(WisBusiness) MON News Summary — 14 July 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Belgian brewer InBev has announced it will buy its American rival, St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion.

The acquisition means control over America’s largest brewer — and the No. 2 worldwide — moves overseas. Anheuser-Busch has more than 48 percent of the American market share with beers that include Bud Light.

August Busch IV, Anheuser-Busch President and CEO, said he was pleased with the deal.

InBev first bid for Anheuser-Busch on June 11. Its beers include Stella Artois and Becks. The sale must be approved by shareholders and European and U.S. antitrust regulators.

The merger will produce the world’s largest brewer and the fourth-largest consumer product company worldwide. The companies said all U.S. breweries will remain open.

— The Mississippi River is an environmental gem, tourist attraction and transportation and shipping route all in one for Western Wisconsin.

But, it can be awfully tough to get across if you start having bridge problems. A ferry service should be at least explored to see if it could take some traffic and stress off the bridges.

See Gregg Hoffmann’s column at http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=202

— Mithridion, a Madison startup drug development company, has begun Phase 1 clinical trials on its first drug candidate, MCD-386.

The small-molecule compound is designed to treat Alzheimer’s patients, stopping or slowing the progression of the processes believed to cause brain cell death.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=130915

— The Midwest unit of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) says Midwest Airlines is not bargaining in good faith and refuses to budge from its request for drastic pay cuts.

Faced with substantial losses caused by skyrocketed fuel prices that are crippling the airline industry, Midwest Airlines is demanding that its pilots take pay cuts of 45 to 65 percent.

A junior captain’s annual salary would drop from $120,000 to $31,000. A Midwest senior captain’s salary would drop from $150,000 to $79,000 under the company’s proposal.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily

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Press Releases
Management
Lab Safety Supply, Inc. Acquires Highsmith, Inc.
Ladish Acquires Aerex Manufacturing
Lt. Governor Lawton and Wisconsin Farmers Union Join Forces to Advise State Farmers on Opportunities for Them in Carbon Trading
Marketplace 2008 to Showcase Wisconsin Minority Business Awards
MGD 64 to Sponsor National Triathlons
MyWeather Announces Unique Weather Application for iPhone and iPod Touch for Apple App Store
OWN Statements on Justice Ziegler’s Participation in Menasha Corp. Case
Toyota Brings ‘Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience’ to Hybridfest 2008

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82

Mithridion Announces Commencement of Phase I Clinical Trial of Investigational Drug for Alzheimer’s Disease
Companies Maintaining Realistic Outlook of Recession Impact on Insurance Claims, According to Wausau-Sponsored Survey
Harley-Davidson to Acquire MV Agusta Group Expanding Presence in Europe
Johnson Controls and IBM Develop Software Solution to Help Data Center
TOP STORIES
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Union fears Midwest Air near bankruptcy: Pilots representative accuses airline of not bargaining in good faith… The corporate parent of Midwest Airlines appears headed toward a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the head of the company’s pilots union said Friday. Jay Schnedorf, chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association’s Midwest Airlines chapter, reached that conclusion based on the company’s response to the union’s proposal on possible wage cuts. In a statement issued to chapter members, Schnedorf said Midwest Air Group Inc., the airline’s corporate parent, is not bargaining in good faith. The airline disagreed with the union’s characterization in a statement of its own.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=771683

Tavern League a force to be reckoned with: In the bars and restaurants of most Wisconsin cities, the influence of the state’s tavern league hangs in the air. Wisconsin, unlike every state that surrounds it, allows smoking in its taverns — a testament to the clout of the Wisconsin Tavern League, one of the most powerful special-interest groups in the state. “They are able to stop things that they don’t like and they are able to get much of what they want,” said Mike McCabe, executive director of the government watchdog group the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. “I don’t think there’s any interest group that bats 1000, but their batting average is pretty high. That’s a testimony to the industry’s influence.”
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/GPG/807140315/0/specials01

Doyle praises Door County policies: State must preserve lakes, manufacturing… Door County, in the words of Gov. Jim Doyle, is a microcosm of the state, growing both its tourism and manufacturing industries while preserving the environment. Doyle made his remarks Friday at the Landmark Resort. Doyle, accompanied by state Tourism Secretary Kelli Trumble, spoke to about 60 people connected with the county tourism industry. Doyle outlined strategies to improve tourism in Door County and Wisconsin. Doyle touted the recent signing of the Great Lakes Compact as an opportunity to partner with the federal government. The lakes, he added, may now demand as much federal money as the Everglades.
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080712/GPG03/807120597/1247

Communities planned for life with fewer mills: The paper mill is closed. Not for the summer. Not for deer hunting. Not for maintenance. The mill here, which over the last 112 years helped build this village along the Wisconsin River, is likely closed for good. But the region, centered around Wisconsin Rapids about 100 miles north of Madison, may be more prepared for the blow than many communities. Redevelopment efforts over the last four years are getting national attention and providing a template for other towns that have lost major employers. “We ‘ve got to think differently because traditional ways of thinking aren ‘t going to compete against every other community who is losing its industry here in the Upper Midwest, ” said Dean Ryerson, a longtime civic leader and educator in the area.
http://www.madison.com/wsj/topstories/296018

Corn prices cutting into ethanol profits: For months, the country has debated how much ethanol production has to do with the skyrocketing price of corn. Now, the question can be turned upside-down: How much is the spike in corn prices affecting ethanol plants? According to the Chicago Board of Trade, the price of ethanol has risen 49 percent over the past year. The price of the corn used to create ethanol, however, has shot up 123 percent, pushed by the weak dollar, recent flooding and the increase in ethanol production, among other things. That leaves ethanol plants in a pickle, said Randy Fortenbery, UW-Madison professor of agribusiness. The price of ethanol depends more on demand and the price of gas than it does on the price of corn, meaning ethanol plants can’t necessarily pass increased costs on to the consumer, he said.
http://www.gazettextra.com/news/2008/jul/13/corn-prices-cutting-ethanol-profits/

Anheuser-Busch agrees to be sold for $52 billion: Anheuser-Busch has agreed to sell itself to the Belgian brewer InBev for about $52 billion, the two companies confirmed Monday in a joint release, putting control of the nation’s largest beer maker and a fixture of American culture into a European rival’s hands. The board of both companies have approved the deal, the statement said. The all-cash deal, for $70 a share, will create the world’s largest brewer, uniting the maker of Budweiser and Michelob with the producer of Stella Artois, Bass and Brahma. Together, the two companies would have sales of more than $36 billion a year, surpassing the current No. 1 brewer, SABMiller of London.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/business/worldbusiness/15beer.html?ref=business

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WISBUSINESS FEATURED COLUMNISTS

GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant
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TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Madison drug company Mithridion begins testing its Alzheimer’s medicine
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/295683

– Renewable synergy
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=771681

– Storms don’t dampen iPhone 3G enthusiasm
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/295774

– Support for water innovation rated tepid
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=771670

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Shawano looks into landfill gases as fuel source
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/W/WI_LANDFILL_FUEL_WIOL-?SITE=WIMAD&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

– Parade kicks off Farm Technology Days
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/GPG0101/807140610/1978/GPGnews

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Janesville outfit buys Highsmith
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/295872

– Government will backstop Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/296010

– Harley-Davidson to announce earnings on Thursday
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/07/14/wi/5wi14.txt

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– UW-Rock reaches out to GM
http://www.gazettextra.com/news/2008/jul/13/uw-rock-reaches-out-gm/

LABOR (back to top)
– In the wake of a mill closing, new opportunities emerge
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/296017

– State legislative committee to look at overtime
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/295996

– Midwest Airlines pilots, company dispute talks
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/07/12/wi/10wis.txt

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Lou’s Bootery to reopen in Suamico center
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/GPG03/807140570/1247

– Banner Crafts closing its doors
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/July_08/07112008_15.asp

INVESTING (back to top)
– June had good news for a select few
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=772014

– There’s an upside to beaten-down companies
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=772013

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Slide continues for home sales, construction
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/July_08/07112008_13.asp

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Corn Growers Comment on Farm Bureau’s Food Price Report
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=846&yr=2008

– UWP Researches Impacts of Ag Practices on Water Quality
http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=847&yr=2008

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Airport to get nearly $10 million in improvements
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/296072

– Doyle approves funding for Manitowoc County Airport projects
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/GPG0101/807140598/1978/GPGnews

– Passenger numbers at Austin Straubel continue to rise in 2008
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080712/GPG03/807120594/1247

– DOT wants input on project plans
http://www.leadertelegram.com/story-news_local.asp?id=BH64NM64E8T

RETAIL (back to top)
– 2 Shopko Express stores open
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/GPG03/807140572/1247

– Audit: Milwaukee Mile hurts State Fair finances
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/front/topstory10.asp

– Kohl’s June sales beat estimates
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/July_08/07112008_14.asp

REGULATION (back to top)
– Madison worried about county zoning plan
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/295980

– Beaver Dam economic development group must keep records and meetings open to public, state Supreme Court rules
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/295791

– State Rep. Berceau fights to raise beer tax
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/WDH0101/807140369/1981/WDHnews

TOURISM (back to top)
– Dells resort will offer year-round skiing, water parks
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/295877

– Dane County Fair opens Tuesday at Alliant Center
http://www.madison.com/wsj/topstories/296046

– Harley-Davidson opens museum in Milwaukee
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/front/topstory14.asp

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Power out 2 days after swerving driver hits pole
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/07/13/wi/7wi13.txt

– New water agency invites Chinese to study Fox River cleanup
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=772012

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– GE’s health care unit healthy
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/July_08/07122008_01.asp

– Heritage Peabody Community director named
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080713/APC03/807130510/1028

– Care facility looks to expand
http://gazettextra.com/news/2008/jul/13/care-facility-looks-expand/

FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– Madison’s Envest seeds little loans around the world
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/295862

– Marine Bank’s parent denied transfer request
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/July_08/07112008_12.asp

– Does soft stock price put M&I at takeover risk?
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=771668

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Hansen to join Heartland, Avastone
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/GPG03/807140576/1247

– Imaginasium wins Telly Award
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080712/GPG03/807120591/1247

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mick Hager: Customer care is priority No. 1
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/GPG0703/807140569/1247/GPG03

– Greg Linnemanstons: Measure what matters to get a better ‘dashboard’ view
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/APC0701/807140450/1436/APC03

– Alan Hartman: Understanding China’s development key to teaching
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080713/APC03/807130513/1028

– Tom Saler: History suggests stock market, credit pain won’t end soon
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=771562

– John Torinus: West Bend schools ahead in reshaping for global economy
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=771594

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