Articles

NOTIONS: How to use Colts euphoria to enhance a community

After the Indianapolis Colts beat the New England Patriots to win a trip to Super Bowl XLI, my fiancée and I jumped up and down in the living room and pumped our fists in the air. The cat, who was scared out of his wits, escaped up the stairs. After a celebratory phone call from my son Zach in Fort Wayne, we threw on our coats and jogged the six blocks from our downtown home to the RCA Dome, where…

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Corporate shopping spree: Massive Guidant deal helps make 2006 a record-setting year for local M&A activity

Last year was a record-shattering period for the Indianapolis-area merger and acquisition market, thanks in large part to the loss of one public corporation. Guidant Corp.’s acquisition by Boston Scientific Corp. for $28.4 billion last year and the related sale of its vascular business to Abbott Laboratories for $4.1 billion made the 2006 Big Deals list bigger than ever. That’s because the two deals made up about 85 percent of the $38.5 billion of M&A activity tracked down by the…

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A lonely number for IPOs in Indiana: Calumet joins short list of Indiana companies to go public this decade

A little-known refining and petroleum products company on the city’s west side has the distinction of being the only company in the state to go public in 2006. Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP filed its initial public offering last January. It completed the process in June by selling 5.7 million shares of stock at $21.50 each, ultimately raising $122.5 million. Shares since have nearly doubled in value, thanks in part to rising prices in the petroleum industry. While Calumet’s decision…

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Doctor report cards may boost care, pay: New pay-for-performance model prepares for testing

The designers of a pay-for-performance plan for doctors are about to put their theories to work. The Quality Health 1st of Indiana program will start testing its unique system for measuring performance in the next three months, and it might lead to bonus payments for doctors by the second half of 2007. Big in-state insurers like M-Plan Inc. and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana back the initiative, and several large doctor groups have signed up, too, said…

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VIEWPOINT: Let’s improve the health of working poor

On a cold and rainy day and wearing only a thin jacket, Maria walked eight miles to get help. She was pregnant and seeking prenatal care. Her husband had deserted her. The pervasiveness of unemployed and working-poor families presents a growing challenge. Most are underinsured or have no health insurance at all. That means our charity-care system is stretched to the maximum. One north-side center that provides care for the uninsured and underinsured has seen a 15-percent increase in patients…

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INVESTING: Congress’ first 100 hours suggest we’re in for long year

Investors could get shafted from the big guys at the top. The most powerful people in America potentially could fleece the average investor, and the only recourse we might have is hope. No, I am not talking about the outrageous but legal (a contract was signed) exit pay package of the former CEO of Home Depot. I am not talking about the options scandal that eventually wrapped up Steve Jobs from Apple, even though he is worth every penny the…

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INVESTING: Recipe for 2007 success: Avoid overheated sectors

In a way, 2007 is starting off right where last year ended. Large-cap Chinese stocks (up about 25 percent since I mentioned them here in October) tore it up in the first day of trading. I don’t know how long these Chinese stocks can keep cranking, but I have a feeling that, by the end of this year, big-cap stocks in America will have outperformed most foreign markets, including China. Keeping an eye on expectations can be a great way…

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St. Francis plans another south-side growth spurt: Hospital system looks to build on 30 acres adjacent to Indianapolis campus

The youth soccer teams that fill the playing fields near St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis will take their matches elsewhere next spring to accommodate another expansion by the burgeoning hospital. St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers wants to build on 30 acres of land near the south-side hospital and Interstate 65, according to paperwork filed with Marion County. An acute-care bed tower, medical offices and a cancer center are among the expansion possibilities for the campus, which the Beech Grove-based hospital system…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Think the state’s awash in cash? Think again

Most observers assume there will be a confrontation between House Democrats, led by Speaker Pat Bauer, D-South Bend, and Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels this session. They suggest it’s like watching a hockey game and just waiting for a big fight. But confrontation need not be a synonym for breakdown , and while legislative Democrats and Daniels have some different philosophies about the role of government, they also have some basic agreements on just what should be accomplished before the end…

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Buyout frenzy hits Indiana firms:

The year closed with two multibilliondollar buyouts of Indiana public companies-Carmel-based Adesa Inc. and Warsaw-based Biomet Inc. It was a fitting way to wrap up what was a record year for U.S. buyouts, many of them launched by deep-pocketed private equity firms. Adesa, an operator of auto auctions, announced Dec. 22 that it will be sold to a group of private-equity investors, including New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc., for $3.7 billion. Four days earlier, Biomet, a maker of orthopedic…

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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: IBJ has big plans for coming year

This has been a strong year for your local business weekly. We take seriously our mission of providing readers with the best, most in-depth coverage of local business, so it is with a sense of both pride and gratitude that I report on our most successful year ever. Editor Tom Harton has called 2006 the Year of the Award. This year, IBJ won 18 news awards-eight of them gold-from three different organizations. Our coverage was recognized nine times by our…

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Small biz unsure about ’07: Legislative agenda is clear, but advocates still worried

Big changes at the Statehouse, including a shift to Democratic control in the House of Representatives and a leadership switch in the Senate, mean there are more unknowns and more unpredictability. Meanwhile, top issues such as health insurance, tax reforms and regulatory changes provide a minefield of concerns for small-business owners. New health insurance mandates could add to already skyrocketing premiums. New local taxing authority could increase the burden on small businesses. Changes to the state’s regulatory structure could dramatically…

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INVESTING: Market’s malaise provides opportunity to look ahead

The stock market is experiencing a bout of hemming and hawing (that’s a savvy Wall Street term) that easily could last the rest of this year. I highlighted this potential weakness, especially in the tech sector, a few weeks ago. I am using this time out to rehash some of the battles of 2006 and, more important, get ready to position for 2007. Stay with me and see how we’re going to make 2007 pay off for us, big time….

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Courting continues between Clarian, Morgan: Both sides look to build on months-old agreement

A working relationship Clarian Health Partners started in March with Morgan Hospital & Medical Center might evolve into something much bigger in the new year. Representatives of both systems say they want to strengthen their regional development agreement, and they count an acquisition of the county-owned hospital by Clarian-the largest hospital system in the state-as one of many possibilities they might examine. “I think both sides have considered a number of options from clinical affiliations to consolidation,” Clarian spokesman Jon…

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Standard Management continues perilous skid: Company reports more losses; stock value sinks

Standard Management Corp. stock peaked five days into 2006 at $1.55. It’s spent the rest of the year in a free fall that observers believe will culminate with the company’s filing for bankruptcy. The Carmel-based pharmaceuticals distributor reported a $10 million loss in the third quarter, bringing losses for the first nine months of 2006 to $14 million. The red ink, along with executive turnover and a string of failed acquisitions, has sapped investor confidence. The company’s shares, which traded…

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Does gender matter in politics?: Despite high-profile wins, politics still remains a male-dominated field

1992 was dubbed the “Year of the Woman,” when four women were elected to the U.S. Senate, but 2006 may be seen as the beginning of a new women’s political movement, says Marie Wilson, president of The White House Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that’s working to advance women in political office. Indiana has made some strides, but 85 years after women won the hard-fought right to vote, the number of women in elected office at the national level hasn’t…

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INVESTING: Drug stocks are out of favor-so snap up the bargains

One of the biggest companies in the world just dropped a bomb. Investors got scared. I am going to tell you why Wall Street took the news the wrong way, and what it means to one of the most important industries to consumers. In the 1990s, Pfizer made a series of acquisitions that transformed the company into the second-largest drug firm in the world. Pfizer is worth about three times Eli Lilly’s market value. Until now, Pfizer employed more than…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Legislative process has its own language

It’s probably not wise to admit this in a family-friendly publication, but one of my favorite comedians always has been George Carlin. The man has a genius for zooming in on the language we hear and use every day and finding nuances and symbolism that we never knew was there. Every time I land in an airplane, I have to laugh, because George Carlin reminded us how crazy it is for the pilot who landed at the same time we…

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Bipartisan control will force compromises: With campaigns over, legislators get down to business on new budget, property-tax relief and other issues

In his 2007 legislative preview for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, State Rep. Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, opened with a joke: After a politician’s death, he found himself standing before the pearly gates. St. Peter offered the politician a choice of heaven or hell, prefaced by a brief preview of each. During his visit to hell, the politician was surprised to discover all his friends there. What’s more, it was a terrific place to be-the most fun and raucous party he’d…

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