Citizens to secure new line of credit
Louisiana’s property insurer of last resort has gotten permission to secure a $75 million line of credit in case a hurricane damages the state.
The Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has enough money set aside to cover a $110 million legal judgment against the company, but that could nearly drain its bank account. So, the Bond Commission agreed Thursday to allow the insurer to establish the credit for a bank loan in case of a catastrophic event where the company would need millions to pay claims.
Treasurer John Kennedy said Citizens won’t draw down the money unless there is an emergency. The $110 million judgment, still being argued in legal proceedings, was levied against the company for its slow movement in paying hurricane damage claims in 2005.
Albemarle closing two plants overseas
S pecialty chemicals firm Albemarle Corp., of Baton Rouge, announced Thursday it will stop making phosphorus flame retardants and shut down plants in the United Kingdom and China that make the product.
The plants, which employ a total 100 workers, are in Avonmouth, U.K., and Nanjing, China.
Albemarle expects to spend $5 million to $15 million in cash for the closures, money the company should recover in a year.
Albemarle will also take a one-time, after-tax charge of $80 million to $95 million in the second quarter. Those costs include severance pay, writing off the assets and closure costs.
Dropping phosphorous flame retardants, an underperforming product line, should improve Albemarle’s 2013 earnings per share by 10 cents to 15 cents, according to the company.
Costco plans to open store in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS — Costco Wholesale Corp. will build its first Louisiana store in New Orleans.
Costco intends to invest more than $40 million in a membership-only facility on the site of the former Carrollton Shopping Center across from Xavier University.
Although the 148,000-square-foot project still needs design approval from the City Planning Commission and the City Council, officials in Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration said Wednesday they are hopeful that those steps will be formalities as all parties work toward a mid-2013 opening.
Costco Chairman Jeff Brotman said his company is “thrilled” to be planting its flag in New Orleans.
“We’ve seen firsthand the resilience of its residents, and we are excited about contributing to the area’s revitalization,” Brotman said in a statement.
Costco, which has a record of providing some of the best wages and benefits in the retail sector, plans to employ as many as 200 workers, about half of them full time.
The project also is expected to create 120 construction jobs.
Advocate staff and
Associated Press reports