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Fri., Feb. 25, 2011, midnight

Ecolite to work with subsidiary of Dutch firm

A U.S. subsidiary of a Dutch tech firm has opened a Spokane Valley office and is working with Spokane Valley’s Ecolite Manufacturing Inc. to produce innovative heating products.

The subsidiary is Prestyl USA LLC. Its Dutch parent firm, Global Future Energy Holdings, has patents for infrared heating strips and panels increasingly being used in many applications.

For one, airplane manufacturer Bombardier uses Prestyl-made thin-film heating panels to melt ice off aircraft wings.

Prestyl has hired three workers for its Spokane Valley location, 9711 E. Knox Ave., and has signed a production agreement with Ecolite Manufacturing, company CEO Ed Caferro said.

Ecolite will manufacture wall and ceiling infrared heating panels and ship them to the Prestyl plant. Its workers will arrange for shipments to customers in Europe and North America, Caferro said.

Tom Sowa

Fannie, Freddie ask for more support

WASHINGTON – Government-controlled mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Thursday reported narrower losses in the final three months of last year, but each asked for more money from taxpayers.

Fannie Mae posted a loss of $2.1 billion for the October-December quarter, after payment of $2.15 billion in dividends to preferred stock that is mostly owned by the federal government. It has requested an additional $2.6 billion in federal aid, slightly more than the $2.5 billion it sought in the previous quarter.

Freddie Mac managed a $1.7 billion loss for the final quarter of last year, after the payment of $1.6 billion in preferred dividends. It has asked for an additional $500 million in federal aid – up from the $100 million it sought in the July-September quarter of 2010.

Associated Press

Itron sued over earnings reports

A Seattle law firm filed a lawsuit Thursday in Spokane against Itron Inc., alleging the Liberty Lake maker of utility meters and software wrongfully reported its earnings last year and cost investors financial losses.

The suit cites Itron’s recent year-end statement that it reduced earnings from the first nine months of 2010 by $6.1 million and by 11 cents per share.

Sharelynn Moore, director of corporate communications for Itron, said the lawsuit is frivolous and without merit. Moore said the amount restated by Itron was a tiny fraction of a large contract, and resulted from a misinterpretation of an extended warranty obligation to a utility.

The suit lists Pennsylvania resident Bill Coady as the plaintiff and says the goal is to become a class action on behalf of similarly affected investors.

It was filed by Seattle firm Hagens Berman Sobol and Shapiro.

Tom Sowa


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