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Statoil Fuel & Retail sells its Schweigaardsgate 16 property in Oslo 13 February 2013 – Statoil Fuel & Retail, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (Couche-Tard), sells its property at Schweigaardsgate 16, Oslo, Norway, together with the company’s planned European headquarters, to Entra Eiendom AS. Responsibility for building the headquarters is transferred to Entra Eiendom as part of the agreement. Statoil Fuel & Retail signs a long-term lease of the premises. “We are pleased with the agreement,” says Sonja Horn, project owner, Statoil Fuel & Retail. “Entra Eiendom is a solid, professional real estate developer who will add value both to the project and the local community. We look forward to moving into a modern, environmentally-friendly and flexible building, tailored to our needs.” Statoil Fuel & Retail’s strategy is to create value through real estate asset management. It is not strategically important for the company to own its planned European headquarters and the sale releases capital to be reinvested in the company’s core business. Statoil Fuel & Retail was acquired by Canadian company Couche-Tard before the summer of 2012. The company’s European headquarters will continue to be in Oslo and the new office building at Schweigaardsgate 16 will be shared with the company’s Norwegian business unit. The project to build the planned eight-storey building has the ambition to achieve “excellent” status according to the BREEAM classification system. To maintain the best possible sunlight conditions for Teaterplassen, the neighbouring square, some of the originally-designed volume has been redistributed, making the building appear to step down towards the square. The quality of the square will be improved when the building is finished. It will become about 25 percent larger than it is today and a new passage through the building will connect Teaterplassen with the adjacent Stasjonsalmenningen. Statoil Fuel & Retail has received the required building and demolition permits from the Norwegian Planning and Building Services (Plan- og bygningsetaten). Demolition of the existing building on the property begins this week. The company plans to move into its new headquarters in the first half of 2015. Statoil Fuel & Retail sells its Schweigaardsgate 16 property in Oslo
Nicolas Van Praet, Financial Post · Jun. 6, 2013 | Last Updated: Jun. 6, 2013 2:23 PM ET MONTREAL • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. is revamping its Canadian manufacturing operations in Montreal as investors savour a tripling in the company’s shares over the past year. The Waterbury, Vt.-based company, which bought Quebec coffee chain Van Houtte in 2010, will announce Friday a $40-million to $50-million investment to modernize its plant in Montreal’s Saint Michel neighbourhood with new packaging equipment, two sources said. More than 100 new jobs will be created in the move. It’s all part of a larger effort by Green Mountain Canada President Sylvain Toutant to fortify and grow the company’s presence in Montreal since the $915-million takeover three years ago. Building on initial moves to purchase property around the company’s Van Houtte coffee facility in the city’s north end and to occupy a new country head office, Mr. Toutant is now expanding the Montreal manufacturing operations. “This is really a great piece of news for a neighbourhood that badly needs it,” said Frantz Benjamin, the municipal councillor representing the district, adding the company’s modernization is only the first phase of what could be a larger economic development project for the neighbourhood. Related “In the medium term, we’d really like to develop an entire Quartier du Café (Coffee District) in the area,” anchored around Green Mountain, he said. Montreal has other geographical clusters of business activity, but this one in Saint Michel’s industrial district would be among the more remote. The coffee maker sought financial support from the Quebec government for the manufacturing modernization, which it is believed to have won. The funds would be used to add a production line in Saint Michel and diversify commercial activities, the company said in a filing with Quebec’s lobbyist registry. Shares of Green Mountain rose 3% to $74.68 in Nasdaq trading Thursday. They’ve more than tripled over the past year. In December, Mr. Toutant articulated a three-year plan for Green Mountain’s Montreal site to add 50,000 square feet of production space, boost the payroll by 150 workers to 1,000, and refurbish the roasting plant. The site currently encompases the head office, a roasting factory and two distribution warehouses. Green Mountain dominates the single-serve coffee market in the United States with its Keurig-brand coffee makers and K-Cup pods, making money from most of the coffee sold for those machines. The company lost more than two-thirds of its market value during the year ending last October, but has since staged a remarkable recovery, proving that despite the expiry of its K-Cup design patents it can still generate earnings growth. Green Mountain’s product innovation will be an important performance driver in the years ahead, Imperial Capital analyst Mitchell Pinheiro said in a research note Thursday, initiating coverage on the shares with an outperform rating and $95 price target. “We believe the company’s potential on the cold beverage side of the at-home beverage category could create an opportunity that is as large, if not larger, than its current coffee, tea and hot cocoa segment,” Mr. Pinheiro said, forecasting earnings per share growth of 15-25% over the next three years. http://www.nationalpost.com/Green+Mountain+boost+Montreal+operations+with+much+investment/8490304/story.html
As the Economy Worsens, Is There Money for Play? The economy was a factor in a recent merger involving Dale Earnhardt’s team, left. General Motors often runs Super Bowl commercials, center, and sponsors events like the baseball All-Star Game. By KATIE THOMAS Published: November 15, 2008 From the “Buick” emblazoned on Tiger Woods’s golf bag to the Chevrolet Camaro that Cole Hamels drove home last month for being named the most valuable player of the World Series, it is hard to be a sports fan without stumbling across some type of advertisement for General Motors. The company consistently ranks first among advertisers of televised sporting events, outspending other automakers by more than two to one. Billy Casper, left, received a car for winning the inaugural Buick Open in 1958. The tournament has been a PGA Tour staple. But as G.M. faces a financial crisis that has executives pleading with Congress for a federal bailout, many are wondering how far the company’s troubles will extend into the sports industry, which is already struggling to attract advertisers and sponsors in a weakened economy. “It’s one of those trickle-down effects that people don’t look at,” said David E. Cole, the chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, a nonprofit research organization. “It has already hit hard.” G.M. has been scaling back its sports presence for at least a year. Cadillac, a G.M. brand, withdrew its sponsorship of the Masters golf tournament in January, and this summer, G.M. ended its relationships with two Nascar racetracks: Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The company is not renewing its longstanding partnership with the United States Olympic Committee when their contract expires at the end of this year. In one of the most dramatic examples of the company’s diminishing sports profile, G.M. said recently that it would not buy television commercials in this season’s Super Bowl broadcast. As G.M. argues its case before Congress, some firms whose contracts with the company are up for renewal are anxiously monitoring developments. “We’re actually in negotiations as we speak,” said Mitch Huberman, the senior vice president of Fox Sports Enterprises, which owns Pac-10 Properties and handles marketing for the Pacific-10 conference. Its contract with Pontiac, also produced by G.M., ends this year. “There are a lot of question marks in terms of where budgets are going,” Huberman said. “It’s kind of wait and see.” G.M., hit hard by plummeting consumer spending and tight credit markets, has reported that it is running out of cash and faces bankruptcy if it does not receive emergency federal assistance. In its third-quarter report, released earlier this month, the company said it planned to trim advertising by 20 percent and promotional spending by 25 percent. “We’re looking at literally everything,” said Peter Ternes, G.M.’s director of communications for sales, service and marketing. He said the cuts would be applied evenly but did not provide details about proposed changes to the company’s sports budget. Still, he said G.M. would not withdraw from sports entirely. “I think we’ll still be there,” he said. “It may not be at the volume that people have seen before, but we’ll still be a presence.” G.M.’s troubles come at a time when sports organizations are struggling to attract sponsors in a weak economy. The Nascar teams Chip Ganassi Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc., citing a difficult economic climate, announced a merger last week. On Friday, the Tour de Georgia, one of the nation’s premier cycling events, said it was canceling its 2009 race because it could not find a sponsor. Also on Friday, Nascar said it was suspending all testing at its tracks next season as a cost-cutting measure. Like beer and razors, automobiles have long been a staple of commercials during major sporting events, and for good reason, marketing experts said. At a time when digital video recorders and an array of cable channels have splintered television audiences, sporting events attract a large and passionate audience who often watch events as they happen. G.M. has historically taken advantage of this audience by investing heavily in television advertising. The company has been the top TV sports advertiser for at least the last five years, vastly outspending its nearest competitors. For example, in 2007, G.M. spent close to $578 million on TV sports advertising. The No. 2 advertiser, Toyota, spent less than half that, or nearly $287 million, according to Nielsen Media Research. Earlier this year, General Motors aired 11 advertisements during the Super Bowl, according to TNS Media Intelligence, a research firm. The decision not to buy a Super Bowl ad in 2009 may have more to do with public perception than with the company’s cash-strapped predicament. This year’s spots are each selling for $3 million, a fraction of G.M.’s total sports spending. However, if the company were to receive a federal bailout, airing a Super Bowl commercial could anger taxpayers who see the purchase as extravagant, said Kenneth L. Shropshire, the director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. “Then people are saying, was that the right use of money for a one-day sporting event?” he said. Although executives for several television outlets would not speak publicly, several said their sales representatives had detected a shift in G.M.’s ad purchases — what some called a “flight to quality” — toward programs that have proved successful in the past. And although G.M. recently scaled back its presence on networks in prime time, one network television executive said sports remained a “stable destination.” There are signs that G.M. is continuing to invest in some sports. About a year ago, Chevrolet extended its sponsorship of Major League Baseball through the 2010 season. Ternes, the G.M. spokesman, pointed to plans by the company to invest heavily in next year’s N.C.A.A. men’s Final Four in Detroit, the nation’s automobile capital. On the surface, organizations with existing agreements with G.M. may consider a bailout a preferable outcome, because under a bankruptcy, the company could ask a court to void contracts. But because a federal bailout would also very likely lead to significant restructuring, some said G.M. could be compelled to try to renegotiate active contracts anyway. “With the bailout probably comes strings attached, and what those strings are, who knows?” said Greg Brown, the president of Learfield Sports, which handles marketing for 50 university athletic programs. Rather than seek to cancel existing contracts, several sports executives said G.M. and other companies were more likely to scale back promotions and focus on initiatives that led directly to a sale. “If you’re on the verge of bankruptcy, then you want to find out how to get the money now, rather than how do I get the 15-year-old to start thinking about the car they want to buy in the future?” Shropshire said. Sponsors may focus on promotions that draw fans to dealerships, like T-shirt giveaways or ticket sweepstakes, said Jim Andrews, the editorial director of IEG Sponsorship Report, a trade publication. Sponsorships, he added, can also create a “warm, fuzzy” perception that a company is supporting a customer’s favorite team. “That’s why you’re not seeing any of the automakers, even though they are in dire straits, saying we’ve got to pull out wholesale,” Andrews said. “Because I think they know there is a return on investment.” In some cases, foreign automakers have stepped in when American companies have pulled out. Chevrolet, for example, decided not to renew its sponsorship of the United States Ski Team last year, but Audi took its place. Honda recently replaced Dodge as the official automobile of the N.H.L. Although the troubles in Detroit played a role in that outcome, Honda fit better within the N.H.L.’s goal of becoming a more international brand, according to Keith Wachtel, the league’s senior vice president for corporate sales and marketing. But for now, marketers at a variety of sports organizations say they are in for some tough times. “In this environment, autos are going to be off across the board,” said Tim Finchem, the commissioner of the PGA Tour. Two of its tournaments are sponsored by Buick through 2010, and others are sponsored by Chrysler, BMW, Honda and Mercedes. “They’re doing, in varying degrees, terrible,” he said. “The U.S. automakers are really struggling. Now, who knows?” Finchem, however, said he was confident the companies would remain in business, which meant “they’re still going to be selling cars and, again, we have a good platform from which they can promote.”