The Top 10 Business Stories of 2008

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Dec. 22, 2008 12:00 am  

John Glasgow, CFO of CDI Contractors, disappeared on Jan. 28. Dillard's owned a half-interest in CDI and was embroiled in a bookkeeping dispute with CDI management when Glasgow, of Little Rock, vanished.

• Hewlett-Packard, Conway, customer service and technical support center, 1,200 workers.

• Nordex USA Inc., Jonesboro, a wind turbine manufacturer, 700.

• Nice-Pak Products Inc., Jonesboro, pre-moistened wipes, 300.

• Polymarin Composites, Little Rock, a wind blade manufacturer, 630; and Wind Water Technology, Little Rock, a supplier to Emergya Wind Technologies, parent of Polymarin, 200.

• Man Industries, Little Rock, a pipe manufacturer based in India, 250.

• N.E.W. Customer Service Cos., Russellville, customer care center, 250.

• Aviation Repair Technologies, Blytheville, airframe and engine repair facility, 310.

2.) Alltel Resold
When news broke in June that Alltel Corp. planned to sell to Verizon Wireless for $28.1 billion, topping its own recent record as the biggest deal in Arkansas history, few saw it coming.

It wasn't the sale that caught everyone off guard. That was inevitable because its owners, TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, are private equity firms, and buying and selling companies is what private equity firms do.

It was the quickness of the deal that left Arkansas breathless. The investors had paid $27.5 billion for Alltel in November 2007 and barely six months later seemed anxious to unload their investment for only $28.1 billion.

The firms actually cleared a larger profit than meets the eye. TPG and Goldman Sachs paid $4.6 billion for Alltel's equity in November 2007 and are now clearing about 30 percent profit from selling the equity to Verizon for $5.9 billion.

A letter to the Federal Communications Commission in October, however, unveiled the motive behind the swift resale. 



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