Business Digest


September 04, 2004

In The Region

Perdue to shut Shore plant, shift production to 2 others Perdue Farms Inc. said yesterday that it will move production from its processing plant in Showell, in Worcester County, to nearby facilities in Salisbury and in Georgetown, Del. The Showell plant will close Nov. 5.

Perdue said all 326 of its workers at the Showell plant would be offered jobs at the other facilities. The company also will continue to contract with the 138 independent farmers who have been raising chickens for sale to the Showell Perdue facility.

Worcester County's director of economic development, Jerry Redden, said he doesn't anticipate any economic fallout from the shift. He also expects that the county and the company will work closely in finding ways to use the vacant Showell plant to create new jobs for the region.

The Salisbury plant employs about 660, while the Georgetown facility employs more than 1,560 people, Perdue said.

Mass. construction firm to buy Jessup company

A publicly owned construction business in Massachusetts announced intentions yesterday to buy Jessup-based Cherry Hill Construction Company Inc. - a privately held firm specializing in excavation, foundations and paving - for $20 million in cash.

Perini Corp., based in Framingham, will acquire all of Cherry Hill's stock and operate it as a subsidiary.

Cherry Hill has 300 employees in the Mid-Atlantic region. Perini has 3,500 workers.

Cherry Hill, which helped renovate Annapolis' West Street and build Baltimore-Washington International Airport's central parking garage, had $119 million in revenue last year. Perini's 2003 revenue totaled $1.37 billion.


Continental to skip pension contributions

Continental Airlines Inc., the No. 5 U.S. carrier, said yesterday that it will skip contributions to employee pension plans this year, taking advantage of a law enacted in April to conserve cash.

The move will help the company keep $1.5 billion in unrestricted cash during "these difficult and turbulent times," Continental said. The carrier said in a July filing that it planned to put $250 million in the plans and faced a minimum funding requirement of $17 million.

The U.S. law gives airlines, steelmakers and other companies the option to defer about $80 billion in pension funding during the next two years. A Continental spokesman declined to comment on what the airline will do next year. The company's plans cover almost all of its 41,000 workers, he said.

Independent inspector ordered for Hollinger

A judge in Toronto ordered yesterday the appointment of an independent inspector to investigate the affairs of Hollinger Inc., parent of Hollinger International Inc., the newspaper company formerly run by Conrad Black.

The probe was requested by Catalyst Fund General Partner I Inc., a shareholder of Hollinger Inc. The judge, Colin L. Campbell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, is expected to disclose the reasons for his decision later this month, the company said.

The order came days after Hollinger International released a 500-page report alleging that Black and his associates engaged in years of "aggressive looting" of the Chicago-based newspaper company, whose holdings include the Chicago Sun-Times, The Jerusalem Post and, until recently, The Daily Telegraph of London.

UPS gets tentative OK for more flights to China

UPS Inc. says the government has given it the green light to triple its number of flights to China, a key international market in the shipping giant's growth plans.

The company said yesterday that the U.S. Department of Transportation has tentatively granted it six additional round-trip flights to Shanghai, which will start next month, and six new round-trip flights to Guangzhou beginning next year.

That would give it 18 round-trip flights from the United States to China per week. It now operates six.

This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.