Ex-VW boss slow in cheating response

Ex-VW boss slow in cheating response

September 11th, 2018 by Staff Report in Business Diary

Ex-VW boss slow in cheating response

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was slow to address emissions test cheating that led to huge U.S. fines, a judge hearing a damages case brought by investors said on Tuesday.

Reuters said determining who knew what, and when, will is critical in determining the outcome of the lawsuit in which investors are seeking $10.6 billion in damages for a decline in VW stock values when the scandal became public.

The plaintiffs in the first case say Volkswagen failed in its duty to inform them about the financial impact of the scandal, which broke when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a notice of violation on Sept. 18, 2015.

Judge Christian Jaede said then-CEO Winterkorn had dragged his feet after a top-level management meeting two months earlier discussed how to deal with U.S. regulators who were threatening to ban VW because of excessive pollution levels.

Chamber CEO speaks at climate summit

Christy Gillenwater, president and chief executive office of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, is part of a delegation of chamber leaders invited to speak at two sessions of the Global Action Climate Summit in San Francisco today through Friday.

She will share Chattanooga's achievements with a global audience.

"I'm honored to participate in this important gathering and proud to share Chattanooga's accomplishments with the global business community," Gillenwater said. "I also look forward to bringing back information about how to ensure Chattanooga's resilience in the face of extreme weather events and other natural disasters, and the leadership role the private sector is playing throughout the world."

The Global Climate Action Summit, organized in partnership with the United Nations, will bring together government officials, business leaders, investors and the philanthropy community from six continents to discuss clean energy, climate change, investment and economic development.

CBL closes loan for El Paso site

CBL Properties on Tuesday announced that it closed on a $75 million non-recourse loan secured by The Outlet Shoppes at El Paso in El Paso, Texas. The 10-year loan bears interest at a fixed rate of 5.103 percent.

Proceeds from the loan were used to retire a $6.5 million loan secured by the second phase of the property which was scheduled to mature. CBL's share of net proceeds of $65 million were utilized to reduce outstanding balances on the company's unsecured lines of credit.

"This new financing secured by El Paso demonstrates the quality of our assets as well as our excellent access to long-term capital at attractive rates," said Farzana Khaleel, CBL's chief financial officer.

Chattanooga-based CBL owns The Outlet Shoppes at El Paso in a 75/25 joint venture with Horizon Group Properties.

Takeda relocates offices to Boston

Japanese drugmaker Takeda says it is closing its U.S. headquarters in suburban Chicago with about 1,000 employees and moving its functions to the Boston area.

Takeda spokeswoman Julia Ellwanger said Tuesday that the work currently performed at the offices in Deerfield, Illinois, will gradually shift to Boston after it completes its $64 billion takeover of Ireland-based pharmaceutical company Shire.

Ellwanger tells the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald that all employees who are based at the Deerfield headquarters will be affected by the closure, although some will receive relocation offers. She says a closure date hasn't been set but that employees should know their status within six months of the completion of the Shire deal.

Shire's U.S. headquarters is in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Ellwanger says Takeda's move will simplify its U.S. operations.

Mondelez stockpiles chocolate for Brexit

A major confectionery maker says Brexit could come between Britons and their beloved chocolate.

Hubert Weber, European chief of Mondelez International, says the company is stockpiling ingredients, chocolate and cookies as part of contingency plans for a disruptive "hard Brexit."

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29. The two sides have yet to agree on future economic relations, leaving companies uncertain about whether currently frictionless trade can continue.

Weber was quoted Tuesday by The Times of London as saying that "from a buffering perspective for Mondelez, we are stocking higher levels of ingredients and finished products."

He said Britain "is not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients" and warned shoppers could face higher prices and fewer choices if there is no deal.

Mondelez owns U.K. chocolate-maker Cadbury.