(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 23 July 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche has dipped into Madison to purchase another biotech company.

This time around, it’s buying Mirus Bio Corp. for $125 million in a transaction expected to close later this year, the companies said. Roche bought Madison-based DNA chip maker NimbleGen for $272.5 million in 2007.

Mirus Bio is a leader in RNAi (ribonucleic acid interference) technology, a technique to determine how genes are turned off and on in cells — something that could result in new medicines and prevent disease-causing proteins from being made.

Mirus Bio officials said Roche will maintain its RNAi research site in Madison. Roche is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, and employs 79,000 people worldwide.

— Rockwell Automation says its fiscal third quarter net income dropped to $152.6 million, or $1.03 per share, from $164.2 million, or $1.05 per share, for the same quarter last year.

The Milwaukee-based manufacturer’s total quarterly sales grew to $1.5 billion from $1.3 billion a year earlier. The company said foreign currency translation contributed five percentage points and acquisitions contributed four percentage points to Rockwell’s revenue growth rate.

— A sluggish economy and the march of advertisers to the Internet is resulting in a net-earnings decline of 36.4 percent for Journal Communications in the second quarter.

The company said profits from to $9 million, or 16 cents per share, from $14.2 million, or 21 cents per share, for the corresponding quarter last year.

The Milwaukee-based parent company of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said its quarterly revenue declined 5 percent to $140.1 million from $147.5 million a year earlier. In a bit of good news, the communications company said total online revenue was up 15.9 percent in the second quarter to approximately $4.7 million.

— Ningbo Vice Mayor Wu Hemin is urging continued economic cooperation between Milwaukee and the highly industrialized Chinese port city during a trade conference in Milwaukee.

Through a translator, Wu highlighted the advantages Ningbo offers in terms of free trade areas, manufacturing and transportation infrastructure, a business-friendly regulatory environment and quality of life amenities. The pitch went to a group of about 100 meeting at a hotel near the airport Tuesday.

The day-long event included talks on the Ningbo economy, a presentation about Milwaukee by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, lunch and a networking session.

Wu, along with a delegation of 30 Ningbo officials and business leaders, is in Milwaukee for a week-long trade mission. On Monday, he presented the city with a gift of two stone lion statues, which are now placed at the entrance to the Zeidler Municipal building. The delegation is to attend a China-U.S. water symposium in Milwaukee on Friday.

For details on the symposium visit:

— Wisconsin property taxes were 4.4 percent of personal income in fiscal year 2006, ninth highest in the country, according to a new Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report.

The study also found net property taxes rose 5.7 percent in 2008, the largest increase since 2005. The state imposed levy limits on municipalities and counties beginning in 2006.

The report used U.S. Census Bureau information to compare Wisconsin’s property taxes to other states. It found nationally that property taxes accounted for 3.5 percent of income.

Read the study:

— Gov. Jim Doyle is in Washington, D.C., today to join members of Congress to unveil legislation that would give federal approval to the Great Lakes Compact. Doyle is chair of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.

— The ongoing work of the City of Milwaukee’s Brownfields Team to assess and remediate contaminated properties has received a new $1.3 million boost by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced Tuesday that the EPA awarded five grants to the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee:

– $200,000 for environmental assessment at sites contaminated with petroleum.
– $200,000 for assessment at sites contaminated with hazardous substances.
– $200,000 for cleanup of 2227 N. 31st St.
– $200,000 for cleanup of 522 W. North Ave.
– $500,000 in supplemental funding for the Brownfield Revolving Loan Program.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/7/22/#milwaukee-brownfields-team-gets-boost-from-epa


WISBUSINESS LUNCHEON: Global Warming Task Force Co-Chairs
Tuesday, August 12, 11:45 am, The Madison Club

WisBusiness.com, The Madison Club and Madison Magazine present “The Madison Business Luncheon” on Tuesday, August 12, with featured guests Global Warming Task force Chairs Roy Thilly of the Wisconsin Public Power and Tia Nelson of the Board of Public Land Commissioners.

Learn more about the Global Warming Task Force: http://dnr.wi.gov/environmentprotect/gtfgw/

Sponsored by Xcel Energy.

This event is open to the public, and the price for lunch is $19. Call the Madison Club to register at (608) 255-4861. The luncheon starts at 11:45 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.



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Press Releases
Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center Achieves Triple Gold Recognition
Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center Breaks Ground With New Early Detection Program for Pancreatic Cancer
Blood-Related Genetic Mechanisms Found Important in Parkinson’s Disease
Clean Wisconsin Launches Advertising Campaign Opposing Alliant’s Proposed Coal Plant
Get Cooking, America! Taste of Home Announces America’s Best Loved Recipe Contest
Healthcare Executives Place Higher Priority on Energy Efficiency Than Others, Research Shows
Johnson Controls Acquires PWI Energy to Expand Global Energy Services
Johnson Controls Recognized for Commitment to Corporate Responsibility
NASA Co-op Pushes Student to New Frontier of Vehicle Design
Northwestern Mutual Foundation Honors 25 Top Volunteers
Playing it Safe
Wyoming Students Take Charge of Their Tuition, Acquiring Mediasite by Sonic Foundry for Fall Classes

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


Pentair to close Sheboygan plant: Decision will impact 350 employees… Pentair Inc. will close its Sheboygan facility by the end of June 2009, affecting the jobs of approximately 350 employees. The Golden Valley, Minn.-based manufacturer of commercial and residential water-filtration units confirmed the move Tuesday after employees had been informed Monday. Pentair also will close a distribution center in Sheboygan Falls. Work being done at the Sheboygan plant will be moved to other facilities in the United States, Mexico and China, according to Rachael Jarosh, Pentair’s vice president of corporate communications. She said some employees may be offered jobs at other Pentair facilities, including three in Wisconsin at Delavan, Brookfield and Glendale.

Biotech giant Roche to buy Mirus Bio: For the second time in two years, Roche, one of the world ‘s biggest pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, is buying a Madison biotech. Mirus Bio Corp. will be purchased by Roche for $125 million. If regulators approve, the deal is expected to close within two months, Mirus president Russell Smestad said Tuesday. And while Mirus will undergo structural changes, all of the company ‘s nearly 60 employees will keep their jobs and stay in Madison, said Smestad, who will stay on at least through the transition. “This is a milestone deal for the company, its shareholders and its employees, ” he said.

Rockwell Automation 3Q profit drops 7 percent: Industrial parts maker Rockwell Automation Inc. said Tuesday its fiscal third-quarter earnings dropped 7 percent as expenses grew and economic conditions weakened in Europe and the United States. But the Milwaukee-based company still beat Wall Street’s expectations, sending shares up $1.56, or 3.6 percent, to $45.19. The company’s shares have traded in a 52-week range of $40.58 to $74.85. The company, which provides industrial automation equipment and services to help improve companies’ manufacturing processes, posted profit of $152.6 million, or $1.03 per share, for the period ended June 30. That was down from profit of $164.2 million, or $1.05 per share, a year ago.

State hands out flood grants to boost tourism: Wisconsin officials have handed out nearly $230,000 in grants to bolster Wisconsin tourism after last month’s floods. Gov. Jim Doyle approved $250,000 worth of grants to step up marketing and promotion after national reports of extensive flood damage in Wisconsin. Tourism operators and state officials are concerned those reports may keep people from visiting Wisconsin attractions this summer. Nonprofit marketing organizations such as chambers of commerce and visitor and convention bureaus are eligible for the money. The recipients include organizations in Crawford and Green counties, Baraboo, La Crosse and Spring Green.

Wisconsin bankruptcies up: Bankruptcy filings in Wisconsin rose more than 38% in the first half of the year as mortgage debt and other financial obligations pushed hundreds of consumers into insolvency. The housing slump has been added to the list of main reasons — job loss, divorce or a major medical problem — that people typically file a bankruptcy petition, experts said. An increasing number of people are unable to handle monthly payments on adjustable-rate mortgages, they said, and dropping or stagnant property values have stopped homeowners from drawing on equity in their homes. “I had a couple recently who just decided to let the house go. They said it didn’t make sense to pay this much when they don’t have any equity.”

Fiserv inks deal with Brazilian banking giant: Financial technology provider Fiserv Inc. of Brookfield said Tuesday that it has landed a contract with a $160 billion Brazilian bank to supply core banking system technology for a new U.S. bank. Brazilian banking giant Banco do Brasil is establishing Federal Savings Bank, an initiative of its U.S. division designed to provide banking services to underserved Brazilian immigrants. The venture, which plans to open five branches in the coming months, has contracted with Fiserv subsidiary Information Technology Inc. for a suite of banking applications. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.


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

TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Craves to host Farm Technology Days 2009

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Swiss giant Roche acquires Madison firm Mirus for $125M

– Wisconsin Farmers to Share in USDA’s Renewable Energy Funds

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Journal Communications earnings fall

– Madison residents adjust spending, saving

– Madison 3rd best place for retirees, AARP says

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Bemis Co. to issue earnings Tuesday

– Harley-Davidson adds trike to 2009 lineup

LABOR (back to top)
– Rockwell reports earnings decline, hiring slowdown

– Unified Board ratifies two contracts

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Company reproduces Wright home decor pieces

– Marchant’s Fabric to close

INVESTING (back to top)
– Neenah Paper declares dividend

– UnitedHealth stocks jump

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Sun Prairie City Council looks to block development of new apartment units

– Winnebago not interested in selling Tri-County Arena

– Larsen Green project begins first phases

– SNC adding apartment-style housing

– Runoff rules could cost developers

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Crop Reporting Deadline Extended

– Cashton Farm Supply Destroyed by Fire

– Oak Wilt Disease Starting to Show Up in Southern Wisconsin

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Light rail on fast track

– State plans $100,000 study on interstate flooding

– AirTran poised to add flights

– Airlines say new fees will bring in millions

– Gas prices coming down

RETAIL (back to top)
– V. Richards Market owner, manager accused of selling stolen produce

– New food choices headed to Shoppes

– Retail project awaits richer days

REGULATION (back to top)
– Report: Wisconsin property taxes among highest

– State says repair shops should be able to test emissions

– Sobering up: Behind Madison’s harder line on downtown booze

– Oshkosh considers allowing low-speed electric cars

– Required calorie counts not likely on Madison menus

– West Bend contractor fined for bluff work in Mequon

TOURISM (back to top)
– Downtown Neenah blossoms with aesthetic improvements

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Storm water runoff sullies lakes and Arboretum

– Renewable energy wins starting spot at Lambeau

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Aspirus calls for improved access

– ThedaCare acquires Oshkosh surgical center

– Clinic, insurer continue talks

– Economy hits mental health

– St. Luke’s to add rooftop ‘healing garden’

– 5 Lake Delton properties to get state funds

– Starion Financial relocates

– Profits fall for UnitedHealth Group

– Anchor BanCorp reduces dividend

– Milwaukee receives $1.3M in EPA grants

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Milwaukee Mile investors pick new leader

– Casco apartments get rural development award

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mike Ivey: State ranks high for drinking, not for workforce talent

– Tannette Johnson-Elie: Small businesses do well to keep SCORE cards handy

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
–YAHOO FINANCE: http://finance.yahoo.com/
–CNBC BUSINESS NEWS: http://www.cnbc.com
–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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