Day: April 25, 2016

Comfy CowComfy Cow: 4:10 p.m., Saturday, behind the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, where the premium Louisville ice cream maker’s mobile stand was busy during Thunder Over Louisville. Boulevard enjoyed a large serving of Secretariat, which the company describes this way:

Comfy Cow joined forces with Penny Chenery and the Secretariat team to make this special commemorative ice cream honoring Big Red. Paying homage to the iconic blue and white silks of this super horse, this treat includes Barry Callebaut white chocolate ice cream loaded with chunks of our very own homemade blueberry cobbler.

Launched in 2007, Comfy Cow now has eight locations, including five in Louisville.

$16M, down from $20M: Mile-long front drive designed by Olmsted

An occasional look at premium homes on the market.

The address: 5802 River Road, 40059. Asking price: $16 million — and that’s down from $20 million in September, according to Zillow. Agency: Hoffman International Properties. The pitch:

An opportunity to own and live in an historic estate, only eight miles from downtown on 158 acres with four homes. The main house is 16,000 square feet, built in 1905. There’s a 3,500 square-foot carriage house, two 900 square-foot caretaker houses and an indoor pool. The 20,000 square-foot barn has 24 stalls and an apartment. The most unique feature is the front drive, which is about one mile long and was by the Olmsted Bros. around the time they designed the Louisville parks system. This estate offers the upmost in privacy and seclusion with great potential for development.

Add Donald Trump, and 2016’s Barnstable-Brown would be on fire

Republican Presidential Candidates Particpate in Fox News Debate in Iowa
Kelly

Smokin’ hot “Chicago Fire” actor Taylor Kinney, Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly — who’s gone toe-to-toe with White House aspirant Donald Trump — plus “Arrow” star Stephen Amell are among the dozens of celebrities expected at the annual Barnstable-Brown Party on Derby Eve. The event, now in its 29th year, has raised and donated about $11.2 million to the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Research Center at the University of Kentucky over the past nine years (CJ). Tickets for the black-tie May 6 party at the Barnstable home in the Highlands are $1,075 per person. The full guest list so far, according to WDRB. The party is a production of Diamond Derby Inc., a non-profit that makes its annual IRS tax return public under federal law; here’s the one for 2014.

Related: 12 Emily Post-approved rules for dinner parties, according to Vanity Fair, which is hosting its own Derby party this year for the first time (CJ).

Sound the bugle: Breeders’ cup is Louisville-bound; BBB’s got a new chief, and Gannett’s on the prowl

Latest business news, with a special focus on big Louisville employers; updated at 4:42 p.m.

CHURCHILL DOWNS said this morning it would host the Breeders’ Cup in 2018; the high-profile two-day series of races brings together top American and international thoroughbreds. The track has hosted the event eight times, most recently in 2010 and 2011 (Wall Street Journal).

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU chief Charles Mattingly is retiring after 20 years as head of the staff of the organization that serves Louisville, Southern Indiana and much of western Kentucky. Reanna Smith-Hamblin, the agency’s vice president of communications, is replacing him (CJ). The press release. Mattingly was paid about $143,000 a year, according to the BBB’s 2014 tax return, the most recent available on GuideStar.

Courier-Journal logoGANNETT has offered to buy the Tribune Co., which owns some of the nation’s largest dailies, including The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, for $815 million cash. The surprise offer unveiled an hour ago for Tribune’s eight papers represents a 63% premium over the company’s closing price Friday. The offer could ignite a bidding war for some of the dailies, especially the Hollywood-centric Los Angeles title, which has previously attracted interest from several high-profile investors (CNBC). In a letter to Tribune released this morning, Gannett said it had made its offer April 12, and was “disappointed” that Tribune had rejected it out of hand. The company, which in addition to The Courier-Journal and USA Today, owns about 100 other dailies, made clear that it would not give up without a fight. “As we have indicated previously,” the letter says, “we would prefer to negotiate a transaction with Tribune, but we have determined that making your stockholders aware of our all-cash proposal is necessary, given Tribune’s attempts to delay constructive engagement.” (Press release, including letter.) But Tribune’s board issued its own statement, saying it’s “committed to acting in the best interests of shareholders and will respond to Gannett as quickly as feasible (statement). In pre-market trading, Tribune’s shares soared 61%, suggesting Wall Street doesn’t expect a higher bid yet. Gannett’s stock was up 2%, pre-market.

GE: A union that represents 200 workers says it will fight efforts by the company to outsource work at Appliance Park (Insider Louisville).

HOME SALES in Louisville jumped 12% last month to 911 houses and condos vs. 812 in March 2015, the local Realtors Association says. The median price rose less than 1% to $149,000 vs. $148,000. All data including for Bullitt and Oldham counties in press release.

In other news,  U.S. stock index futures traded lower this morning, ahead of major central bank meetings and the busiest week of first-quarter earnings season.