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Top Louisiana health official to those fighting Ebola: Don’t come to Sunday’s conference in New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON --  Department of Health and Hospitals Sec. Kathy Kliebert speaks on behalf of HB388 by State Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, in front of the House Committee on Health and Welfare on Wednesday at the Louisiana State Capitol.

Louisiana’s top health official is warning researchers and medical professionals who’ve fought Ebola in West Africa to stay away from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s annual conference in New Orleans. Continue reading →

Amedisys -- one of country’s largest home health companies -- beats analysts’ expectations in 3Q

A better-than-expected third quarter boosted home health giant Amedisys Inc.’s shares to a three-year high Wednesday, as its stock briefly spiked by more than 19 percent before easing back. The Baton Rouge-based company reported a third-quarter profit of $8.4 million, or 26 cents per share, easily whipping past Wall Street analysts’ projections. Stock analysts surveyed… Continue reading →

Advocate publisher John Georges says he’s not running for governor; owning newspaper a public service without holding office

Advocate publisher John Georges

The newspaper business provides opportunities for those willing to introduce new ideas without throwing out key elements that make for great journalism, Advocate Publisher John Georges told a Loyola University forum Tuesday night. “I’m one of those disrupters, outsiders that bring expertise from the outside in a way that doesn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater,”… Continue reading →

Sazerac says Fireball not being recalled in North America

New Orleans-based Sazerac Co. assured customers on Tuesday that its Fireball Cinnamon Whisky is not being recalled in North America and is safe to drink. Late last week, Sazerac was contacted by its European bottler regarding a small recipe-related compliance issue in Finland, the company said. Regulations for product formulations are different in… Continue reading →

Cleco posts profit gain short of analysts’ expectations

Pineville-based Cleco Corp. reported a third-quarter profit of $70.8 million, or $1.17 per share, up from $66.4 million, or $1.09 per share, a year ago. Despite the improvement, Cleco’s results fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. Stock analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had forecast earnings of $1.23 per share. Cleco Chief Executive Officer Bruce Williamson… Continue reading →

Chiquita OKs $681M deal with 2 Brazilian bidders

Associated Press file photo -- Banana producer Chiquita Brands International Inc. on Monday said it has agreed to be acquired by two Brazilian companies for about $681 million.

Chiquita has sealed a deal to be acquired by two Brazilian companies for about $681 million, with the U.S.-based banana producer expected to go private by the end of this year or early next. The deal comes just days after the fresh-produce company’s shareholders rejected plans to merge with Fyffes, another major… Continue reading →

Migrant workers fill the gap on Louisiana farms

Advocate photo by ANNIE OURSO -- Cousins Aurelio, left, and Roberto Nuñez work on a sugar cane cutter on a farm in White Castle during harvesting season on H-2A visas.

Cousins Roberto and Aurelio Nuñez came to Louisiana to find what they couldn’t in Mexico: a way to adequately provide for their families. For up to 10 months each year, the Nuñezes and thousands of other Latinos leave home to work on Louisiana farms as documented temporary agricultural workers — H-2A… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Oct. 26, 2014

Tom Boon, of Ford, Bacon & Davis LLC

Ford, Bacon & Davis LLC, with seven offices in Louisiana and South Carolina, is opening an office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Tom Boon will be senior vice president and general manager, Saudi Arabia, to develop operations there. Boon previously was location manager for Saudi Arabia… Continue reading →

People in Business for Oct. 26, 2014

Bonny Botts, Campus Federal Credit Union

Bonny Botts has been named vice president of marketing at Campus Federal Credit Union. Botts was account executive with GTECH Corp. in Providence, Rhode Island, and previously was vice president of marketing and public relations at Louisiana Lottery Corp. and marketing director and assistant vice president at Union Planters Bank of Louisiana.… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Oct. 26, 2014

Bill Balhoff, of Postlethwaite & Netterville APAC

Adams and Reese received the 2014 Corporate Commitment to Diversity Award from the New Orleans Society for Human Resource Management. The award recognizes outstanding practices of diversity initiatives and awareness in the workplace and the community. The law firm also has received the 2014 Louisiana State Bar Association Human Rights… Continue reading →

Business Meetings for Oct. 26, 2014

LEGAL SECRETARIES OF NEW ORLEANS & THE RIVER REGION WHEN: Tuesday, 6 p.m. WHERE: Sandro’s Trattoria, 6601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie SPEAKERS: Paulette Zibilich, law firm administration, Herman Herman & Katz on “Professionalism” COST: $25… Continue reading →

Seven Louisiana metro areas post job gains

Seven of Louisiana’s eight metropolitan areas gained nonfarm jobs over the year ended Sept. 30, according to seasonally adjusted figures released Friday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Numbers for the metro areas’ job categories were not seasonally adjusted, but they showed gains in all but the Alexandria area, which lost 700 work slots.… Continue reading →

Chiquita shareholders reject Fyffes merger

Shareholders of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Chiquita Brands International spurned the company’s board of directors Friday, voting down a planned merger with Irish produce company Fyffes. That leaves Chiquita only days to decide whether to accept an all-cash bid by two Brazilian firms to buy Chiquita, which the board has rejected three times.… Continue reading →

Plan would sell stock to fund natural gas liquefication facility

The California company planning a $9.3 billion natural gas liquefaction facility in Cameron Parish hopes to fund the project by selling stock in the venture. SCT&E LNG’s first step will be to raise $40 million from a select group of investors over the next few weeks, according to Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Greg Michaels. The… Continue reading →

Owner reports $12.2 million loss on River Parishes Hospital sale

Photo provided by River Parishes Hospital -- River Parishes Hospital in LaPlace has been aquired by Ochsner.

LifePoint Hospitals Inc. reported a $12.2 million loss on the pending sale of River Parishes Hospital in Laplace, the company reported Friday. The write down includes property, equipment and goodwill. The price for the hospital was not disclosed. LifePoint included the charge in its third-quarter results. The company reported its third-quarter profit fell 15.4… Continue reading →

Rain CII makes post-Katrina return, opens $5.6M corporate headquarters in Covington

Rain CII, which was displaced to Kingwood, Texas, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, has opened its $5.6 million corporate headquarters in Covington. Rain CII, which produces materials used in aluminum, steel and titanium dioxide, announced its plans to return to Louisiana in October 2013. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday. Its new headquarters is in the… Continue reading →

Xavier of Louisiana receives millions in grant money to benefit biomedical students

The National Institutes of Health.

Xavier University of Louisiana received a $19.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand student participation in biomedical programs. The award is part of a $240 million NIH investment involving more than 10 institutions. Xavier and other recipients will establish a national consortium to train, mentor and encourage students from underrepresented groups to enter… Continue reading →

BP makes deepwater Gulf oil discovery

BP has struck oil at the Guadalupe prospect 180 miless off the coast of Louisiana in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The company said the discovery well, on Keathley Canyon Block 10, was drilled by operator Chevron on behalf of the Guadalupe co-owners. The well encountered significant oil pay in Paleogene age Wilcox Sands.… Continue reading →

HRI Properties getting up to $150 million for growth

HRI Properties LLC in New Orleans is getting up to $150 million of growth capital from affiliates of Almanac Realty Investors LLC. HRI said it will use the funds to acquire, redevelop and develop mixed-use projects, consisting of apartments and hotels within the urban core of top 25 metropolitan areas. The funds also provide HRI with… Continue reading →

Times-Picayune to lay off 100 workers; print paper in Mobile

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- 3800 Howard Avenue has been the home of the Times-Picayune since 1967. The paper stopped publishing daily in 2012 after 175 years to focus on online efforts. Tuesday, October 21, 2014 the organization announced layoffs and that it is moving it's printing to an Alabama facility.

The Times-Picayune announced plans on Tuesday to lay off an additional 100 workers and abandon its longtime headquarters on Howard Avenue as part of a move to consolidate its printing operations in Alabama. The outsourcing of the print operation is expected to occur in late 2015 or early 2016, according to an announcement posted on Continue reading →

Textron lays off 200 from Slidell military plants

Textron plans to lay off about 200 workers from its two Slidell armored vehicle plants, saying it’s temporarily shutting down production. Workers were told earlier this month that they would be laid off effective Nov. 3. Company spokesman Tom Williams said Textron, an industrial conglomerate based in Providence, Rhode Island, is replanning… Continue reading →

Rouses, Associated Grocers reach settlement in legal dispute

Advocate staff file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Thibodaux-based Rouses Supermarket, with one of its 40 stores located in Lafayette, reached an undisclosed settlement in legal dispute with grocery supplier Associated Grocers in Baton Rouge.

Thibodaux-based retail grocery chain Rouses Enterprises and Baton Rouge-based wholesale grocery supplier Associated Grocers have reached an undisclosed settlement in a legal dispute after three days of trial last week. “The Rouse family is very satisfied with this resolution,” managing partner Donny Rouse said in a statement Monday. He said terms of the settlement are confidential.… Continue reading →

Financiers help startups get off the ground

Clayton White, South Coast Angel Fund LLC

As New Orleans snags plaudits for nurturing business startups, investors who have backed many of the enterprises also are finding support in groups that make their investment choices easier and may boost their chances of earning big returns. Help for the financiers has come with the growth of investor groups that not only attract money for startups but… Continue reading →

Financial investors look to the next level

Jon Atkinson, South Coast Angel Fund LLC

Local investors say what the burgeoning New Orleans angel community needs now is a stimulating jolt, such as the acquisition of one of their client companies by a larger firm that pays them seven to 10 times the size of their original investment. “We are on the clock for a big exit as a community,” said Jon… Continue reading →

Spreading their wings

Most of the estimated $120 billion that’s injected into new and early stage businesses each year comes from friends and family of the entrepreneurs, but as much as $20 billion comes out of the pockets of individuals known as angel investors. Often, they are people who have accumulated wealth through their own enterprises and now wish to participate… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Oct. 19, 2014

The law firm of Johnson, Johnson, Barrios & Yacoubian in New Orleans has changed its name to Johnson, Yacoubian & Paysse with the appointment of René S. Paysse Jr. as a partner. The announcement was made by Edward S. Johnson and Alan J. Yacoubian,… Continue reading →

People in Business for Oct. 19, 2014

HV Nagendra, of Roy Anderson Corp.

HV Nagendra has been named director of health care at Roy Anderson Corp.’s New Orleans office. Nagendra was senior associate and project manager with Blitch Knevel Architects.  … Continue reading →