July 30, 2005 in Business

Manufacturer sues Kansas competitor

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Spokane manufacturer ASC Machine Tools Inc. has filed a $75 million lawsuit against a Kansas competitor it accuses of breaching contracts and violating federal antitrust laws.

The lawsuit is the latest row between the two companies, which manufacture metal rolling and coiling machinery such as the equipment used to process aluminum into beverage cans.

The problems stem from a lawsuit initiated seven years ago by ASC’s competitor, The Bradbury Co. Inc. The two companies settled the suit and at one time Bradbury attempted to buy ASC, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

The negotiations fell apart, however, and ASC contended that Bradbury used the acquisition interest as a ruse to review confidential information.

Those claims were eventually dismissed. But now ASC believes Bradbury acted in bad faith during the buyout negotiations.

Attorney Bob Dunn of Spokane represents ASC in the case. He alleges Bradbury has attempted to destroy ASC’s business through fraud and breach of contract.

ASC was started in 1949 and is at 900 N. Fancher Road in Spokane Valley. It employs about 150 people.

China’s Boeing order shrinks by 10 planes

Seattle China confirmed the bulk of a large order for Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner on Friday, but company officials were trying to determine why the 50-plane sale was 10 short of what the Chinese announced earlier this year.

Airlines involved in the deal are Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Shanghai Airlines, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday. The deal is worth $6 billion, according to the report. Chicago-based Boeing Co. has said the 787s will be priced at about $120 million each, though airlines usually negotiate discounts for large orders.

The deal announced in January, however, involved six airlines – including China Southern – and was for 60 787s worth $7.2 billion.

Boeing spokesman Peter Conte said he did not know why the order had changed.

Shenanigans back in business Monday

C.I. Shenanigans restaurant will reopen in downtown Spokane Monday after a nine-month closure caused by the expansion of the Spokane Convention Center.

The restaurant closed Oct. 30 so construction crews could lay water and sewer lines in the surrounding property.

The restaurant’s parking lot has reopened, said General Manager Natalia Peterson. Shenanigans will employ about 100 people.

Glacier Bancorp has strongest quarter ever

Glacier Bancorp Inc., a multibank holding company whose subsidiaries include Coeur d’Alene-based Mountain West Bank, reported second-quarter earnings of just over $13 million, an increase of 22 percent over the same period a year ago.

“This was the strongest quarter and six-months results Glacier Bancorp has ever achieved,” President and CEO Mick Blodnick said Friday.

In its quarterly earnings report, the Kalispell, Mont., company said its total assets rose to $3.5 billion as of June 30, a 21 percent jump from $2.9 billion reported for the year-earlier period.

Mountain West, meanwhile, announced record quarterly earnings of $2.9 million, up 44 percent from $2 million in the same period last year. Its total assets were $731 million as of June 30, an increase of 25 percent since June 30, 2004.

The bank’s growth was partially due to the acquisition of the Bonners Ferry branch of Zions Bank in May.

Murdoch’s son quits News Corp. position

New York Lachlan Murdoch abruptly resigned as a senior executive of News Corp. Friday, ending his father Rupert’s hopes that he would someday run the global media conglomerate.

The younger Murdoch, 33, will move back to Australia with his wife and son and remain a director of the company. The unexpected move is sure to fan speculation over who will succeed Rupert Murdoch as CEO of News Corp. Murdoch is 74.

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