BUSINESS DIGEST

The Baltimore Sun

Maryland : Credit

CEG put on ratings watch

Constellation Energy Group's feud with state utility regulators prompted Fitch Ratings to put it on negative ratings watch, which is a precursor to a possible downgrade. Fitch said yesterday that a dispute over utility rates and legislation to re-regulate the industry has raised the company's risk of doing business. The ratings watch also applies to Constellation's utility affiliate, Baltimore Gas and Electric. A downgrade would affect the company's borrowing costs, potentially affecting BGE's utility rates. Both Constellation and BGE have a rating of BBB+, which is several notches below the top rating but still considered investment grade.

Paul Adams

Venture capital

Bradmer Foods invests in Adina

Bradmer Foods LLC, a Baltimore venture capital firm that concentrates on midsize organic and specialty food companies, said yesterday that it has invested in Adina for Life. Based in San Francisco, Adina for Life makes organic juice and Fair Trade coffee drinks. Bradmer has also invested in Charles Chocolates, a confectioner in San Francisco, and Organic to Go, a Seattle retailer of prepared foods.

M. William Salganik

Investing

Putnam cuts stake in Jos. A. Bank

One of Jos. A. Bank's largest institutional investors significantly reduced its ownership in the company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Putnam LLC reduced its ownership in the Hampstead men's apparel chain from 1.8 million shares to 1.1 million shares.

Andrea K. Walker

Transportation

Shipments to resume at coal pier

Consol Energy Inc. said it expected to resume coal shipments tomorrow from its Baltimore terminal, which had closed for a month for repairs. Coal exports to Europe were disrupted with the early January shutdown of the 1,300-foot Canton pier, said company Vice President Thomas F. Hoffman. Hoffman said repair work on the pier finished yesterday.

Laura McCandlish

Compensation

Fetting's pay at least $8 million

Mark R. Fetting, newly named as chief executive officer of Legg Mason Inc., will pocket $500,000 in annual salary and "target incentive compensation" of at least $7.5 million for the fiscal year that will end March 31, 2009, according to a filing by the company yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fetting is replacing Raymond A. "Chip" Mason, who will remain chairman of the board. According to Legg's most recent proxy statement, Mason also had a $500,000 salary and collected $6 million in incentive compensation and $7.2 million in stock grants and options for the fiscal year which ended March 31, 2007.

M. William Salganik

Commerce Center

Hopkins Center is first tenant

Johns Hopkins Home Care Group will become the first tenant in Chesapeake Commerce Center, the 185-acre industrial park under way on the former site of General Motors van plant in East Baltimore, park owner Duke Realty Corp. said yesterday. The full-service home care provider will move in March into 58,800 square feet of a new, 117,600-square-foot warehouse on Holabird Avenue.

Lorraine Mirabella

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