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Manufacturing

GERALD BEPKO Commentary: Chicago World's Fair is model for Indiana

Cities seem to progress in stages with moments of decline, growth, exceptional energy, and, at times, a sense of destiny. For many years, Indianapolis has been a city on the move, a little like Chicago in 1893 when it hosted a World's Fair. Chicago sought to shed its frontiertown image and establish itself as a city of global consequence. It beat out New York, St. Louis and Washington, D.C., for the right to host the fair. In hosting it, Chicago...
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Local buyout specialist attracts $43 million: Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co. targets M&A

In 2002, it took Glenn Scolnik and his partners 85 road shows to raise $57 million for their new management buyout fund. They just raised another $43 million with a single presentation. "Our investors agreed we needed more money. It was a very easy fund-raise," said Scolnik, president and CEO of locally based Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co. "You don't want to crow too much, because it's not over 'til it's over. Until you realize an investment, you only have...
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BULLS & BEARS: Americans' lack of savings shouldn't be misconstrued

One trait Americans have perfected is fretting. We are the most anxious of all cultures at a time when our prosperity is at its peak. According to the Federal Reserve Board's flow of funds accounts, Americans' household assets and net worth are at alltime highs, home ownership and homeowners' equity are at all-time highs, and we have more money in the bank and money-market funds than we've ever had. Still, we are popping anti-depressants like popcorn. Even after all the...
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Software firm on the rebound: Move to private status, restructuring help Made2Manage move into profitability

Made2Manage Systems Inc. is beginning to make strides, both in profitability and perception, since completing its metamorphosis from a public to private enterprise 18 months ago. The software maker that staged its initial public offering in 1997 posted a peak loss of $4.7 million four years later amid a soft economy. Its health improved the following year in 2002, when losses totaled $690,000. But by then, Made2Manage executives had concluded an investor-led acquisition would be the best elixir to nurse...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Setbacks smudge image of Obsidian CEO Durham Stock is down Snapping up firms

Tim Durham tells reporters he wants to be the richest man alive. His office sits atop the Bank One Tower, the state's tallest building. For fun, he adds to his collection of four dozen collector cars. But behind the glitz, Durham is trying to untangle what's become a real mess at Obsidian Enterprises Inc., the publicly traded manufacturing and transportation firm he controls and leads. In a regulatory filing last week, Obsidian's independent accounting firm, Minnesota-based McGladrey & Pullen, expressed...
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Auctions bucking tradition: Sales method no longer last resort in real estate

In the not-so-distant past, a real estate auction meant one of only two things. "It used to be who died or who went bankrupt," said Bob Getts, local director of auction services for Indianapolis-based commercial real estate brokerage Colliers Turley Martin Tucker. But over the last decade or so, real estate auctions have come out of the shadows, and are no longer viewed as a last resort for owners desperate to unload a property. These days, no property is considered...
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Celluloid tax credits?: Incentives for movie makers getting bipartisan support

House Bill 1639 would put in place a hefty set of tax incentives for companies making movies, television shows, music videos, commercials and corporate videos on Hoosier soil. Though the bill has bipartisan support in the House, a similar measure was spiked last year because of concerns over lost tax revenue. Even the bill's author thinks there could be a fight over the measure in the Senate. Those who think the idea of drawing movie producers to Indiana is far-fetched...
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Eco suit spawns flurry of litigation: Class actions hit Honeywell in wake of thermostat fight

Industrial powerhouse Honeywell International Inc. suddenly finds itself under siege by an army of aggressive class-action attorneys-all because it decided to mess with a couple of determined entrepreneurs from Lebanon. Attorneys from around the nation in recent months have filed six class action lawsuits in state courts charging New Jersey-based Honeywell used deception to obtain the trademark for its ubiquitous round thermostat, then used its lock on the round-thermostat market to overcharge customers. T h e l eg a l...
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Herff Jones considers global acquisition: Deal to buy George F. Cram Co. is in the works

Sources close to Indianapolis-based George F. Cram Co. said the 139-year-old maker of globes and maps is being sold to Herff Jones Inc., another local company with deep roots. Cram officials did not return phone calls seeking comment. But sources said Cram officials have indicated the sale is done. Officials for Herff Jones-an employee-owned maker of school-related items including caps and gowns, yearbooks and high school diplomas-said the deal is not yet imminent. "We're in conversations, but we're not ready...
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Special Report: MURKY MISSION: Vague directive dilutes 21st Century Fund's high-tech impact

When directors of Indiana's 21st Century Research and Technology Fund convened in May 2003, they'd already doled out $70 million in state grants over three years to fund h i g h - t e c h innovation a n d w e r e preparing to u n l e a s h another $60 million. But you wouldn't know it after reading minutes from that meeting. They show a rollicking debate broke out over the 21st Century's Fund's...
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