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Found 15 results

  1. CBC, VIA Rail considered for auction block: Documents BY ANDREW MAYEDA, CANWEST NEWS SERVICE JUNE 1, 2009 6:49 PM OTTAWA — The federal Department of Finance has flagged several prominent Crown corporations as "not self-sustaining," including the CBC, VIA Rail and the National Arts Centre, and has identified them as entities that could be sold as part of the government's asset review, newly released documents show. In its fiscal update last November, the government announced that it would launch a review of its Crown assets, including so-called enterprise Crown corporations, real estate and "other holdings." Finance Department documents, obtained by Canwest News Service under the Access to Information Act, reveal that the review will focus on enterprise Crown corporations, which are not financially dependent on parliamentary subsidies. Such corporations include the Royal Canadian Mint and Ridley Terminals, which is a coal-shipping terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C. But the documents also reveal that the government will consider privatizing Crown corporations that require public subsidies to stay afloat. "The reviews will also examine other holdings in which the government competes directly with private enterprises, earn income from property or performs a commercial activity," states a Finance briefing note dated Dec. 2, 2008. "It includes Crown corporations that are not self-sustaining even though they are of a commercial nature." In the briefing note, the Finance Department identifies nine Crown corporations that fall in that category, including Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., the CBC and VIA Rail. The government announced last week that it will split AECL in two and seek private-sector investors for the Crown corporation's CANDU nuclear-reactor business. The Crown asset review comes as the government struggles to contain the country's deficit, now expected to top $50 billion this year. The Jan. 27 budget assumes that the government will be able to raise as much as $4 billion through asset sales by the end of March 2010. The budget identified four federal departments whose Crown assets are being reviewed first: Finance, Indian and Northern Affairs, Natural Resources, and Transport and Infrastructure. VIA Rail is overseen by the Transport Department, while the CBC and the National Arts Centre fall under the portfolio of the Canadian Heritage department. The Finance Department documents confirm that all government assets will eventually be reviewed. Privatizations tend to work well when Crown corporations enter a reasonably competitive market with a good chance of turning a profit, said Aidan Vining, a professor of business and government relations at Simon Fraser University. Unlike successfully privatized firms such as Canadian National Railway, it's not clear that CBC and VIA Rail could operate as profitable ventures while maintaining the public mandates they provided as Crown corporations, he noted. "They're not the classic privatization candidates, where you sell and walk away," said Vining, an expert in Crown corporation privatizations. "Unless, of course, you're prepared to fully withdraw from the public purpose (of the Crown corporation)." Certainly, the sale of a flagship Crown asset such as the CBC would be politically controversial. After the CBC announced this spring that it would lay off hundreds of employees, opposition critics accused the government of turning a cold shoulder to the public broadcaster's struggles. Under the Financial Administration Act, Parliament would have to approve the privatization of any Crown corporation. "It's hard to believe that some of these sales would go forward in a minority Parliament," said Vining. The Finance Department has also begun to examine the government's vast real-estate portfolio, which includes 31 million hectares of land, and more than 46,000 buildings totalling 103 million square metres — more than double the office space available in the Greater Toronto Area, according to the Finance documents. The government's holdings are worth at least $17 billion, Finance officials estimate. A briefing note labelled "secret" said that the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs acquired $7 million in surplus properties between 1998 and 2006 for potential use in land-claims deals. Over the same period, the properties cost $2 million to maintain. Divesting such properties could not only generate revenue for the government, but also cut "ongoing operations and maintenance costs," states the briefing note. A Finance Department spokeswoman said the asset review won't necessarily lead to sales in all cases. "Reviews will assess whether value could be created through changes to the assets' structure and ownership, and report on a wide set of options including the status quo, amendments to current mandates or governance," department spokeswoman Stephanie Rubec said in an e-mail. "In some cases, it may be concluded that selling an asset to a private sector entity may generate more economic activity and deliver greater value to taxpayers." Crown corporations identified by the government as "not self-sustaining": (Company name, commercial revenues, parliamentary subsidy, expenses) Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., $614.2 million, $285.3 million, $1.3 billion CBC, $565.5 million, $1.1 billion, $1.7 billion Cape Breton Development Corp., $5.1 million, $60 million, $94.1 million Federal Bridge Corp. Ltd., $14.6 million, $31.0 million, $42.9 million National Arts Centre Corp., $26.0 million, $40.6 million, $65.7 million Old Port of Montreal Corp., $16.7 million, $15.1 million, $32.0 million Parc Downsview Park Inc., not available, not available, not available VIA Rail Canada Inc., $293.9 million, $266.2 million, $505.5 million Source: Department of Finance, Public Accounts of Canada Note: Financial results are for 2007-08 http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Rail+considered+auction+block+Documents/1652330/story.html
  2. du NationalPost Nobody is selling real estate and few are buying it, so how do you value it? The question dominated a panelist discussion that included the leaders of some of the largest real estate companies in the world. The consensus at the 14th annual North American Real Estate Equities conference, put on by CIBC World Markets, is the Canadian market will see little activity in 2009. Pinned down on what Toronto's Scotia Plaza might fetch in today's market, Andrea Stephen, executive vice-president of Cadillac Fairview Corp., said she couldn't answer. "It is difficult because there is a small pool of buyers," said Ms. Stephen who passed the question on to Tom Farley, chief executive of Brookfield Properties Corp. which is now building the Bay-Adelaide Centre, the first new office tower in Toronto's financial core in 15 years. Mr. Farley noted only three major assets have traded in the past seven years, the last being the TD Canada Trust Tower in Toronto. That was sold at $723/square foot, he said. Ms. Stephen said that figure might be "little rich" in today's market, but said it's hard to establish a real price. When Cadillac, which is owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board, bought the Toronto-Dominion Bank's office tower assets the price was about $300 a square foot but that was eight years ago. There is no real pressure on any of the major owners of Canada's office towers to sell, so the type of fire sales that have been seen in the United States are less likely. "You have eight entities that control 90% [of the major towers]. It's ourselves and seven pension funds," said Mr. Farley. "We can weather the storm." Not everyone on the panel was as confident about the Canadian market. David Henry, president of retail landlord Kimco Realty Corp. which is based in the United States but has some holdings in Canada, said rental rates are "falling of the cliff." He did note the company's Canadian portfolio is holding up better than its U.S. holdings. He said there will be merger opportunities as prices continue to fall. Mr. Henry, said capitalization rates have been rising with alarming speed. The cap rate is the expected rate of return on a property, the higher the cap rate the less a property is worth. "We saw cap rates go from 6 to 8.5 in the United States. It may not go as high [in Canada] but it could go to 8," he said, referring to the retail sector. Dori Segal, the chief executive of First Capital Realty Corp., said he still hasn't seen the buying opportunities. "There is not a single grocery anchored shopping centre for sale in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary or even Victoria for that matter," said Mr. Segal.
  3. Environ 500 travailleurs membres des United Steelworkers accordent un mandat de grève à leur syndicat, qui affirme qu'il sont moins bien rémunérés que les autres mineurs Pour en lire plus...
  4. Top Asian team at global business challenge 31 March 2008 NUS' MBA team beat more than 270 Asian teams to emerge the best in the continent at Cerebration 2008, with DBS as principal sponsor. The Competition is an annual global business challenge organized by the NUS Business School. The team finished second overall among the more than 450 participating teams from 200 business schools worldwide. HEC Montreal team emerged the champion, with the London Business School and McGill University completing the final field of four. Now in its fourth year, the competition gives MBA students a chance to devise global business expansion strategies for participating Singapore companies -- Brewerkz Restaurant and Microbrewery, Expressions International and Qian Hu Corp. Each team had to study its chosen firm and come up with strategies based on the firm’s unique profile and target market. This is the second straight year that the NUS team has finished second in the competition, reflecting the School’s global ranking of the top 100 business schools for its MBA program.
  5. I had to do some research on manufacturers in Canada and I thought some of you might find this interesting. Companies are ranked by combination of sales and assets. If a Canadian company bought out another, I kept the head office, but if it was bought out internationally it is marked as NONE or if it went bankrupt it is NONE Name 1971 Head Office Head Office Now Distillers Corp Seagrams Montreal NONE Alcan Aluminum Ltd. Montreal London-Montreal International Untilities Edmonton Calgary Massey-Ferguson Ltd. Toronto NONE George Weston Ltd. Toronto Toronto Bell Canada Montreal Montreal MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. Vancouver NONE Canada Packers Ltd. Toronto Toronto (MapleLeaf) International Nickel Toronto NONE Steel Company of Canada Hamilton NONE Hiram Walker Windsor NONE Canadian Pacific Ltd. Montreal Calgary Rothmans of Pall Mall Canada Toronto NONE Imasco Ltd. Montreal NONE Noranda Mines Montreal NONE Domtar Ltd. Montreal Montreal Brascan Limited Toronto NONE Moore Corp. Ltd. Toronto NONE John Labatt Ltd. Toronto NONE Dominion Foundries and Steel Hamilton NONE Burns Foods Ltd. Calgary Toronto (MapleLeaf) TransCanada Pipelines Toronto-Montreal Calgary Molson Industries Ltd. Montreal Montreal-Denver Genstar Ltd Winnepeg NONE Consolidated Bathurst Montreal Montreal (AbitibiBowater) Algoma Steel Corp Sault Ste. Marie NONE Abitibi Paper Co Montreal Montreal Cominco Ltd Vancouver Vancouver Anglo Canadian Telephone Montreal Vancouver Falconbridge Nickel Mines Ltd.Toronto NONE Westfair Foods Calgary Toronto (Loblaws) Canadian Breweries Limited Toronto Montreal (Molson) Dominion Bridge Co Montreal NONE Dominion Textile Co. Ltd. Montreal NONE British Columbia Telephone Co Vancouver Vancouver Northern & Central Gas Corp Toronto NONE Irving Oil Co St.John St.John
  6. Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., a maker of cardboard packaging and one of the world’s largest paper recyclers, filed for bankruptcy in the face of falling demand and heavy debt payments. The petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, filed today in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, listed $5.6 billion in consolidated debt and $7.5 billion in consolidated assets as of Sept. 30. Twenty-four affiliates also sought protection. Smurfit-Stone, based in Chicago is North America’s second- largest maker of corrugated packaging, and has 22,000 employees in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Asia, according to its Web site. The company joins other pulp- and paper-related bankruptcies as rising Internet use hurts magazines and newspapers. Corp. Durango SAB, Mexico’s largest papermaker, sought U.S. bankruptcy in October. Quebecor World Inc., a magazine printer and Pope & Talbot Inc., a pulp-mill operator, also sought cross-border bankruptcies for their operations in the U.S. and Canada. Smurfit-Stone’s 30 largest consolidated creditors without collateral backing their claims are owed about $4.2 billion, court papers show. The Bank of New York, as agent for bondholders, has an unsecured claim of $2.2 billion, CIT Group Inc. is owed $36.8 million and British Petroleum is owed $22.1 million, according to court papers. Debt Levels Rivals AbitibiBowater Inc., Temple-Inland Inc. and International Paper Co. also have significant debt, according to Mark Wilde, an analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York. In December, Smurfit-Stone said fourth-quarter earnings would be “significantly” lower than the previous period, citing slowing demand for containers for industrial and consumer goods. It said it would reduce production of containerboard and some types of paper. Credit-rating companies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s downgraded their ratings on Smurfit-Stone’s debt shortly thereafter. Both said the company could be required to get waivers on its debt covenants. Smurfit-Stone has an $800 million revolving credit facility due Nov. 2009. Moody’s also rates an estimated $3.5 billion in debt, and noted in December that the company could need to get waivers on some of its covenants to maintain access to the revolver. Containerboard and corrugated containers are Smurfit-Stone’s main products, and it collects recycled paper as a raw ingredient through 27 recycling plants. Its net sales were $7.4 billion in 2007, and a three-year program designed to make mills more productive is slated to finish in the first half of this year, according to the company’s Web site. The case is Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., 09-10235, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).
  7. Renewable Energy Corp a non seulement obtenu du gouvernement un bon tarif d'électricité, mais surtout l'assurance que sa facture n'augmentera pas de plus que 2,4% par année pendant 20 ans. Pour en lire plus...
  8. Le New York Times Corp. discuterait avec le milliardaire Carlos Slim Helu, espérant le convaincre d'investir plusieurs centaines de millions de dollars. Pour en lire plus...
  9. Une autre nouvelle pas très importante, mais tout de même intéressante: Le Québec compte six milliardaires 12 septembre 2007 - 08h51 LaPresseAffaires.com Didier Bert Agrandir Paul Desmarais, président de Power Corp. Grossir caratère Grossir caractère Imprimer Imprimer Envoyer Envoyer Six Québécois figurent au classement des milliardaires publié mardi par le magazine Forbes. À eux six, ils accumulent 14,2 G$, soit près du quart du budget annuel du Québec. L’homme le plus riche de la province est Paul Desmarais, le président du comité exécutif de Power Corp., propriétaire de La Presse et de six autres quotidiens québécois. Forbes évalue sa fortune à 4,7 G$, et le place au septième rang des milliardaires canadiens. L’homme d’affaires est suivi par cinq autres Québécois, possédant tous entre 1 et 2 G$. Viennent d’abord Charles Bronfman, héritier de l’empire de spiritueux de son père, l’homme d’affaires Stephen Jarislowsky et le fromager Lino Saputo. Le pharmacien Jean Coutu et le propriétaire du Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberté, complètent le classement des Québécois possédant plus d’un milliard de dollars. Le Canadien le plus riche est David Thomson, l’héritier du conglomérat Thomson Corp. fondé en 1934 par son grand-père. Les 23 milliardaires canadiens détiennent 100,1 G$.
  10. Le numéro un mondial des engrais agricoles a multiplié par cinq son profit au troisième trimestre, dépassant les attentes, mais vise le bas de ses prévisions pour 2008. Pour en lire plus...
  11. Côte revenus, ils ont été en forte hausse en raison de l'acquisition de Putnam par une filiale du holding, la Great-West. Pour en lire plus...
  12. Charlotte in same predicament as Wall Street By IEVA M. AUGSTUMS, AP Business Writer Ieva M. Augstums, CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The financial collapse has hit the city known as Wall Street South. For years, Bank of America Corp. and Wachovia Corp. helped turn Charlotte into a financial powerhouse. Now, the big banks have thrust it into the same predicament as the real Wall Street — the city is losing thousands of jobs and an unquantifiable amount of prestige. Residents who invested heavily in the banks have seen their wealth dissipate and lifestyles change radically. "It's kind of sad, disheartening because the banks have been the backbone of Charlotte for so long," said Carl Clayton, a 55-year-old retired school teacher. The loss of so many bank jobs is causing upheaval in other industries. Consumers who have been laid off or fear being out of work are curtailing their spending, forcing restaurants and retailers to close — among them Morton's, a high-end steakhouse, and a 15-month-old Home Depot Design Center. Even some of the Charlotte's lively night clubs have shuttered their doors. "There's a bit of a state of disbelief," said Bob Morgan, president of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. "We are seeing things happen that no one else has contemplated before." Charlotte remains the nation's second-biggest bank town by assets — second to New York, and in front of San Francisco. But, Morgan said, "we don't know what the city is going to look like once we emerge." "We do know that tremendous wealth has already been lost." A big reason why is the amount of banking shares owned by people who have worked for Wachovia, now owned by Wells Fargo & Co., and Bank of America. Both have used their stock to compensate employees. Bank of America's shares have been among the hardest hit among financial companies. The company has lost more than 56 percent of its value since it closed on its acquisition of investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co. at the beginning of the year. The stock is down nearly 85 percent from a year ago. Last year, before Wachovia was acquired by Wells Fargo, its shares had slid 85 percent. Clayton estimates he has lost about $60,000 because of stock holdings in the two banks, along with other North Carolina banks, including BB&T Corp. "I had a lot of bank stock, but now it's gone," Clayton said. "What wealth I had, is gone." Residents and employees never expected such a downfall. Wachovia, once headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., joined the Top 5 ranks of national banks after it was acquired by Charlotte-based First Union Corp. in 2001. The combined company took Wachovia's name. Banker Hugh McColl Jr. led NationsBank Corp. through some 70 acquisitions starting in the early 1980s. His biggest coup was San Francisco-based BankAmerica Corp., a financial institution bigger than NationsBank. He adopted the name and also moved the headquarters to Charlotte. Some say Charlotte's troubles began in 2006, when Wachovia acquired mortgage lender Golden West Financial Corp. for roughly $25 billion at the height of the housing boom. With that purchase, Wachovia inherited a $122 billion portfolio of deteriorating mortgages, leaving the company with huge losses. Charlotte residents were unnerved as they watched Wachovia falter and then be taken over by Wells Fargo in what amounted to a fire sale late last year. Down the street, at Bank of America, things were looking just as bleak. A series of bad bets in the investment banking unit over the past year sank companywide profits, and as Bank of America completed its acquisition of struggling investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co., shareholders watched its stock price slide to historic lows. Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America have said they remain "committed" to Charlotte. Wells Fargo, based in San Francisco, has said Charlotte will be its eastern headquarters, though it remains unclear exactly what that means. The fear is that Wells Fargo, as it completes its integration of Wachovia, will keep shedding Charlotte positions. Wachovia has about 20,000 employees in the city. Bank of America, meanwhile, with about 15,000 employees in Charlotte, is eliminating some 35,000 jobs companywide. North Carolina already has nearly 400,000 unemployed workers. The jobless rate was 8.7 percent in December, the highest since 1983, according to the most recent available data. Charlotte, with a population of nearly 700,000, is the 20th-largest city in the country. About 45 percent of the residents of its home county, Mecklenburg, make more than $50,000 a year, according to data supplied by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. Outside the downtown offices buildings filled with bank employees, there's a sense of disbelief as people huddle together drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes and then shuffle off to their jobs. When a reporter approached employees for interviews, they declined to speak, or said they didn't want to give their names, worried about keeping their jobs. Charlotte relies on the banks for more than employment — its lifestyle, even its skyline has depended on Wachovia and Bank of America. Wachovia sponsors the city's annual PGA tournament, among the most popular on tour, while Bank of America's name is on the football stadium and the bank is a sponsor of one of NASCAR's top auto races. Both fill towering downtown office buildings — Wells Fargo, now by way of Wachovia, is building a 48-story headquarters and adjoining city arts campus. The bankers and traders who work for both helped create the demand — and now vacancies — for the high-rise condos near by. "I have received more calls over the past month from people wanting to list their homes, with a majority of them having financial problems," said Rich Ferretti, a broker at Jamison Reality in Matthews, a suburb of Charlotte. Stores in the city's affluent SouthPark area are less crowded on the weekends. And a recent happy hour at Capital Grille, located just across from Bank of America's headquarters, was sparsely attended. Charlotte also faces civic and philanthropic repercussions. Unlike Wachovia, Wells Fargo's executives have few North Carolina ties. Bank of America typically offers up the lead gift on projects. "We will honor our existing commitments and we are still in the process of determining any future commitments," Wells Fargo spokeswoman Mary Eshet said. Now, the city is waiting for major changes. "A lot of our friends work for the banks," said Leslie Hunter, a 38-year-old mother of two. "People are not stopping everything, but their awareness has increased." After being laid off from his bank consulting job 11 months ago, Jim Edwards' daily routine of networking, applying for jobs and going to the gym keeps his spirits up. "I've been out of work and living on my retirement income," said the 62-year-old, who added it's been a struggle finding employment because no one is hiring. While many unknowns remain, Mayor Pat McCrory is optimistic. "Charlotte does have very strong resilience and I anticipate that a lot of the talent that's moving out of the banks will stay," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. Some job relief may be moving in. GMAC Financial Services and Morgan Stanley are rumored to be looking to move at least parts of their companies to the Charlotte area. GMAC Financial Service's chief executive, Al G. de Molina, used to be Bank of America's chief financial officer. Morgan Stanley has already hired at least four former Wachovia executives to help the New York-based firm's retail banking expansion effort. McCrory wouldn't talk about the two firms, but said the large amount of talent in Charlotte will "attract others in the financial services industry to set up here." "We're going through a major adjustment, but when the economy rebounds, I think Charlotte will rebound the quickest," he said.
  13. Le numéro un mondial des engrais agricoles engrange des profits records de 905 M$ US au deuxième trimestre, une hausse de 217%. Pour en lire plus...