July 2, 2014 in Business

In brief: Avista sells Ecova, buys Alaska utility

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

Avista Corp. has completed the sale of its Ecova subsidiary and closed on its purchase of an Alaska utility.

The $335 million sale of Ecova to Cofely USA Inc.will net Avista $136 million. Some of the proceeds will be used to repurchase about 4 million shares of Avista stock.

Ecova employs about 1,500 people, half of whom work in Spokane. From conversations with Cofely officials, Avista anticipates that the new owner will retain Ecova’s Spokane workforce. Cofely is a subsidiary of GDF SUEZ, a French multinational utility company.

Avista also closed on the purchase of Alaska Electric Light and Power’s parent firm through a $170 million stock transaction, issuing 4.5 million shares of common stock to the utility’s shareholders.

The Alaska utility has about 60 employees and serves about 16,000 customers. Nearly all of its electricity comes from five hydropower dams within a 40-mile radius of Juneau.

Wisconsin firm buys McAdams Wright Ragen

A Wisconsin company has acquired Northwest-based financial services firm McAdams Wright Ragen, which has six locations in Washington, including Spokane.

Based in Seattle, McAdams Wright Ragen becomes a subsidiary of Baird Financial Group, the holding company of Robert W. Baird & Co., based in Milwaukee.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With the acquisition, Baird now has 800 financial services advisers working with clients in 26 states and in more than 80 offices.

In addition to four offices in Western Washington, MWR has one office in Portland and one in Yakima.

The Spokane office, which opened in May 2012, has nine employees.

Quiznos leaves bankruptcy protection

DENVER – Quiznos said Tuesday that it has emerged from bankruptcy after restructuring its finances.

The toasted sandwich chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March and reduced its debt by more than $400 million.

CEO Stuart Mathis said it plans to increase sales by revitalizing the brand and reinforcing itself as a place for a “fresh, high-quality and great-tasting alternative to traditional fast food offerings.”

The Denver company owns and operates only seven of the nearly 2,100 Quiznos restaurants around the country. The rest are owned and operated by franchisees and weren’t part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

Quiznos provides franchise owners with training, store designs and marketing support.

Quiznos sells warm sandwiches, salads and wraps. It added pasta dishes to its menu earlier this year.

JPMorgan Chase CEO has throat cancer

NEW YORK – JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has throat cancer that will require radiation and chemotherapy treatment this summer.

Dimon disclosed his condition in a message late Tuesday addressed to the New York company’s employees and shareholders. He will remain JPMorgan Chase’s CEO and continue to run one of the world’s largest banks while he battles the cancer.

The 58-year-old executive said his doctors have assured him his chances of being cured are excellent, partly because the cancer was identified at an early stage. Dimon said the cancer remains confined to his throat and adjacent lymph nodes on the right side of his neck.

Attacking the cancer will require roughly eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy that will begin soon in New York.


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