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VOL. 130 | NO. 125 | Monday, June 29, 2015

Daily Digest

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Kuehne Nagel Acquiring Memphis Intermodal Firm

Kuehne + Nagel, a Swiss logistics company with a large local presence, is acquiring Memphis-based ReTrans Inc., an intermodal transportation management company with more than $500 million in annual revenue.

Kuehne + Nagel announced Thursday, June 25, that it had entered into an agreement to acquire 100 percent of ReTrans shares at an undisclosed price.

“The transaction with ReTrans underlines our strategy to grow organically and through complementary acquisitions,” said Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel, in a statement. “Our customers will benefit from comprehensive end-to-end supply chain solutions in North America. Combined with our strong seafreight, airfreight and contract logistics operations, this transaction will accelerate our growth.”

Founded in 2002 by David H. Wedaman, ReTrans ranks among the leading U.S. non-asset brokerage providers of intermodal, full-truckload and less-than-truckload services in the U.S. and Canada, operating in 68 locations with more than 300 employees.

ReTrans is expected to open inroads for Kuehne + Nagel into intermodal rail markets, truckload and less-than-truckload brokerage and transportation management services at U.S. and Canadian shippers, extending the Swiss company’s reach past major U.S. ports.

Wedaman, the Memphis-based founder of ReTrans, will take over running the combined operation.

“Our customers will be pleased with the access to Kuehne + Nagel’s global network and to take advantage of the expanded range of services,” Wedaman said.

– Amos Maki

Arrow Transportation Files ror Bankruptcy Reorganization

Arrow Transportation Inc., a Memphis cab company, has filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Arrow, which is headquartered at 901 Vance Ave., filed its petition Thursday, June 26, estimating assets and liabilities at up to $50,000 each and up to 49 creditors. The filing does not specify particular debts or creditors.

Under the terms of Chapter 11, Arrow will remain open and continue to operate during the process.

– Bill Dries

Grizzlies Spending $350,000 on Facilities Improvements

The Memphis Grizzlies have applied for a $350,000 building permit to upgrade facilities at FedExForum, 191 Beale St.

During the June 23 Public Building Authority meeting, the Grizzlies were granted permission to start construction on the first phase of capital projects at the arena.

Improvements will include the addition of a new state-of-the-art video and screening room for coaches and players to analyze game and practice footage, renovation of coaches’ offices and new space for front office personnel.

The PBA holds the title to FedExForum, and the authority’s board must approve any capital expenditures that exceed $500,000. The $350,000 in upgrades approved at the June 23 meeting are being funded by the Grizzlies.

“The Grizzlies organization and (controlling owner) Robert Pera’s commitment to maintain and enhance FedExForum for both fans and players is vital to the Public Building Authority and our community,” said PBA chairman of the board David Levine. “By providing the funding for these improvements, Robert continues to exhibit his long-term commitment to professional basketball in Memphis.”

Jason Wexler, the Grizzlies’ president of business operations, said the facilities improvements “represent another step towards creating the best-in-class basketball organization that Robert Pera envisions.”

The application field with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement lists Montgomery Martin Contractors LLC as the general contractor on the project. Construction is to begin immediately, according to the Grizzlies, and the initial phase is expected to be finished by the time the team reports for training camp in September.

– Don Wade

Shelby County Unemployment Rate Zigzags in May

The unemployment rate in Shelby County was 6.7 percent in May, which was higher than the previous month but lower than the year-ago month.

May’s Shelby County jobless rate was down from 7.5 in May 2014 but above April’s 6.1 percent rate, according to the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development. The statewide unemployment rate in May was 5.8 percent, and the U.S. rate was 5.5 percent.

Last month’s unemployment rate for the Memphis metropolitan area was 6.6 percent, compared to 5.9 percent in April and 7.3 percent in May 2014.

All four of Tennessee’s largest metropolitan areas saw their jobless rates rise in May when compared to April.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in May at 4.5 percent, up from 4.1 percent in April. Knox County was 4.7 percent in May, up from 4.3 the previous month. The Hamilton County May rate was 5.5 percent, up from 4.9 in April.

Statewide, 10 of Tennessee’s 95 counties had a rate of less than 10 percent.

– Amos Maki

DHG’s Memphis Office Tallies Thousands in 'Count the Cans'

The Memphis office of DHG LLP is donating nearly 6,000 canned goods to the Mid-South Food Bank.

The cans were collected through the firm’s annual community service initiative, “Count the Cans.”

DHG’s 40 local volunteers enabled the Food Bank to distribute 8,967 meals across the Mid-South. The Food Bank serves more than 300 charitable feeding programs in 31 counties.

Charlotte-based DHG is a public accounting firm with more than 1,800 employees. In three years of “Count the Cans,” DGH offices in 12 states collectively have raised more than 2.5 million pounds of food for food banks across its footprint.

– Daily News staff

Replica Rings, Bobbleheads Part of Redbirds Promotions

The Memphis Redbirds have added four premium St. Louis Cardinals giveaways to the 2015 promotional schedule.

Beginning in late July, Redbirds fans can come away with a pair of replica championship rings and bobbleheads celebrating former and current stars of the St. Louis Cardinals.

On July 30, the first 1,500 fans can get a bobblehead of Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith. On July 31, the first 1,500 fans will receive 1982 World Series replica rings.

On Aug. 16, the 30th anniversary of the 1985 National League pennant will be celebrated with replica rings. And on Aug. 31, the first 1,500 fans get Matt Carpenter bobbleheads.

– Don Wade

After Denying Records, Tennessee Sheriff to Pay Attorney Fees

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled that the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office owes attorneys’ fees to a man who had to sue in order to obtain public records.

Alex Friedmann requested several public records from the sheriff’s office in February 2014. They included policies relating to prisoners’ medical care and contracts. The sheriff’s office refused to provide the records, insisting that Friedmann make his request in person. After months of back-and-forth, with Friedmann pointing out that citizens are not required to make requests in person, Friedmann sued.

The lower court in June 2014 ordered the sheriff’s office to produce the records but declined to award attorneys’ fees. The Court of Appeals on Wednesday said the lower court erred. The sheriff’s office does owe attorneys’ fees for willfully withholding the records.

– The Associated Press

Consumer Sentiment Up to Highest Level Since January

Consumer sentiment rose this month to the highest level since January, suggesting that spending will strengthen this year.

The University of Michigan says its consumer sentiment index rose to 96.1 this month from 90.7 in May. The June reading was the highest since January’s 98.1. The index is up from 82.5 a year ago.

For the first six months of 2015, consumer optimism improved at the fastest pace since 2004, three years before the Great Recession, said Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Michigan survey.

Curtin says the readings are consistent with a 3 percent increase in consumer spending this year. That would be the fastest pace since 2006. The Commerce Department reported this week that consumer spending rose at an annual pace of 2.1 percent from January through March.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 28 290 16,197
MORTGAGES 33 165 10,087
BUILDING PERMITS 184 608 38,544
BANKRUPTCIES 33 125 7,597