Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Business news in brief

In the Region

Fox is Center Authority chairman

Gregory J. Fox was named board chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority on Friday, replacing Thomas "Buck" Riley. Fox, a partner at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads L.L.P., Philadelphia, was elected by the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority at its meeting Wednesday. The board also elected Carl Singley board vice chair, a continuing role. - Suzette Parmley

Issa seeks departure explanation

Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) asked the Federal Communications Commission to explain the departure of Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker for Comcast Corp., Philadelphia. Baker said May 11 that she would resign to work for Comcast. She voted in January to approve Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal. Baker, in a May 13 statement, said that Comcast contacted her in mid-April about a position and that she recused herself "on April 18th from any matters involving Comcast or NBC Universal." - Bloomberg News

Kenexa to have secondary stock sale

Shares of Kenexa Corp. soared after the Wayne human-resources company said it would sell three million more shares of its common stock at $27.75 per share. After fees, it expects proceeds of about $78.7 million, which it will use for working capital and potential acquisitions or investments in other businesses. Kenexa stock rose $4.88, or 17 percent,

to close at $32.87, a 52-week high, in Nasdaq trading. - Paul Schweizer

Constar's recovery plan approved

Constar International Inc., the Philadelphia plastic-bottle manufacturer, won court approval of its prearranged restructuring plan, the second such plan approved in about two years. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher S. Sontchi gave the company approval of its reorganization plan, which swaps noteholders' debt for equity and new notes, at a hearing Friday in Wilmington. - Bloomberg News

Christie appeals dredging ruling

Gov. Christie and his administration this week filed an appeal to reverse court rulings that would allow deepening of the Delaware River shipping channel without updated environmental studies. In January, U.S. District Judge Joel Pisano rejected New Jersey's efforts to block the Army Corps of Engineers from proceeding with the deepening, to 45 feet, of the 102-mile river navigation channel between Camden and the Delaware Bay. The Christie administration said Friday that it had filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. - Linda Loyd

Clothing company names executive

Specialty retailer Urban Outfitters Inc. on Friday appointed Freeman M. Zausner chief operating officer. Zausner, 63, had spent the last eight years as chief administrative officer for the Philadelphia company. The appointment came on the heels of an earnings report Monday revealing laggard sales of women's apparel at the company's Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters stores. Chief executive Glen T. Senk said he would devote more of his time working directly with his merchant team until the situation improved. - Maria Panaritis

Versa Capital buys Ohio media firm

Versa Capital Management, a Philadelphia turnaround investment fund specializing in troubled companies, said it acquired Ohio Community Media L.L.C., which publishes 14 daily newspapers and 30 weeklies in small cities, suburbs, and rural counties near Dayton and other communities in north and west Ohio. Versa bought the chain for an undisclosed price from PNC Bank and other lenders, who took control from the Brown family in bankruptcy proceedings. - Joseph N. DiStefano


Delinquent mortgages hit a low

The percentage of mortgage loans that are 90 days or more delinquent has dropped for five straight quarters and are at the lowest since the beginning of 2009, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported. In an analysis of data collected in the first quarter, the group found that the start of foreclosure proceedings was at the lowest since the end of 2008. Foreclosure inventory totaled 4.52 percent of all homes compared with 4.63 percent the year before, the group said. - Alan J. Heavens

Home vacancy rates fall nationwide

Homeowner vacancy rates - defined as the proportion of homes vacant and for sale - were at or below their recessionary highs in all states in the first quarter, IHS Global Insight reported. The highest rates were in the Southeast, West, and Rust Belt because of housing corrections, severe recession, or a combination of both, IHS said. Pennsylvania's and New Jersey's vacancy rates, at 1.7 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, were among the lowest. - Alan J. Heavens