Business Briefs: FourBridges Capital among top bank-advisory firms

Business Briefs: FourBridges Capital among top bank-advisory firms

March 4th, 2017 by Staff and Wire Reports in Business Around the Region

FourBridges Capital among top bank-advisory firms

FourBridges Capital Advisors has been recognized as one of the top firms in the U.S. specializing in selling privately owned businesses.

FourBridges is the only firm headquartered in Tennessee to make the Axial Advisor 100 list, which features "the buyside's most referred middle market banks and advisory firms." Axial's list is based on a nationwide survey that asked more than 1,000 private equity firms, strategic acquirers and family offices to name the advisers they trusted most when transacting in the middle market.

"We're pleased that our work has been recognized on a national basis by the Axial survey, and we're honored to be listed among the ranks of other well-respected firms like Raymond James, Harris Williams and Houlihan Lokey," said Andy Stockett, managing director of FourBridges.

Based in Chattanooga, FourBridges represents business owners who are thinking about selling their company, making an acquisition, or refinancing. Stockett said the firm is currently working on six engagements.

Hhgregg to close 40 percent of stores

Electronics retailer Hhgregg will close 40 percent of its stores as it works to stem the red ink and turn around slow sales.

In addition to the 88 stores, the Indianapolis-based retailer is also closing distribution centers in Maryland, Florida and Pennsylvania, it said Thursday. HhGregg will keep open its Chattanooga store in East Brainerd, as company CEO Robert Riesbeck said the closing stores are unprofitable or located in areas that are no longer shopping destinations.

"We feel strongly that the markets we will remain in are the right ones for our customers and our business model. Our team is dedicated to moving forward and being a profitable 132- store, multiregional chain where we will continue to be a dominant force in appliances, electronics and home furnishings," he said.

The 88 stores are expected to close by mid-April, eliminating about 1,500 jobs, Hhgregg said.

Hhgregg said last month it hired a financial adviser and investment banker to pursue a range of potential strategic and financial transactions to help it find ways to get back to profitability. The announcement came a month after Hhgregg reported a 22 percent drop in sales at stores open at least 14 months — mostly due to weak consumer electronics sales — during the quarter that ended in December.

Mercedes recalls 1 million vehicles

Mercedes is recalling about 1 million cars and SUVs worldwide because a starter part can overheat and cause fires.

The recall covers certain C-Class, E-Class and CLA cars and GLA and GLC SUVs, all from 2015 through 2017, including nearly 308,000 in the U.S.

The German automaker reported 51 fires worldwide, with about 30 in the United States. The company has no reports of any injuries. Mercedes said in U.S. government documents released Friday that if for some reason the engine and transmission won't turn over, a current limiter in the starter motor can overheat from repeated attempts to start the vehicles. That can cause the current limiter to overheat and melt nearby parts.

Owners will be notified this month and again when replacement parts are available in July. It will take about an hour for dealers to install another fuse to prevent the problem. The repair will be done free of charge.

Duke annual meeting to be conducted online

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The largest U.S. electric company says its annual shareholders meeting in May will be its first without a physical gathering, with all business conducted and questions answered only online.

Duke Energy Corp. said Friday the live video webcast on May 4 will make the meeting accessible to 1 million shareholders worldwide.

Dozens of companies including Hewlett- Packard and Intel have replaced in-person conclaves with virtual meetings. Advocates say they allow more shareholders to participate at lower cost. Critics say the format allows corporations to select the topics its executives want to address and scrub out tough questions.

Duke Energy's shareholders meetings have long involved protests ranging from tea party groups to environmentalists. CEO Lynn Good faced tough questioning about a massive coal ash spill during the Charlotte utility's 2014 meeting.