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VOL. 127 | NO. 123 | Monday, June 25, 2012

Daily Digest

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FedEx Files $30M App to Build on Airways Blvd.

FedEx Express is moving ahead with plans to build on Airways Boulevard. The company, a division of FedEx Corp., has applied to the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for a $30.2 million building permit to construct a mixed-use building at 3851 Airways Blvd. Flintco Inc. is listed as the project’s general contractor.

FedEx Express in February announced plans to invest $142 million to consolidate flight simulators and training devices into a new Air Operations Training Center adjacent to its 3855 Airways location and to build an additional 12-bay building for training equipment. The plans, as they stood in February, would retain 333 existing jobs at 3855 Airways.

The just-filed $30 million permit application comes within days of FedEx Corp. reporting plans for a “cost reduction program” at Express in hopes of improving margins there. Executives made that announcement during a quarterly earnings call with analysts Tuesday, June 19, but said they won’t talk about the particulars until the fall. (For details, as well as analyst reaction, see The Daily News’ Friday, June 22, edition.)

FedEx Express has been busy expanding its network recently, with five acquisitions since February 2011. In late May, it agreed to buy Brazilian courier Rapidao Cometa Logistica e Transportes SA, a deal executives expect to close in the third quarter. Earlier in the month, it closed a deal to buy TATEX, a business-to-business French express transportation company.

In April, the company announced it would buy the Polish courier company Opek Sp.z.o.o. And in February 2011, FedEx bought AFL Pvt. Limited and AFL’s affiliate, Unifreight India Pvt. Ltd., making the logistics and distribution business part of FedEx Express.

In addition, on May 30, FedEx announced Express will establish a new North Pacific regional hub at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan. The hub, which will open in spring 2014, will serve as a consolidation point for shipments from northern Asia to the United States.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Delta Announces Additional August Cuts

Delta Air Lines will mark the one-year anniversary of its cuts to service at Memphis International Airport by cutting additional service at its Memphis hub.

The Atlanta-based global carrier announced Friday, June 22, it will reduce its Memphis operation from 150 daily flights to approximately 125 daily flights.

The schedule changes will take effect in late August and early September, according to an email from Trebor Banstetter of Delta Corporate Communications.

The announcement doesn’t mention specific air service that will be affected.

“The reductions will come almost entirely from frequency adjustments,” Banstetter said, indicating Delta will make the cuts primarily in the number of flights to and from a particular destination without necessarily eliminating all service between Memphis and the other destination.

Delta cited “the continued high cost of jet fuel and changes to Delta’s fleet” for the Memphis cuts.

Since announcing the August 2011 cuts at Memphis and other airports, Delta has pursued a strategy of permanently reducing capacity in some markets with a vow by CEO Richard Anderson that the capacity will not return even if the price of fuel drops, as it has been recently.

The original round of cuts was mainly in regional service at Memphis.

– Bill Dries

Verizon, Comcast Team up to Offer Services

Verizon Wireless and Comcast are teaming up in Memphis and Southaven to deliver – each other’s services.

Both companies are offering those services and a variety of other incentives for new and existing customers in Memphis, Collierville, Cordova and Southaven.

Based on the package chosen, customers of both Comcast and Verizon Wireless could qualify for a variety of offers and incentives including Visa prepaid cards valued up to $300, a complementary 12-month subscription to Xfinity Streampix and Comcast HD DVR at no additional cost for six months and/or a complementary 12-month upgrade to Xfinity Internet service Blast.

In addition to Tennessee and Mississippi, Comcast and Verizon Wireless are expanding the offer to several cities across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan and South Carolina.

– Andy Meek

Lamplighter Montessori Offers Toddler Program

Lamplighter Montessori School will offer a toddler program for children 18 months to 3 years old starting this fall.

The school is currently taking applications for the class that begins Aug. 15. The development of the toddler curriculum is accompanied by a new space on the school campus for the program as well as the hiring of a new teacher, Stephanie Bennett, with experience teaching toddlers as well as children through the fourth grade.

– Bill Dries

Nucor Completes Acquisition of Skyline Steel

Nucor Corp. has completed its acquisition of Skyline Steel LLC of Parsippany, N.J., at a purchase price of $605 million.

Nucor, which has a steel plant in Memphis, bought Skyline and Skyline’s subsidiaries in the deal in which Skyline becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Nucor and keeps its headquarters in Parsippany.

Skyline is a steel foundation distributor that works in marine construction as well as bridge and highway construction, storm protection and other types of heavy civil construction. It serves North America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

– Bill Dries

Country Songwriters Event Benefits St. Jude, Le Bonheur

The Darryl Worley and Friends Songwriters’ Event featuring country music songwriters Darryl Worley, Mark D. Sanders, Rob Crosby and Jim “Moose” Brown will take place Tuesday, June 26, at 7 p.m. at Bumpus Harley-Davidson, 325 S. Byhalia Road in Collierville.

The performance benefits the Darryl Worley Foundation, which supports a variety of organizations, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the Darryl Worley Cancer Treatment Center.

Through six albums and 20 singles, Worley has produced a wide-ranging catalog of music. Sanders, meanwhile, has written songs such as “No News,” performed by Lonestar and “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

Crosby has written singles for Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Brooks and Dunn, Trace Adkins, Carl Perkins and Paul Simon. He has opened shows for artists such as Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Bonnie Raitt.

Brown is a Grammy award winner whose songs have been recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Martina McBride, James Otto and others. He has played piano and keyboard on albums for Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Hank Williams Jr. and others.

Tickets are $75 each, and second-tier tables for eight can be purchased for $700. A $1,200 Golden Circle Table includes a private meet and greet.

– Aisling Maki

Oil Rises Slightly After Sharp Drop-Off

The price of oil rose Friday following a two-day drop that pushed crude to its lowest level since October.

Benchmark U.S. crude increased $1.32 to $79.52 a barrel, though it’s down more than 5 percent for the week. Brent crude, which is used to price oil imported by many U.S. refineries, climbed $1.52 to $90.76 a barrel.

Prices rose Friday after leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Spain said they would push for a $163 billion growth package. Any revival of Europe’s flagging economy could boost energy demand in the region and increase oil consumption.

– The Associated Press

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