Thursday, December 26, 2002

Tristate Summary


St. Louis firm to acquire Vaughn

Staff and wire reports

The Vaughn Group, a West Chester-based equipment leasing company, has agreed to be acquired by Commerce Bancshares Inc., a St. Louis bank holding company.

Financial terms weren't disclosed, but Commerce Bancshares said Vaughn has a lease portfolio of about $38.7 million consisting mainly of data processing hardware. It also services about $425 million in lease agreements for capital equipment ranging from production machinery to transportation equipment for other companies.

Vaughn employs 25 and has sales offices in Toledo and Chicago. The sale is expected to be completed early next year. Commerce Bancshares said the acquisition would allow it to expand its Midwest market presence and add new products to existing customers.

Colley Corp. changes name

Colley Corp., the parent company of the Lottery Channel and Internet sites including lottery.com and cards.com, has changed its name to Games Inc.

The Cincinnati-based company said it is "actively seeking acquisitions and line extensions in those and other Web-based entertainment areas."

GE, P&G execs lead fund drive

A group of executives at GE Aircraft Engines and Procter & Gamble Co. are spearheading an effort to raise $250,000 from local businesses for scholarships for African-American students.

The nonprofit Greater Cincinnati African American Scholarship Fund will be administered by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. The goal is toprovide college educational opportunity for African-American students and to promote Cincinnati as a place for college graduates to work.

The 13th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. banquet Jan. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati will serve as the kickoff for the fund drive.

Coal company settles lawsuit

Martin County Coal Corp. has reached a settlement with a group of eastern Kentucky residents who claimed their property was damaged in a massive coal-sludge spill two years ago, an attorney for the plaintiffs said.

Ned Pillersdorf, an attorney in Prestonsburg, represents 23 residents whose lawsuit against the coal company was due to go to trial Feb. 3. But Mr. Pillersdorf said he notified Circuit Judge Daniel Sparks Monday that he and attorneys for Martin County Coal had reached a settlement.

Mr. Pillersdorf would not disclose the amount of the settlement.

Conseco to file for naming rights

Conseco Inc. plans to file motions in federal court to retain its naming rights to Conseco Fieldhouse, an agreement that will come under review during the company's bankruptcy proceedings.

Carmel, Ind.-based Conseco plans to pay its annual $2 million bill by Jan. 1 to continue the naming rights, company spokesman Mark Lubbers said.

Conseco filed for bankruptcy last week after $6.5 billion in debt the company had piled up through 1990s acquisitions became too much to bear.

Conseco Fieldhouse, which opened in 1999 and seats 18,500, is home to the Indiana Pacers, the Indiana Fever and the Indiana Firebirds, an arena football team.

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