as CheapTickets, ebookers and HotelClub and the business-to-business brands Orbitz Partner Network and Orbitz for Business, the Orbitz Worldwide team has built a devoted customer base and we look forward to welcoming them to the Expedia, Inc. family."

"Our mission at Orbitz Worldwide has been to build our brands to be the world's most rewarding places to plan and purchase travel," said Barney Harford, Chief Executive Officer, Orbitz Worldwide. "We're excited for Orbitz Worldwide to join the Expedia, Inc. family and for our teams to work together to further enhance the offerings we provide to our customers and partners."

Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) is one of the world's largest travel companies, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands, such as:
  • Expedia.com®, the world's largest full service online travel agency with localized sites in 31 countries
  • Hotels.com®, the hotel specialist with localized sites in more than 60 countries
  • Hotwire®, a leading discount travel site that offers opaque deals in 12 countries throughoutNorth AmericaEurope and Asia
  • Travelocity®, a pioneer in online travel and a leading online travel agency in the US and Canada
  • Egencia®, the world's fifth largest corporate travel management company
  • eLong™, a leading mobile and online travel service provider in China
  • Venere.com™, an online hotel reservation specialist in Europe
  • trivago®, a leading online hotel metasearch company with sites in 49 countries
  • Wotif Group, a leading operator of travel brands in the Asia-Pacific region, including Wotif.com®, lastminute.com.au®, travel.com.au, Asia Web Direct®, LateStays.com, GoDo.com.au and Arnold Travel Technology
  • Expedia Local Expert®, a provider of online and in-market concierge services, activities, experiences and ground transportation in hundreds of destinations worldwide
  • Classic Vacations®, a top luxury travel specialist
  • Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®, a provider of exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of 180 franchise locations across North America
  • CarRentals.com™, the premier car rental booking company on the web
The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market consumers through Expedia® Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world's leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia® Affiliate Network. For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc.
Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW) is a leading global online travel company using technology to transform the way consumers around the world plan and purchase travel. Orbitz Worldwide operates the consumer travel planning sites Orbitz (orbitz.com), ebookers (ebookers.com), HotelClub (hotelclub.com) and CheapTickets (cheaptickets.com). Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Partner Network (orbitzpartnernetwork.com) delivers private label travel technology solutions to a broad range of partners including some of the world`s largest airlines, bank loyalty programs and travel agencies, and Orbitz for Business (orbitzforbusiness.com) delivers managed travel solutions for companies of all sizes. Orbitz Worldwide makes investor relations information available at investors.orbitz.com.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Illinois accounting firms merge

Two Illinois accounting firms, Mowery & Schoenfeld and Wolowicki and Associates, merged effective Jan. 2, 2014.  The combined CPA firm will continue operations as Mowery & Schoenfeld.

This is Mowery & Schoenfeld's third merger in the last five years; the firm has grown from three employees to 55 in just 17 years.

"We've been fortunate to identify three great merger opportunities in the last five years," said Jeff Mowery, managing partner of Mowery & Schoenfeld.  "With each merger, we've had the opportunity to add incredible talent and clients to our firm.  We are only interested in pursuing opportunities where the culture, clients and staff are a seamless fit into our organization."

For the third year in a row, Mowery & Schoenfeld is the proud recipient of the "Best Accounting Firms to Work For" award from Accounting Today.  This award is a true testament to the employees, the leadership and the incredible clients the firm works with on a daily basis.

"It didn't take us long to realize Mowery & Schoenfeld was a great fit for our employees and our clients," said Jerry Wolowicki, managing partner of Wolowicki and Associates.  "We are excited about our future as one firm."

Mowery & Schoenfeld is a full-service CPA firm located in Lincolnshire, Illinois.  The 55-person firm works with private businesses and individuals in providing audit, tax, consulting and wealth management services.

Wolowicki and Associates, formerly based in Schaumburg, moved to the Mowery & Schoenfeld offices in Lincolnshire on January 2, 2014.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

J C Penney announces plans to close 33 stores, including 2 in Illinois


J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) today announced that as part of its turnaround efforts, the Company will be closing 33 underperforming stores across the country in order to focus its resources on the Company's highest potential growth opportunities.  Among the stores slated to close are 2 stores in Illinois: in Bloomingdale at the Stratford Square Mall and in Forsyth at the Hickory Point Mall.

In a press release issued after the markets closed, the Company stated that these actions are expected to result in an annual cost savings of approximately $65 million, beginning in 2014. In connection with this initiative, the Company expects to incur estimated pre-tax charges of approximately $26 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 and approximately $17 million in future periods.

Remaining inventory in the affected stores will be sold over the next several months, with final closings expected to be complete by early May. The closings will result in the elimination of approximately 2,000 positions. Eligible associates who do not remain with the Company will receive separation benefits packages. Meanwhile, the Company announced it is continuing its plans to open a new store location later this year at the Gateway II development in Brooklyn, N.Y.

"As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to reexamine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly," said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chief executive officer of JCPenney.  "While it's always difficult to make a business decision that impacts our valued customers and associates, this important step addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores and position JCPenney for future success."













Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Beam sold in $16 billion deal to Japan's Suntory Holdings

Chicago mergers and acquisitions activity continues to heat up. Japan's Suntory Holdings has announced it will acquire Deerfield-based Beam Inc., the producer of Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbons and other top-shelf liquor brands. Beam became an independent company when Fortune Brands Inc. was split into two companies in 2011.

Suntory Holdings has agreed to pay $83.50 a share in cash to purchase Beam. The transaction values Beam at $16 billion, including the assumption of debt. If the acquisition is completed as planned, the merged company would have annual sales of more than $4.3 billion, the two companies said, making it the world's third-largest premium spirits company, behind Diageo and Pernod Ricard.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Cumulus Media buys 2 radio stations from Merlin Media

The Chicago Tribune reports that Cumulus Media, owner of news/talk WLS AM 890 and classic hits WLS FM 94.7, is poised to acquire two stations from Merlin Media: classic rock WLUP FM 97.9 and WIQI FM 101.1 (which will revert to modern rock WKQX).

“The addition of WKQX and WLUP will add two legendary radio brands to the two legendary radio brands Cumulus already owns in Chicago,” John Dickey, executive vice president and co-chief operating officer of Cumulus, told Inside Radio. “We are excited to be growing our presence in one of the best media markets in the world.”

Dickey told AllAccess.com there will be no change in the Loop’s format, adding: “We will migrate WKQX from 87.7 to 101.1 next week and return it to alternative, dropping ’90s, 2K & Today.’ We will simulcast it for a month.”

Sale of the two Merlin stations essentially closes another chapter in the saga of Randy Michaels, who launched the company in 2011 after his exit as CEO of Tribune Co.

Terms of the business acquisition agreement with Merlin Media announced Friday were not yet known.