Day: June 1, 2016

Amazon and Domino’s were on the same promotional page for National Best Friend’s day.

Not so much at Pizza Hut . . .

. . . or Papa John’s:

Schneider feud erupts again: heiresses attack heiresses over ‘desperate grab at power’

Galt House
The Galt House is the jewel in the Schneider real estate crown.

Well, that ceasefire didn’t last long.

Reigniting a family fight, Schneider Co. CEO Mary Moseley and her sister Dawn Hitron have accused their other two sisters of a “desperate grab at power and control power play” to prevent the sale of their late father’s $280 million real estate empire, The Courier-Journal is now reporting. In a blistering claim filed in a long-running lawsuit, they’re demanding their siblings pay them damages for “derailing” the sale of the Galt House hotel downtown and other properties.

The battle had appeared over just two weeks ago, when Moseley, 66, and Hitron, 62, a homemaker, agreed in Jefferson Circuit Court to drop a plan to sell the real estate before the end of May, when a trust expired and control flowed to all 24 of Schneider’s beneficiaries, according to the newspaper.

Al Schneider

But in the new 49-page claim filed Tuesday, the two sisters want to recover damages for the thwarted sale of the assets to Columbia Sussex for $135 million, which they said was far in excess of appraised value, the CJ says. The hotel is the marquee property their father, Al Schneider, bequeathed to his children when he died in 2001 at 86.

The fight has already dragged on through four courts and required 10 lawyers. It’s divided the four sisters — three of whom live in adjacent houses on the same block off Newburg Road; a fourth is just a mile away — in a business drama rivaling the 1980s Bingham family meltdown over their media business. The two sisters on the other side of Moseley and Hitron are Christy Coe, 64, a nurse practitioner, and Nancy O’Hearn, 70, who owns an event planning company.

Once the nation’s glittering disco ball star, Omega’s now barely stayin’ alive

Disco ball
$25 at Amazon.

During the late 1970s, when the Bee Gees made Saturday Night Fever a box-office hit, Louisville’s Omega National Products factory on Baxter Avenue nearly cornered the market, churning out 90% of the spinning dance floor ornaments in the U.S.

“That was the heyday, I’m telling you,” said Yolanda Baker, now 69, and the last of dozens of women still making the mirrored globes by hand at Omega, according to The Wall Street Journal. These days, production is down to about 15 or 20 a month, nearly all Baker’s work. The culprit: overseas competition has cut prices; a 12-inch Omega ball retails for about $135 vs. one made in China that’s $25 on Amazon. (Of course, Boulevard notes, it doesn’t help that mirror balls are nowhere on Omega’s product list.)

As for the Bee Gees, the city’s still breakin’ and everybody’s shakin‘ — on video.

B-F closes $405M BenRiach deal; Bezos says Amazon isn’t gunning for UPS — but he wants ‘better prices’; and Taco’s new Chalupa is one of ‘grossest fast food items ever offered’

BenRiach Distillery
The distillery is in the Highlands of northern Scotland.

A news summary, focused on big employers; updated 3:47 p.m.

BROWN-FORMAN said today it had completed its previously announced acquisition of Scotland’s BenRiach Distillery Co. for £281 million ($405 million). The deal includes three BenRiach labels and brings Brown-Forman back into the single-malt scotch whisky business. “The GlenDronach, BenRiach, and Glenglassaugh single-malt brands are among the finest single malts in the world,” CEO Paul Varga said in a statement. The purchase includes three distilleries, a bottling plant, and the headquarters in Edinburgh. BenRiach was founded in 1826 — 44 years before Brown-Forman was launched (press release). Today’s announcement follows a published report two weeks ago that the Louisville spirits and wine company is considering selling its Finlandia vodka business amid a broader effort to focus on whiskey. Brown-Forman’s Louisville operations.

Jeff Bezos

AMAZON CEO Jeff Bezos told a high-profile technology conference last night that the retail giant isn’t aiming to compete head-on with UPS and other shippers it now partners with. Instead, Amazon wants to pick up the slack when delivery services can’t handle the final stretch. He cited India and the U.K. as examples. “We have had to take over a lot of the last-mile delivery in the U.K. over the last several years,” he told the Code Conference, in wide-ranging remarks. “The Royal Mail ran out of capacity at peak” (Bloomberg). Bezos did, however, hint at another motivation: wrangling better terms on delivery contracts. “Better prices on transportation would be acceptable to us,” he deadpanned (Recode). The Amazon founder was “equally comic, candid, and clever as he offered his views on artificial intelligence, data privacy, free speech, leadership, streaming video, and aerospace” (Fortune).

Elsewhere, Amazon is hiring more than 1,000 workers for its new 855,000 square-foot distribution center opening this summer outside San Antonio; the company already has six other Texas centers, including another one in the San Antonio area (Houston Chronicle). Amazon has five centers in Kentucky, including two in the Louisville area employing 6,000. And with more than 20,000 workers, UPS is Louisville’s biggest private employer.

TACO BELL‘s newest menu offering — a Chalupa with a fried chicken shell — is one of the “grossest fast food items ever offered” (New York Daily News). How it’s made (BuzzFeed). Also, the company has started construction on a restaurant in Nitro, West Virginia (WSAZ).

Ford logoFORD recalled 1.9 million vehicles with certain Takata passenger-side frontal airbag inflators after Takata said the inflators were defective. The vehicles affected are 2007-2010 Ford Edge; 2006-2011 Ford Fusion; 2005-2011 Ford Mustang; 2007-2011 Ford Ranger; 2007-2010 Lincoln MKX, and 2006-2011 Lincoln MKZ, Zephyr and Mercury Milan (Reuters and press release); all about Takata’s airbag scandal. Separately, Ford said total U.S. vehicle sales in May declined 6% from a year ago, to 235,997. That was despite F-Series pickup sales posting a 9% gain, and van sales hitting their best May since 1978 (press release). Ford shares closed down 2.9% at $13.10.

KINDRED said it completed a deal where it’s buying four leased hospitals in Indianapolis, Houston, Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo., and selling two in Cleveland, one owned and another leased. The Louisville hospital and nursing home giant said it paid about $800,000 cash and additional cash consideration to Select Medical Holdings Corp. as part of the deal (press release). Separately, Kindred said it’s closing its Bashford Manor area nursing and rehabilitation center, where 153 employees care for 110 residents (Courier-Journal).

PAPA JOHN’S will be one of the first U.S. restaurant brands to enter Tunisia; it’s the second African country after Egypt to have one of the pizza chain’s franchises. The country in North Africa only recently opened its borders to franchising (Meat & Poultry). More about Tunisia.

GE is scaling back plans for a factory that will build big gas-powered engines in Welland, Ontario; the factory is now in Waukesha, Wisc. The company will create just 150 jobs at the new site, down from 350 at Waukesha, when it first announced the move in September. GE is taking advantage of tax incentives (CBC).

TEXAS ROADHOUSE got only a so-so review in Augusta, Ga., partly because of the restaurant’s signature item: steak. “My first bite of the filet seemed pleasantly salty, but as I went on, the meat was overwhelmed with salt — I couldn’t even finish it,” the reviewer said. “It was tender, but not the most tender filet I’ve ever had. And while I ordered it medium, it was more of a medium rare” (August Chronicle). The restaurant chain tweeted a recommended topping on Sunday:

In other news, the embattled Cahoots bar on Baxter Avenue in the Highlands is closing (Business First). Brawls had been a problem, leading a customer to post a truly gross review, complete with photo! “Blood on the men’s room sink,” wrote John R. “From one of the (many) fights I’ve witnessed at this place. Disgusting” (Yelp).