MIKE ARMSTRONG:  Coming up.  Is it a flight of fancy?  You’ll be shocked at where Philadelphia International Airport ranks in the latest customer satisfaction survey.  Guess which local company now says it’s willing to listen to advice from a New York hedge fund?  We’ll tell you who it is and what they’ve agreed to do.  First, this bank lost track of $6.2 million.  Now they’re being bought.  We have the latest on this deal.  Philadelphia Business Today starts now.


MIKE ARMSTRONG:  Who would have thunk it?  Philadelphia International Airport is at the top of the list when it comes to customer satisfaction.  J.D. Power and Associates, the firm best known for its ratings on cars, surveyed more than 21,000 people who flew between April 2007 and March 2008.  Philadelphia’s airport was the poster child for bad service during the 2004 Christmas travel period when a Midwestern storm caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled.  But that was then.  Philadelphia topped this survey for its accessibility, food service, and hold on to your carry on baggage claim.  Overall, Philadelphia beat out 17 other large airports.  Does that make us the best airport in the country?  Well, keep this in mind.  Nationally, flight delays and cancellations were way up, and that pushed down the ratings for many other airports.

Remember the bank that couldn’t find $6.2 million?  Earlier this month, Willow Financial had to take a charge to its earnings after it couldn’t figure out why its books were off by millions of dollars.  Today, that Wayne bank agreed to be acquired by Harleysville National in a deal worth $162 million.  Willow’s shares jumped 22 percent on the news, while Harleysville’s dipped slightly. 

Unisys, the big computer services firm in Blue Bell, has made peace with a hedge fund that had been calling for a spin-off of some operations.  The compromise?  Unisys will expand its board of directors to 13 adding two people favored by the New York hedge fund.  And Unisys has hired Goldman Sachs to help it find ways to boost its stock price.  This could be a precursor to some kind of deal, but Unisys was quick to say it’s not a lock that any deal will get done.

That’s it for today.  At The Inquirer, I’m Mike Armstrong for Philadelphia Business Today.


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