Chattanooga-based FourBridges negotiates sale of equipment manufacturer and other business news

FourBridges is negotiating the sale of an electronics manufacturer

FourBridges Capital Advisors announced that Houston, Texas-based IER Electrical Equipment and Controls has been acquired by Chicago Switchboard Inc., a portfolio company of private equity fund Promise Holdings.

Chattanooga-based FourBridges acted as exclusive investment banker for IER, negotiating and structuring the transaction on behalf of IER founder Mike Wolf.

IER is a manufacturer of custom designed power distribution and motor control products for a variety of end markets. Based in Elmhurst, Illinois, Chicago Switchboard has been a leader in fast-shipping, custom electrical distribution equipment since 1936.

Andy Stockett, managing director at FourBridges Capital, said in a statement that IER has established itself as “a preferred custom provider for a number of blue-chip clients across the country, and we were delighted to find a partner that could.” will carry on legacy.”

Clay Stockett, vice president of FourBridges, said in a statement that demand for IER’s products is being driven by increases in moving manufacturing back to the United States, as well as infrastructure upgrades across the power grid.

Whirlpool reports loss after sales fall 15.3%

Whirlpool Corp. on Monday reported a $1.61 billion fourth-quarter loss after the device maker said revenue fell 15.3% over the final three months of calendar 2022.

The Benton Harbor, Michigan-based company announced that it had lost $29.35 per share. Adjusted for one-time costs, earnings were $3.89 per share.

The maker of Maytag, KitchenAid and other appliances posted sales of $4.92 billion during that period, which fell short of Street’s forecasts. Three analysts polled by Zacks expected $5.05 billion.

Whirlpool expects full-year earnings of between $16 and $18 per share on expected sales of $19.4 billion.

“In 2023, we will realign our cost structure and expect a cost benefit of $800 million to $900 million,” Whirlpool CEO Marc Blitzer said in an earnings release on Monday. “This new cost structure, combined with the expected recovery in demand in the second half of the year, has positioned Whirlpool to deliver sustained shareholder value.”

French rail unions are on strike over pensions

France’s national rail operator is recommending passengers to stay at home on Tuesday to avoid strikes over pension reforms that are expected to cause major transport problems but will largely spare high-speed links to the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Unions, which mobilized massive street protests in a first salvo of nationwide strikes earlier this month, are hoping for a similar success on Tuesday to keep pressure on government plans to raise the retirement age in France.

Positions harden on both sides as lawmakers begin to debate the proposed change. France’s Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne insisted over the weekend that her government’s intention to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 was “no longer negotiable”. Opponents in Parliament and union leaders are determined to prove her wrong.

Rail operator SNCF warned that major network disruptions could be expected from Monday night into Wednesday morning and advised passengers to cancel or reschedule trips and work remotely if possible.

Boeing wants to increase the performance of the 737 Max

Boeing will add a fourth assembly line to produce more 737 Max planes as it seeks to more quickly convert an order backlog into cash deliveries of new planes.

The new line will open in the second half of next year, according to a note Monday to employees of Stan Deal, the CEO of Boeing’s commercial aircraft business.

The line will be located at an existing facility in Everett, Wash., where space is available as Boeing moves production of larger 787s to South Carolina and is ending production of the iconic 747.

The plant is about 40 miles north of Boeing’s other 737 assembly lines in Renton, a suburb of Seattle, one of which was idle but is being reactivated, Deal said. He said the company isn’t shifting the entire 737 program, it’s just building capacity, particularly for newer Max models.

Volvo pays fine for recall failure

Volvo Group North America will pay $130 million for failing to recall vehicles quickly enough in a consent order issued by US regulators.

The civil penalty follows an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that found the company failed to recall vehicles in a timely manner and failed to meet other reporting obligations such as notifying owners of recalls and reporting incidents of death and injury.

The Volvo Group North America is a coalition of several manufacturers of heavy trucks and buses. It is a separate entity from Volvo Cars.

Volvo Group North America has agreed to oversight by an independent third party auditor and will meet regularly with the NHTSA to ensure potential safety issues are addressed.

It will also develop and implement a safety data analysis infrastructure to improve its ability to detect and investigate potential safety deficiencies, and develop written procedures and training for its employees on compliance with the Vehicle Safety Act, Regulations and Consent Ordinance, as well as a training plan to ensure that its employees are appropriately onboarded and trained.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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