News & Analysis

SPECIAL REPORT: Financial travails dog 'mystery man' at helm of Premier Properties

December 17, 2007
Cory Schouten
An IBJ review of hundreds of pages of public records shows Christopher P. White and his Premier Properties USA Inc. are facing major financial and legal challenges. The most glaring signs of trouble: Contractors have filed more than $3.5 million in liens against Premier’s retail properties in Plainfield; the state of Indiana is trying to recover $375,000 in sales taxes on White’s airplane; and the contractor who renovated his Lake Clearwater mansion is suing him to recover more than $600,000 in unpaid bills.
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When work no longer satisfies, execs answer charity's callRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
J.K. Wall
When Jim Cotterill became president of the newly formed Hoosier Christian Foundation in August, it capped off six years of soul-searching for the Indianapolis entrepreneur. Cotterill represents growing numbers of local business professionals who have diverted their time and talent to charity and service.
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Logistics advocacy group Conexus gears up for statewide pitchRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Chris O'Malley
Carol D'Amico, president and CEO of the newly formed industry advocacy group Conexus Indiana, is intent on boosting the visibility and growth of the logistics industry. Large though it is, it's also relatively ambiguous and sits in the shadow of the state's much-vaunted life sciences industry.
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Lilly's plan to outsource more work is good news, bad newsRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
J.K. Wall
Eli Lilly and Co. will shrink itself with "great intensity" over the next few years, in part by outsourcing. For other local life sciences firms, that's a fat pitch for new business. But it's not clear if non-Lilly firms can grow fast enough to offset the jobs and wages Indianapolis will lose from Lilly.
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'Mystery man' at helm of Premier Properties dreams big, but bills pile upRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Cory Schouten
Christopher P. White is arguably the city's most daring real estate developer. But an IBJ review of hundreds of pages of public records shows White and his Premier Properties USA Inc. are facing major financial and legal challenges.
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Century-old manufacturer cleans up on dirty waterRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
One hundred and one years ago, Cole Stickle convinced the Langsenkamp family to help him start a company based on a technology few understood--turning water into steam power. Five generations later, the 15-employee operation continues to thrive.
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eGix buyout sets up Bell battleRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Scott Olson
The fiercely competitive local telecommunications landscape should get even more heated, following Cincinnati Bell Inc.'s $18 million acquisition of Carmel-based eGix Inc. eGix provides bundled voice and data services, as well as high-speed Internet access and messaging products, to about 17,000 commercial customers.
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Critics fear tax reform will favor suburbsRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
As legislators prepare to overhaul the state's property-tax system, Marion County's future hangs in the balance. Indianapolis residents--particularly in the city's older, urban core--already pay far higher taxes than their suburban counterparts. And arguably get less bang for their buck. Changes on the table could make Marion County an even tougher sell.
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Clarian hospitals in Avon, Carmel turn corner after big lossesRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
J.K. Wall
Clarian Health officials say the only way they can keep operating their medical centers downtown is to support them with profitable suburban hospitals. So far, it seems Clarian is on the right track. As Clarian moves forward with a new, $180 million hospital in Fishers, its two existing suburban hospitals are starting to make money.
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Road getting bumpy for ethanol plantsRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Chris O'Malley
The list of potential Hoosier ethanol plants is nothing short of astounding for a state that had just one ethanol-fuel distillery as recently as 2005. Beyond the six ethanol plants now operating and six others under construction, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt counts 27 others under consideration for Indiana.
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IMS may host airplane raceRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
Speedway officials are in discussions to bring an airplane race to Indianapolis. The Red Bull Air Race World Series is a 5-year-old airplane race circuit that combines the intrigue of a high-wire circus act, thrills of an alpine ski race, and cutting-edge technology of Formula One auto racing.
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Fundex mixes tradition with high-tech in game bizRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Emily Groen
Fundex's Oct. 10 acquisition of the Great American Puzzle Factory keeps the Indianapolis-based game and toy company firmly planted in the tried and true, even as it experiments with the burgeoning mobile-game market.
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$24M makeover readies Historical Society for new era

December 10, 2007
Andrea Muirragui Davis
Indianapolis Historical Society leaders are taking the next step in the evolution of the archival-research-based group. The group's 8-year-old facility, the Indiana History Center, is getting a Disneyesque makeover, as is its programs.
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Knall accepts suspension in unusual SEC case

December 10, 2007
Greg Andrews
Newly public records suggest that securities investigators had far from an airtight insider-trading case against David Knall, the star Indianapolis investment broker who nonetheless agreed to settle the 3-year-old inquiry by agreeing to a one-year suspension. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the pact Dec. 4. In addition to consenting to the suspension, Knall, a managing partner of Stifel Nicolaus & Co., agreed to pay $123,865.
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AllPoints Midwest lands huge leaseRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
The massive new AllPoints Midwest industrial park in Plainfield has landed its first tenant in a mega deal that likely will be the area's biggest industrial lease in 2007. Local logistics firm Prime Distribution Services Inc. has signed a lease for 1.2 million square feet in the 920-acre park, a joint venture between Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. and Browning Investments Inc.
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WellPoint broadens push to improve healthRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
J.K. Wall
WellPoint, Indiana's largest health insurer, is making more noise than ever about what it's doing to help improve Hoosiers' and Americans' health.
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WFYI-TV adds digital channelsRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
WFYI-TV Channel 20 has quietly launched two public television channels, but a third station that's about to launch should pack the biggest punch. The Indiana Channel will feature an all-local lineup, including extensive live coverage of the Indiana General Assembly, judicial proceedings, and arts and cultural programming.
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Kits & Kaboodle founder back at it with Mass Ave storeRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Michael Dabney
Local-toy-store veteran Natalie Canull is now operating a bustling store on Massachusetts Avenue that's narrowly focused on upscale toys--a niche that keeps her out of the path of mass-market heavyweights like Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart.
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IPS superintendent doesn't shy away from challengesRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Tracy Donhardt
Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White, in his third year as head of the state's largest school district, is determined to reverse the long decline of the state's largest school district. The status quo is not an option.
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Regulators seek mortgage reformsRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
State regulators want more firepower to fight mortgage crimes. But a month before the General Assembly convenes, real estate interests are uneasy, fearing lawmakers may go overboard.
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Jones calls quid pro quo insinuation 'ridiculous'Restricted Content

November 26, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
For a preview of how Indiana's 2008 gubernatorial election will play out, look no further than the emerging tussle over entrepreneur Scott Jones' $4 million in awards from the state's 21st Century Research & Technology Fund.
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Lottery director rejects all 6 bidders for lucrative ad accountRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
In an unlucky turn for area ad agencies, Hoosier Lottery officials rebuffed all six bidders for the creative portion of its advertising account. The rejection of all bidders is an unusual occurrence in the ad industry and it has never before happened with the lottery account, one of the most lucrative, high-profile jobs in the state.
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Feds eliminate quirky price-fixing rule for interstate moversRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Chris O'Malley
Interstate moving companies have operated for decades under industrywide price fixing blessed by the federal government. But the system--one Tony Soprano and the boys in the back room of Bada Bing would love--will end Dec. 31, ushering in price cuts and other changes that could affect the cost of a move.
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Ritter's sets new game planRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Cory Schouten
The Indianapolis-based parent of the Ritter's Frozen Custard brand has been stuck in a cold streak lately, facing scores of new ice-cream competitors and a dwindling lineup of franchisees. But RFC Franchising LLC is planning big changes designed to firm up the home-grown chain, which now has 48 stores in nine states, down from more than 60 locations in 2005.
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Big season for Indians' stockholdersRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Indians are rewarding stockholders in the franchise following a season in which revenue and profit grew, thanks to significant increases in ticket, concession and merchandise sales. The higher profit fueled a 75-percent dividend increase this year and an increase of more than $6,500 in the franchise's standing offer to repurchase shares.
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