In the Region
Chicago company buys Marriott furniture rental firm
Brook Furniture Rental Inc. said yesterday that it has acquired the furniture rental business of ExecuStay by Marriott, allowing it to expand into markets in Baltimore, Washington and Richmond, Va.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Brook said it planned to retain all of the employees currently associated with ExecuStay's residential furniture operations.
The acquisition is part of the Chicago company's growth strategy. Founded in 1979, Brook has 500 employees and approximate revenue of $65 million annually.
Local IT consultant invests $1 million in tech incubator
Ajilon LLC, a Towson information technology consulting firm, announced yesterday it has made a $1 million cash investment in Incube8.com, a technology business incubator in Baltimore.
As part of the deal, Ajilon also will offer senior-level management recruitment services at a discounted rate to Incub8 and its nine start-up technology companies, several of which are based in Baltimore. The funds are Incub8's first from an institutional investor since its inception in 1999. Ajilon, a subsidiary of a Swiss company, Adecco SA, has 50 offices and operations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia.
Novavax names Genge vice president, CFO
Novavax Inc. announced yesterday that it had appointed former Pyxis Corp. controller Dennis W. Genge as vice president and chief financial officer.
Genge has 20 years experience in corporate and public accounting, including for Pyxis, a Cardinal Health Inc. subsidiary in San Diego that develops and manufactures automated medication and supply systems for acute-care and alternative-care facilities.
Prior to Pyxis, Genge was executive director of accounting and finance at Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego drug developer.
Novavax, a biopharmaceutical drug-delivery company, closed yesterday at $8, down 15 cents, or 1.8 percent, on the American Stock Exchange.
Verizon to raise ownership to 76% in Western wireless firm
Verizon Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. wireless telephone services company, said yesterday it agreed to acquire an additional stake in Sacramento Valley LP, which provides wireless service in Northern California and Nevada.
Verizon Wireless would pay Roseville Communications Co. about $236 million for Roseville's 24.2 percent interest in the partnership, representing about 920,000 potential customers.
Upon the closing of the transaction, expected to take place by Nov. 1, Verizon Wireless would own 76.6 percent of the partnership. The remaining stake is owned by Centennial Cellular Corp. The partnership serves an area with 3.8 million potential customers.
Xerox is cutting dividend from 20 cents to 5 cents a share
Xerox Corp., the world's largest copier maker, cut its dividend by 75 percent, saying it will save $400 million a year as the company seeks to rebound from its first quarterly loss in 16 years.
The quarterly dividend was cut to 5 cents from 20 cents a share. It's the first change in the dividend since Xerox raised it to 20 cents in January 1999. The company lost 15 to 20 cents a share in the third quarter. It was expected to earn 12 cents a share, the average estimate of analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial.
Xerox said last week it would cut costs, consider asset sales and reevaluate its dividend after disclosing the unexpected loss. Xerox has lost about two-thirds of its value in the past year amid a botched sales-force reorganization, increased competition and management turmoil. Shares of the Stamford, Conn.-based company fell 31 cents to $10.44 in New York Stock Exchange trading.
This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Reuters, the New York Times and Bridge News.