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Boise Cascade goes public again

Shares of Boise Cascade started trading again Feb. 6. The Boise Cascade Company’s CEO and other executives rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange to commemorate the corporation’s initial public offering.

Nearly 12 million shares were offered at $21 each. Proceeds from the offering will generate about $228.4 million. The company plans to use $25 million to repay debt and the rest will be used for “general corporate purposes,” according to a news release.

The $21 per share price is $3 to $5 above the estimated price range company executives disclosed last month when they announced plans for the IPO. Shares rose to $26 by midday on Feb. 6

The Boise-based company distributes building materials, and produces and sells wood products.

As part of the IPO, privately-held Boise Cascade LLC formally became a corporation known as Boise Cascade Company. The company had about 4,470 employees as of the end of September.

In 2004, Boise Cascade Corporation sold its forest products assets and the name to Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity group in Chicago, and a group of managers in Boise.  This group became Boise Cascade LLC.  The rest of Boise Cascade became OfficeMax Inc.  In February 2008, the paper and container assets were spun off into an independent public company called Boise Inc.

Scott Ki

Beer brings the big bucks to Idaho

Idaho beer distributors affect more than 3,000 jobs in the state and generate $364 million in total economic impact, according to a new report released by the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

The report, by Bill Latham and Ken Lewis of the Center for Applied Business and Economic Research at the University of Delaware, looks at how beer distribution activities interact with other parts of the economy.

The 37 beer distributors in Idaho directly employ 1,421 people, according to the report, and provide more than $84 million in wages. When taking into account indirect production activities, employee spending, and distributors’ investments and community involvement, beer distribution activities affect 3,055 jobs in the state and influence more than $143 million worth of wages, the report says.

The production value generated directly by beer distributors is more than $177 million, the report states. When taking all the economic factors into account, the production value generated in Idaho is more than $364 million.

Idaho beer distributors’ activities directly generate more than $80 million dollars in local, state and federal tax revenue. When accounting for investment and community involvement, that amount comes to more than $81 million. These numbers do not include the $48 million in federal, state and local excise and consumption taxes on beer sold in Idaho.

IBR Staff

KTVB sheds ZIdaho classifieds website

Boise television station KTVB has sold a website that provides free classified ads. ZIdaho is now owned by a group of investors who plan to enhance the site’s offerings.

A company called ZIdaho LLC registered with the Idaho Secretary of State’s office in December. The following month it purchased the website from KTVB for an undisclosed amount.

Doug Armstrong, president and general manager of the TV station, said, “Classifieds are not our core competency. We’re a local news and journalism organization.”

Armstrong said the ZIdaho website started as an entertainment portal in 2000 and after several years turned into a site for classified ads. He added ZIdaho had nearly 1.5 million page views a month when KTVB sold it.

ZIdaho’s Chief Operations Officer, Jason Laney, said the new owners will keep providing free classified ads, but plan to add some features such as online forums. The goal is to put advertisers “directly in contact with or right in front of their core audience.”

Laney added, “We want to make it a lot safer than Craigslist, something that they can trust.”

By Scott Ki

Lottery winner’s house for sale

Powerball winner Pam Hiatt is selling her seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom house for $5.5 million.

Hiatt, of Boise, hit the jackpot to the tune of $87.6 million in 1995. At the time, she was only the seventh Idahoan to win $2 million or more, according to the Idaho Lottery. Hiatt declined to comment for this article, as did her lawyer, Mark Manweiler.

A real estate listing reports the 11-acre property near Hidden Springs has an indoor-outdoor pool, sports bar and media room. Built in 2000, it also has an outbuilding, barn and guesthouse attached to the main home.

Kathie Nahas, of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson in Eagle, said it takes about 30 minutes to walk through the home. Nahas wouldn’t disclose why the house is up for sale, but said homeowners typically downsize once their children have grown up and moved out.

The Hiatt home is not the only property on the local market for that price. Another in Eagle is up for sale for $5.5 million. According to the listing, the 8,836-square-foot home has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms on a 5-acre lot on the Boise River.

Since Hiatt’s win in 1995, seven other Idahoans have hit a lottery jackpot of more than $2 million. Brad Duke, of Boise, won $220 million in 2005. He bought his Powerball ticket at the same Jackson’s store on Orchard as Hiatt.

By Scott Ki

Burley milk processor expands into butter

Burley milk processor High Desert Milk is adding butter and buttermilk to its line of products.

High Desert Milk also produces and distributes bulk nonfat dry milk and skim milk powders, in addition to sweet cream.

The dry milk powders are low-fat products, and butter production will help High Desert make use of excess cream left over from processing, according to Megan Ronk of the Idaho Department of Commerce. Calls to the company were not returned.

“This is an opportunity … to take advantage of what essentially in their process was a byproduct,” Ronk said. “It’s a great, innovative development within the company.”

The High Desert Milk plant added 50,000 square feet of production and storage capacity to accommodate the butter production. The company will be able to produce a daily average of 50 metric tons of butter using its own cream and will be able to increase production by bringing in more cream from around the area.

The butter will initially be sold in bulk boxes of 25 kilograms in salted and unsalted varieties. High Desert hopes to develop consumer-sized packaging soon in order to sell an Idaho-branded butter directly to consumers. It would be the first Idaho-branded butter on the market.

High Desert hired 20 new employees to help churn and package the butter. Six farmers and dairy owners created High Desert Milk in 2001 to create a stable market for their milk and a high-quality end product. High Desert’s farmers and dairy owners farm 30,000 acres in order to feed 30,000 cows at dairies within 30 miles of the company’s plant.

IBR Staff

Workplace bias charges down slightly, EEOC says

Workplace discrimination charges went down slightly in fiscal year 2012, according to year-end data released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The total number of job bias charges was nearly 100,000, and the most frequently filed claims were retaliation, followed by race discrimination and then sex discrimination.

During this time, the EEOC obtained $365 million for workers in monetary recoveries from private, state and local government employers through the administrative process. The agency’s legal staff resolved 254 lawsuits for a total monetary recovery of $44.2 million; and completed 240 investigations aimed at eliminating systemic patterns of discrimination, resulting in settlements or conciliation agreements worth $36.2 million.

The number of conciliation agreements – the last step before litigation – increased by 18 percent over last year.

Dolan Media Newswires

Budget cuts forced Idaho attorney general to hire outside help

The state spent $6.5 million last year to hire general outside legal counsel because budget cuts in the Attorney General’s office since 2009 left too few lawyers to handle the cases internally.

The Spokesman Review reports Attorney General Lawrence Wasden told budget writers on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Feb. 5 that outside counsel costs $125 per hour, while the median salary for an attorney in his office is $35.73 per hour.

Wasden’s budget is about $1.5 million less than it was in 2009.

For 2013, he’s asking for a 9 percent hike, though Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is recommending just a 1.6 percent increase in general funds.

Wasden wants state lawmakers to convene an interim committee, to investigate opportunities to return work to the agency that’s now being farmed out.

The Associated Press

North Dakota AG gets arrest warrants for two Utah contractors

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has obtained arrest warrants for two Utah men he says were unlicensed contractors working at a Dickinson construction site where a fatality occurred.

Stenehjem says Kevin Parkin and Clint Petersen, both of Salt Lake City, have failed to cooperate with officials investigating the December 2011 worker death that occurred when a water and sewer pipe trench caved in at a home construction job site. The victim was identified as Casimiro Medina, also of Utah.

Stenehjem says a third contractor, from Idaho, cooperated with the investigation and paid a $2,000 fine for operating without a license.

The Associated Press

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