With virtually no opposition, shareholders of Central Vermont Public Service Corp (NYSE-CV) have approved the sale of the company to Gaz MÃ©tro Limited Partnership in voting that concluded this morning. Gaz MÃ©tro is the parent company of Green Mountain Power and Vermont Gas Systems; CVPS and GMP will ultimately merge into one Vermont company after the sale is completed in 2012. Shareholders began voting in late summer by phone, mail and Internet, and final votes were cast today at a special shareholder meeting in Rutland. Over 75 percent of the outstanding shares of the company were represented at the meeting, and of those, more than 97 percent voted in support of the $702 million sale. ‘This is a critical milestone in the sale process,’ said CVPS President and CEO Larry Reilly. ‘The overwhelming support of CVPS shareholders demonstrates the soundness of the agreement and the value it will provide to CVPS’s owners, customers, employees and other constituents.’ ‘I am very pleased that CVPS shareholders have accepted our offer and merger proposal, which will create one strong electric utility to help our Vermont customers save hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 20 years by combining CVPS and GMP service areas,’ said GMP President and CEO Mary Powell, who will lead the new company. ‘These savings will allow families, businesses and communities to reinvest to strengthen Vermont, which is so important for our economic vitality.’ Earlier this week, CVPS received clearance for the sale from the Federal Trade Commission. The transaction must still be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Vermont Public Service Board, among others. The PSB has already held one pre-hearing conference and has set a preliminary schedule for the docket, with a workshop in October, a public hearing on Nov. 1, and technical hearings in February. The sale agreement provides significant benefits for customers, communities, employees and shareholders, including $144 million in customer savings over 10 years, benefits for low-income customers, and the establishment of the Headquarters for Operations and Energy Innovation in Rutland. Savings will not be achieved through layoffs ‘ other than some executive officers ‘ but instead through natural retirements and attrition, which will allow for the smooth integration of both companies’ workforces. The all-cash transaction will provide CVPS shareholders $35.25 per common share, a 45 percent premium over the closing price of $24.32 immediately prior to the announcement of the previous agreement CVPS had reached with Fortis Inc. The CVPS board of directors terminated the agreement with Fortis after deeming ‘superior’ the offer from Gaz MÃ©tro. ‘The sale will create one much-stronger company, which will capitalize on the strengths of both CVPS and GMP,’ Reilly said. ‘The new company will continue to provide the top-quality service for which both companies are known, and will build on the environmental, renewable energy and community-focused programs they have developed individually.’ Powell and Reilly said now that CV’s shareholders have voted with such overwhelming support, the focus will turn to gaining the remaining required regulatory approvals, particularly the approval of the PSB. ‘CVPS and GMP will work together to provide regulators with a clear view of the tremendous benefits the sale and merger will provide to customers and Vermont as a whole,’ Powell and Reilly said. ‘We are extremely optimistic that they will find the sale to be in the public interest, and that the combined company will be uniquely positioned to provide high-quality, affordable and clean energy services for decades to come.’ About Central Vermont Public ServiceCVPS, the largest electric utility in Vermont, serves more than 160,000 customers in 163 cities and towns across Vermont. The company is a three-time winner of the Edison Electric Institute’s national Emergency Recovery Award, and CVPS Cow Powerâ ¢ won the 2009 U.S. Department of Energy Utility Green Program of the Year Award. CVPS has been listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the most trusted companies in America for more than five years. About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in Vermont and is a leader in wind and solar generation. It serves more than 96,000 customers. About Gaz MÃ©troWith over $3.6 billion in assets, Gaz MÃ©tro is Quebec’s leading natural gas distributor. Its 10,000-kilometer network serves 300 municipalities. Gaz MÃ©tro has operated in this regulated industry since 1957 and is the trusted energy provider to its customers in Quebec and Vermont, who choose natural gas for its competitive price, efficiency, comfort and environmental benefits. Gaz MÃ©tro is also present in the electricity distribution market and is involved in natural gas transportation and storage, the development of projects such as wind power, natural gas as fuel for the transportation industry, and biomethanation. Gaz MÃ©tro is committed to the satisfaction of its customers, partners, employees and the communities it serves.Forward-Looking StatementsStatements contained in this press release that are not historical fact are forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe-harbors from the liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements made that are not historical facts are forward-looking and, accordingly, involve estimates, assumptions, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements include: the occurrence of any event, effect or change that could give rise to a termination of the definitive agreement entered into with Gaz MÃ©tro; the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against CV and others following announcement of the agreement; the inability to complete the transaction due to the failure to obtain shareholder approval or the failure to satisfy other conditions to the completion of the transaction, including the receipt of certain regulatory approvals; risks that the proposed transaction disrupts current plans and operations and creates potential difficulties in employee retention; and the amount of the costs, fees, expenses and charges related to the transaction. These and other risk factors are detailed in CV’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. CV cannot predict the outcome of any of these matters; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such indicated results will be realized. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date of this press release. CV does not undertake any obligation to publicly release any revision to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.CVPS. 9.29.2011
A stash of 1.5 tons of marihuana was seized at the Ecuadorean port of Guayaquil, the Ecuadorean Ministry of Interior reported on April 17. “About two tons of drugs from micro-trafficking have been seized, compared to the three tons from international trafficking,” the official said. “The fight against micro-trafficking and internal [drug] consumption continues; 1.5 tons of marihuana were seized in Guayaquil,” the ministry stated via Twitter. Ecuador, a country traditionally considered as a transit country of drugs destined to the United States and Europe, confiscated about 42 tons of drugs in 2012, mainly cocaine, compared to 26 tons in 2011 and 18 tons in 2010. In 2009, a record amount of 68 tons were seized. The officer told the public TV station Gama TV that counter drug units have strengthened their work against micro-trafficking of drugs. On April 15, Minister of Interior José Serrano said that Ecuador seized about five tons of drugs in 2013, including two tons from micro-trafficking. By Dialogo April 19, 2013 Chief of Police General Rodrigo Suárez, said that authorities would give further details about the operation carried out on April 16, and described the seizure it as a “considerable quantity of marihuana that we believe is not for internal consumption.”
Steve Grooms, president and CEO of 1st Liberty Federal Credit Union of Great Falls, Mont., will testify June 8 on NAFCU’s behalf before the Senate Banking Committee regarding the importance of regulatory relief for credit unions and the economic benefits credit unions offer.“Fostering Economic Growth: The Role of Financial Institutions in Local Communities” is set for 10 a.m. Eastern and will review proposals on ways to foster economic growth and improve regulatory conditions for community financial institutions.Additional credit union representatives slated to testify are Dallas Bergl, CEO of NAFCU-member INOVA Federal Credit Union, on behalf of CUNA; and John Bissel, president and CEO of Greylock Federal Credit Union. Representatives of the American Bankers Association and Independent Community Bankers of America are also on the witness list.NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger touted the economic benefits that credit union regulatory relief would create in a letter this spring to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
INTRO: Gordon Mott FCIT tells Richard Hope why chartered trains are going to be riding the Freightways before open access emerges As Assistant Vice President International Development for CSX Transportation, and a director of NDX, Gordon Mott is well placed to help rail industry colleagues hack a path through the institutional barriers and historical baggage that obstruct the efficient flow of freight trains across Europe.With 30 years’ experience in the highly competitive US rail freight environment behind him, Mott was instrumental in establishing NDX last year as a joint venture between German Railway (50%), Netherlands Railways (25%) and CSX (25%). ’Our first intermodal shuttle started up on January 2 running 10 round trips a week between Rotterdam’s Delta Terminal and Antwerpen’s Interferry Terminal.’On this busy route, the NDX shuttle transferring mainly deep sea containers between two hubs is competing head-on for business with similar operations that include Intercontainer-Interfrigo’s Delta Express, for example.Somewhat closer to the long term objectives of NDX is the Rotterdam – München (Riem) shuttle; this commenced on January 27, and operates five times a week. As continental as well as maritime loads are carried, the München train originates at the Delta Terminal and picks up additional loads at the Rail Service Centre (p401).Mott says NDX ’offers a door-to-door service with a single bill of lading, and we do that by chartering trains through the state railways. As part of that charter, or separately, we arrange for wagons, contract for terminal handling, and use an agent for the trucking. Our aim is also to have available swap bodies or piggyback trailers for customers who require them.’ The third NDX service is scheduled to begin on June 2, running three times a week between Hamburg (Billwerder) and Milano (Melzo). Neither this nor the Rotterdam – München route follow established maritime container flows, since Milano is normally served through Rotterdam and München through German ports. Mott points out that ’in both lanes we will be dependent to a significant degree on continental business in addition to modest amounts of maritime tonnage that currently moves by truck.’He stresses that NDX is ’port-neutral’ and is not in the business of favouring one port over another. ’We intend, over time, to provide service from all the major ports, and we want to remain on good terms with them all.’This highlights an important difference between NDXand the clutch of operators chartering intermodal shuttle trains out of the North Sea ports is that it has set its sights firmly on freight moving within Europe. ’Our initial focus is on maritime boxes just for the practical reason that they are much more concentrated’, says Mott. ’But we clearly see the bigger potential – and our longer term market – as being continental business.’Does that mean NDX intends to exploit EU Directive 91/440 and run its own trains? ’We take a pragmatic view. To compete with trucking on inland routes for continental business, we have to be even more efficient than we are now. If we can do that by working with the state railways, we have no intrinsic interest in running trains ourselves.’Mott concedes that ’open access and the fallout from 91/440 do at least provide some market leverage. It does allow us to say “if you’re not interested we’ll do it ourselves” – but obviously, the threat has to be credible, and we will do whatever we can and need to do to make it so. The decision will be made purely on economic factors because our only interest, at the end of the day, is to run a successful business and make money.’The frontier problemDelays at frontiers worry NDX, and the situation must improve if is to compete successfully for east – west traffic. ’Its a mess!’ Mott exclaims in evident frustration. ’Everyone is aware of it, but if there were easy solutions we would have seen them implemented already. We are working on ways of getting more locomotives running through, but they have been changing locos at the border for so long that it is not a terribly inefficient process – the savings are not as dramatic as you might think.’ Mott sees the failure to co-ordinate national freight timetables, resulting in hours of wasted time at frontiers, as ’a much bigger question. If I were to pick one area where people should focus their efforts, that would clearly be the place.’He is less certain about exactly where the difficulties lie. ’I can’t see inside their logic, but it would involve more work and a degree of co-ordination that doesn’t exist right now. I don’t think anyone is actively resisting timetable co-ordination; they are just not working on a way to implement it efficiently.’If ’timetabling should be the number one target for Freightways’, the second is ’co-ordinated management for through routes.’ Mott is not sure quite how this would work when fragmentation of vertically integrated railways is the current fashion in Europe, but he rejects the EC’s idea of a supranational body managing the EU’s railways as impractical; ’it has to be done on a route-by-route basis.’Invited to comment on how individual countries are responding pressure for a liberalised, competitive market in rail freight, he picks out the Netherlands and Sweden as ’furthest ahead’ with ’Britain in a league by itself.’He believes the senior management of DB ’want and are truly committed to change’, citing as evidence their willingness to take the biggest share in NDX. The commitment of middle management is less clear, though this may simply reflect a lack of understanding of how to go about creating change.’We have a very good working relationship with the Belgians’, but ’the French have a unique labour problem – and maybe they are just being more honest than some of the others about what their intentions are.’Americans could team upGiven the fact that Germany and Britain are major trading partners, it is remarkable that rail traffic between them is negligible. DB’s pricing strategy, which traditionally favoured Germany’s North Sea ports as a matter of national policy, is generally considered to be the main factor. Interest by Ed Burkhardt, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of English Welsh & Scottish Railway, in using NDX as a means of penetrating the German market was reported in RG 5.97 p269.Mott confirms that ’EWS is interested in getting into Germany and we are certainly talking to Ed. I suspect we will wind up with situations where we compete for business, and other situations where we co-operate. Actually, they are a group that we feel very comfortable with. One thing CSX and Wisconsin Central can bring to Europe is a uniquely American approach to on-rail competition. We are used to competing and co-operating simultaneously with other rail operators, and we know how to draw a line around common interest issues that make us collectively more efficient as an industry. That’s the kind of relationship that we feel in our contacts with EWS.’ oWe intend, over time, to provide service from all the major portsGordon MottNDX Intermodal
The direct lending portfolio will complement other inflation or interest-rate linked investments in the fund’s hybrid portfolio, which aim to account for 12.5% of the pension fund, or £3bn, by 2017.Other hybrid assets include investments in solar power, property and long-term leases including a £330m commercial property investment in Manchester, currently leased to the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).After amending its statement of investment principles last year, the PPF dropped its 70/30 growth/LDI basic portfolio split and created the hybrid asset class to allow it more flexibility to invest in newer asset classes.When searching for a direct lending manager, the PPF said its preferred choice would only lend on an investment grade basis and have capability to source deals directly, or be involved in primary market syndications.Pramerica, one the world’s largest private placement managers, said it had over $20bn (€17.5bn) invested in private fixed income outside of North America, and began lending in Europe in 1996.Direct lending as an asset class has grown in recent years, with some pension funds keen to address the lending gap left by banks’ withdrawal from the market.Read more about direct lending in the recent issue of IPE The UK Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has awarded a £400m (€549m) direct lending mandate to Pramerica Investment Management as it looks to grow its hybrid assets portfolio.After launching a tender over 18 months ago, the £22.6bn PPF settled on the US firm to have it source £400m of direct loans in the next two years.The loans will fall into the lifeboat fund’s hybrid asset class; a growing allocation of investments that act as liability matching assets with growth potential.The PPF’s exposure to direct lending – its first foray into the asset class – will see Pramerica offer UK corporates fixed-rate or inflation-linked loans with maturities in excess of five years.
Ole Krogh Pedersen, Danica PensionDifficult financial market conditions last year had been caused by concern about a trade war between the US and China, while negotiations regarding Brexit and Italy’s budget dragged on the euro-zone economy, the firm said.Krogh Petersen said Danica’s overall returns had improved since the introduction of a new investment strategy in 2016, in particular its allocation to alternatives.“These represent a growing part of our investments and, seen in isolation, have produced annual returns in excess of 10% in the past three years,” he said. “Our ambition is to further increase the share of alternative investments in the coming years.”Profits and M&A Denmark’s second-biggest commercial pension provider has reported that some of its pension products lost up to a tenth of their value over the course of 2018.Danica Pension’s pre-tax profits dropped by more than a third last year, which it said was due to the cost of integrating the activities of SEB Pension Denmark and transaction costs arising from the sale of its Swedish business .Costs related to higher insurance claims provisions were also to blame, it said in its full-year results announcement.Ole Krogh Petersen, Danica Pension’s chief executive, said: “After several years of solid positive returns, the challenging market conditions unfortunately not only hit Danica’s performance but also produced negative returns for our customers with unit-linked products.” Returns for customers with the market-rate, or unit-linked, pension product Danica Balance Mix experienced results ranging from a 0.9% profit to a 9.8% loss, depending on risk profile.The savings of those who had opted for medium risk and had 20 years until retirement suffered a 7% loss. Meanwhile, traditional with-profits pensions recorded a 1.7% return in 2018, down from 2.5% the year before.“Although pensions should be viewed from a long-term perspective, it is no secret that 2018 was not a satisfactory year in terms of returns,” Danica Pension said. Source: Finn Årup Nielsen Danica Pension’s office in Lyngby, DenmarkDanica’s profit before tax from continuing operations fell to DKK1.2bn (€161m) in 2018, down 35% from the DKK1.9bn gained in 2017.Danica sold its Swedish activities during 2018, but the deal has yet to be approved by Swedish authorities, meaning the sale price of DKK1.9bn has not yet been booked by the company.Total assets at the end of 2018 were DKK566bn, up from DKK427bn 12 months earlier. Danica Pension closed in on its long-term rival PFA in size terms – PFA’s total assets were DKK582bn at the end of June.However, Danica’s overall assets are set to shrink significantly once the effect of the Swedish sale shows through in its accounts.
First Things 20 March 2015In 1991, my friend Frances invited me to a “going away party.” She wasn’t moving or going on vacation. Frances wanted her closest friends to come to her home, to tell her how much she meant to us, and to hold her hand as she committed suicide.We refused. Validating Frances’s suicide was unthinkable. We supported her life, not her death.After an intervention, she called the suicide off. But Frances was in the thrall of the then–nascent “death with dignity” movement. A year later, having been diagnosed with treatable leukemia, she paid a cousin to accompany her to a hotel where she took a lethal overdose and placed a plastic bag over her head—following instructions published in the Hemlock Quarterly. (Frances’s suicide became the subject of my first anti-euthanasia column, published by Newsweek in 1993.)Times have changed. It is increasingly common for friends and family to support—and even to attend—the suicides of their ill, disabled, or despairing loved ones. Brittany Maynard’s husband and mother, for instance, fully backed her assisted suicide and are now on the advocacy circuit promoting its legalization.Maynard’s case is hardly unique. When English teenager Daniel James was paralyzed playing rugby, he became distraught and suicidal. In 2008, his parents flew him to a Swiss suicide clinic. They later defended their participation in his death as an act of love, telling the media that their son “was not prepared to live what he felt was a second-class existence.”In Belgium, elderly couples have been euthanized together because they would rather die than face future widowhood. Astonishingly, these joint killings have been supported by family and friends. In one reported case, the death doctor was procured by the couple’s son—even though his folks were not ill. Similarly, the English conductor Sir Edward Downes died with his cancer-stricken wife Joan at a Swiss suicide clinic, a decision quickly endorsed in the media by their children.Most recently, NPR-syndicated radio personality Diane Rehm very publicly supported her husband John’s suicide by self-starvation—a process known in euthanasia advocacy as (voluntary stopping eating and drinking). She told the New York Times that they had made a pact to help the other die if suffering seriously with a terminal illness. (John had Parkinson’s disease.) “There was no question but that I would support him and honor whatever choice he would make,”she said. “As painful as it was, it was his wish.” Rehm, like Maynard’s family, is now using her experience as an argument in favor of assisted-suicide legalization.Is it right or wrong to support a loved one’s suicide? This seems to be one of those issues, increasingly prevalent in our society, about which debate is not possible: The answer depends on one’s overarching worldview. Some will believe that their duty is to support their family member’s choice, come what may. Others, including this writer, believe that supporting suicide is an abandonment that validates loved ones’ worst fears about themselves—that they are a burden, unworthy of love, or truly better off dead.http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/03/family-supported-suicide-and-the-duty-to-die
“We still have no guidelines as to who could receive the SAP second tranche,” said Macapobre. This province allocated P429,936,000 for its 18 municipalities during the first tranche of the SAP.The cash assistance helped 71,656 beneficiaries who received P6,000 each.(With a report from PNA/PN Last week, DILG-Antique director Cherryl Tacda endorsed the request to DILG regional office after receiving it on June 2. SAN JOSE, Antique – Local authorities in this province want its residents economically displaced due to coronavirus disease 2019 crisis to be included in the second tranche of cash aid under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP). Beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) in Sibalom, Antique wait to claim their financial assistance of P6,000 each during the first tranche of distribution last April. The provincial government hopes its residents will be included also in the second tranche of SAP. ANTIQUE PANTAWID SIBALOM VIA PNA For her part, DSWD regional director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre said during a virtual presser last week that they are waiting for the guidelines on the second tranche of SAP. “The power to approve the grant of SAP second tranche rests on the President of the Philippines and on the central offices of concerned agencies,” she said.The second tranche requested by the provincial government is intended especially for its residents who did not receive the first tranche of the cash assistance. The provincial government has sent a request letter to the central offices of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Batesville goes 3-1 at the Richmond invitational, playing without three regulars.Guerin Catholic defeats Batesville 27-25, 25-16Batesville vs. GC- Volleyball (10-4)Batesville Defeats Marion 18-25, 26-24, 15-7Batesville vs. Marian Volleyball (10-4)Batesville Defeats Thurgood Marshall 25-10, 25-7Batesville vs. Tindley Volleyball (10-4)Batesville Defeats Tindley 25-23, 25-20Batesville vs. Thurgood Marshall Volleyball (10-4)Playing with JV pullups in place of three regulars for the varsity line up Batesville starts slow and finishes strong. JV Pull up #8 freshman Audrey Amberger was in the line up all day for #14 Rachel Gerstbauer who was out with a family commitment. For a freshman middle to step in and play is a very large task, but Aud hit in the positive numbers for the day and was consistent at the net. #16 Maddie Ketcham also stepped up her play as an opposite attacker and six rotation player with 8 digs, 4 assists and 3 blocks but more importantly passed 18 of 19 attempts. Other JV pull ups contributing from the service line was #2 Freshman Madi Pierson, and #18 Sophia Fledderman.Batesville will travel to Greensburg on Monday 10/6/14 for a 5 PM JV start time.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Jody Thomas.
FREEPORT, Ill. – A fifth-place place finish at one of 80 IMCA special events this season is good for a $50 product certificate, courtesy of Hooker Harness.The Freeport, Ill., custom seatbelt and shoulder harness manufacturer gives those certificates for all events in the Deery Brothers Summer Series for Late Models, and at designated specials for IMCA Modifieds, IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods, Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMods and Mach-1 Sport Compacts.Certificates are mailed from the IMCA home office the week after official results from designated specials are received.All Hooker seat belts and harnesses are manufactured to individual customer specifications, so they are not manufactured until actually ordered. Any necessary alterations are made at no additional cost.Information about Hooker Harness products is available at the www.hookerharness.com website, on Facebook or by calling 815 233-5479.The 2017 season is Hooker Harness’ third as an IMCA sponsor.“Hooker Harness has increased the value of their IMCA program to encourage more racers to update their safety equipment,” IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder emphasized. “Belts and harnesses are critically important and something drivers should replace regularly to ensure they are safe in the cockpit.”