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Competitive Strategies Group September 2005 Report
The post-Katrina boom represents a
remarkable turnaround for
o More than 2,200 new homes were built, exceeding even the post World War II boom of the late 1940s.
o The population of Mobile County surged by about 10,000 in the three months following Katrina, according to Semoon Chang; the county, meanwhile, gained some 4,700 new jobs.
· Before Hurricane Katrina, rising industrial vacancy rates were a serious concern. After Katrina, these dropped to near zero.
· The two key public business parks are the Mobile Commerce Park, which has seen limited growth over its fifteen-year history, and USA’s Technology Park.
· The Mobile Innovation Center is the community’s small business incubator
Mike Helmar, analyst for Moodyseconomy.com, said
· Forbes Magazine ranked Mobile 118 of 150 communities as the best place for business. Inc. Magazine ranked Mobile 44 of 90 cites as an ideal location for business.
LLC and Hargrove & Associates, Inc. returned
· Mobile placed eighth best of London-based Foreign Direct Investment magazine’s "Top Ten Small Cities of the Future" in 2006 (Huntsville placed second.)
· Employment Base: Services - 27%; Wholesale & Retail Trade - 27%; Government - 15%; Manufacturing - 12%; Construction & Mining - 8%; Transportation & Public Utilities - 6%; Finance, Insurance & Real Estate - 4%.
· Local leaders like Bay Haas, executive director of the Mobile Airport Authority, have expressed worry over having a qualified work force for anticipated aerospace jobs. Bender has reported that it must often look outside the country to find qualified welders.
· The rate of unionization in Mobile is higher than the southeast - 14% in Mobile versus 5% in the southeast according to the Competitive Strategies Group report.
· Mobile Works Inc.. is a partnership of business, education, labor and community leaders, providing businesses and people with training, leadership, labor market information and employment programs. Since its inception in 2000, Mobile Works has invested more than $19 million to fund job and educational programs.
· The Mobile Chamber of Commerce was the first in the state, chartered by the Alabama Legislature in 1854.
o Mobile Chamber of
· Envision Coastal Alabama is a regional development organization started in 1998.
· The Mobile County Commission implemented a tobacco tax with a portion used for economic development purposes. This tax totals about $950,000 annually
The Small Business Administration has announced
it will be opening an office in
cost of living
is an asset to
Come Back Home to Mobile is an
effort to attract young, educated Mobilians back to
The City of Mobile Industrial Development Board (IDB)
is granted the power by the State Legislature to give tax exemptions to recruit
businesses to move to or expand operations in
o This requirement for board ownership of industrial property
o The 1992 act also states that educational taxes cannot be abated, and business must contribute to the schools.
o In 1962, the city of
o The Mobile Industrial
Development Board is a 13-member commission appointed by the mayor of
o While a tremendous tool for economic growth, critics charge that the IDB courts energy-intensive and polluting industries, such as chemical plants, paper mills, and incinerators, because the heads of the electricity and gas utilities hold positions on the board. Since the board's creation, its members have consisted exclusively of prominent businesspeople, including the presidents of utility companies, banks, and the Chamber of Commerce. See here for environmental concerns and the IDB. - Harbinger
Opportunity (GO)-ZONE Act of 2005
establishes tax incentives and bond provisions to support rebuilding the areas
Competitive Strategies Group September 2005 Report:
· Strategies for job creation placed greater emphasis of retention of existing business instead of diversification of industries from 1985 to1995, when existing industries were closing or reducing its work force considerably. Mobile Chamber’s Partners for Growth capital campaign has a 5 year budget of $7 million of which $3.7 million is allocated for existing businesses and $2.6 million for new development
o The Chamber’s vice president of economic development is quoted in the May 19, 2003 Mobile Register as saying, “The days of the hunter-gatherer approach to economic development are gone. While bringing in new business is important, he said, the majority of his time must be spent helping existing companies prosper.”
· The Mobile County Commission contributes over $400,000 a year to different organizations for economic development, including the Chamber, the Business Information Center, the Forestry Commission, Mobile United, Women’s Business Assistance Center and others. The County does not conduct an annual audit of these organizations.
· The Chamber’s economic development capital campaign “Partners for Growth” has a target goal of 1,100 new jobs per year or 5,500 over five years. This compares to similar campaigns in Chattanooga, with a goal of 20,000 jobs and Macon, GA with 8,400 jobs.
· In the aftermath of Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina and Rita, office and industrial space has gone from 17% vacancy rates to near zero. The challenge to the County leadership will be to install sound economic policies and structure that will sustain this growth after a three-year period when many of these leases will expire.
· “We applaud the University’s investment into cancer research and in a research and technology park, but these two product improvements initiatives will not necessarily be a panacea to Mobile’s economic success… Biotech is limited to a select few cities: San Diego, Research Triangle Park, NC, Boston and in emerging cities such as Houston, Austin and Baltimore. Florida will become more predominant in biotech research and commercial applications once the Scripps facility comes on line. There is limited growth opportunity for this to be a significant cluster in Mobile”.
· “Nearly all of our survey respondents said that the City of Mobile’s permitting processes and customer service was a hindrance to growth in the City. The County of Mobile has fewer permitting and regulatory restrictions than the City and as a result, receives higher marks for its business climate and ease of doing business in the County.”
· “High Speed Internet access is in limited areas geographically of the County. Investment needs to be made to expand high-speed access throughout Mobile County if the County is to be successful in attracting “Mobile Entrepreneurs”. Further, Mobile should consider creating WI-FI locations downtown, and in all public buildings.”
· “Many of the economic development allies familiar with Mobile commented that even though some in the business and government leadership within the community like to say that there is a team approach for economic development in Mobile, it’s hard to see. In many instances, these allies and consultants observed territorial boundaries, run away egos, or weak leadership as a result of no one defined lead organization for economic development.”.
· Jay Garner, who wrote the study for CSG, was director of economic development for the Mobile Chamber of Commerce during 1985-1994
· Business with headquarters in Mobile include: International Shipholding, Ball Healthcare Services (nursing homes and assisted living facilities); BancTrust Financial Group; Big 10 Tire Stores; Integrity Media; The Mitchell Company; Shoe Station; and Volkert & Associates.
concentration of large firms in the
o Although the chemical industry remains a strong player, the area has diversified its economy away from its traditional paper and chemical industry core. During the last 15 years, the oil and gas, tourism, and aerospace industries have expanded significantly.
23.1 percent of
port facilities makes the
investment is also pronounced in
Lumber and Pulp
· In the post-war period, the pulp and paper industry became a major industry. Between the 1920s and the 1990s, Scott Paper Company and International Paper combined to have one of the area's largest workforces. However, the industry declined in the 1990, with International Paper closing its mill in 2000, and Kimberly-Clark closing its pulp mill in 1999.
International Paper, started in
o IP closed the mill in
2000. Eight hundred workers lost some of the best-paying jobs available in the
o The Alabama State Port Authority purchased the International Paper mill for $1.6 million in 2005.
o Kimberly-Clark closed its pulp mill in
o 1939: Maine-based
Hollingsworth & Whitney complete
construction of its
o 1954: Hollingsworth
& Whitney merges with Scott
Paper Co., founded in 1879 in
1994: Scott sells its S.D. Warren coated paper portion of
the mill, and the energy complex is sold to SAPPI. 2001: SAPPI closes
o 1995: Scott
Paper merges with Kimberly-Clark, founded in 1872 in
· The chemical industry is the region’s largest industry sector with more than 3,600 employees.
· Degussa Corp. is the largest chemical company, followed by Ciba Specialty Chemicals, UOP, DuPont Agricultural Products, Olin Chemicals, Akzo Nobel, Syngenta, Arkema Inc., Ineos Phenols, US Amines, Occidental Chemicals, Praxair and Mitsubishi Polysilicon.
plant employs 1,250 on a 1,900-acre site comprising 30 individual factories in
· Ciba’s McIntosh plant is the Swiss-based firm's largest manufacturing operation. The plant was built in 1952.
o The entire site, along with nearby
o ADEM issued a consent order against Ciba and proposed a $20,000 fine for failure to monitor numerous pollution points in the first three months of 2004.
Azko was founded in the
o Azko Nobel’s chemical plant in Axis makes primarily carbon disulfide.
In 1998, Akzo Nobel acquired British fiber-manufacturer Courtaulds, combined the fibers divisions of both
companies, and then demerged them as Acordis Ltd. At the time Courtalds
had rayon and Tencel synthetic fiber plants in Axis.
In 1999, Akzo Nobel sold Acordis to
In 2001 Acordis Cellulosic Fibers closed
its Axis rayon manufacturing facility with its 324 jobs due to pressure
from imported fabrics. In the 1990s the rayon plants was the biggest polluter
o Acordis/CVC kept its Tencel facility in Axis, which was built in 1993. While rayon production produces large amounts of sulfurous waste, Tencel is made with a "closed loop" chemical process whereby the solvent can be filtered and reused.
o In 2004 Lenzing AG acquired Acordis’ Tencel plant in Axis from CVC. Lenzing AG, specializing in man-made fibers, is currently held by B & C Holding (an Austrian investment company), its majority owner.
Lyocell is the generic term for fibers made of pulp (raw
material - wood). The fibers are produced by means of a direct solvent process.
With this particularly ecological technology (closed-loop cycle), cellulose,
the natural raw material, is dissolved. The resulting spinning mass is then
spun into fibers. Recently, Lyocell fibers have
experienced major success in markets of the garment industry and also in the
home textile and the nonwovens segments. Lenzing markets its Lyocell
fibers under the brand name "Lyocell by Lenzing", Tencel
is the brand name for Lyocell fibers by the Tencel group. In the 1980's of the last century, Lenzing AG, the viscose fiber manufacturer, and the former
British company Courtaulds plc had each obtained a
license from Akzo, a Dutch company, to further
develop the Lyocell technology. In the 1990's, both
companies successfully launched their production of Lyocell
fibers. After patent-law conflicts, Lenzing and Courtaulds signed a settlement in 1998, leading to a
restricted exchange of know-how. The Lyocell fibers
operations set up within the former Courtaulds Group,
later Acordis, now Corsadi,
subsequently underwent several changes of ownership, while developing as an
autonomous business under the name of Tencel. Fiber
produced at the Mobile plant was commonly used in
o In 2000, the Alabama Supreme Court threw out a $1 million verdict won by Horace ``Buddy'' Long and his wife, Margaret, who sued Courtalds over the release of millions of pounds of carbon disulfide which they claimed caused the death of their six horses and caused their Creola property to depreciate. – PR 9/16/2000
o Twenty-five current and former employees sued Courtaulds PLC for $50 million claiming exposure to dangerously high levels of carbon disulfide, a chemical Courtaulds uses in the manufacture of rayon.
o Some workers at Courtaulds Fibers' rayon plant in north Mobile County show signs that exposure to an industrial chemical has harmed their health, according to the head of environmental medicine at Emory University. Emory has tested 28 Courtaulds employees and found that most of them suffer from memory loss, personality changes, heart problems, vision problems or other disorders that can be associated with exposure to carbon disulfide.
Dupont acquired its plant north of Axis in 1986 (it was originally built for
Shell chemical in 1968). The
phenol and acetone plant in the Theodore Industrial area was completed in 2000.
Ineos Phenol bought the plant in 2001 from Phenolchemie, a division of Veba
AG, which also was majority owner of Degussa. Ineos is a privately owned British chemicals company, and the third largest in the world (after BASF and
Dow Chemical). It has factories in
Helsinki-based Kemira Group purchased Cytec
Industries' water treatment chemical business, with its 100 worker plant in
Oil and Gas
oil and gas operations in
Houston-based Gulf Coast Asphalt operates a storage
terminal on the east bank of the
include Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation, Gulfstream
Natural Gas System (which runs to
Hub Inc., a subsidiary of
Houston-based Falcon Gas Storage, plans to build 50 billion cubic feet of
natural gas storage in south
Mobile area Refineries:
Saraland Refinery (Shell Oil,
o The original facility was built and operated by Louisiana Land & Exploration Company, starting in 1975 with a single crude unit and reformer. The site is 914 acres, of which 125 are developed. Shell Chemicals bought the facility in 1996.
o Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson investigated pricing practices at Shell Oil Co.'s refinery in Saraland in 2005 when gas from the Shell refinery in Saraland cost independent stations up to 70 cents more per gallon than it cost Shell retail stations.
· Mobile Refinery (Gulf Atlantic Operations, Chickasaw, 16,700 bpd, asphalt).
o Corpus Christi-based Gulf Atlantic Operations LLC (GAO) bought the assets, including the refinery, of Trigeant in March 2005. GAO formed under the name Tripso LLC in February 2005. El Paso Corporation sold the Chickasaw refinery to Trigeant EP Ltd, in August 2003.
GAO filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2006. The filing states that Hurricane Emily
struck the Mexican coast in 2005, disrupting the delivery of cured oil from
that country's state-owned petroleum company. Then Hurricane Katrina flooded
parts of the Gulf Atlantic refinery and terminals in the
· The aviation/aerospace industry is a growing industry sector in the area. The Brookley Complex is a 1,700-acre industrial area with two runways, one long enough to land the Space Shuttle.
o Mobile Aerospace Engineering (MAE), founded at Brookley in 1991, is
Teledyne Continental Motors continues to have a solid presence in
· EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company), the parent company of Airbus, built an Airbus Center of Excellence in 2006, creating 200 high-paying engineering jobs in the area.
o Northrop Grumman and EADS CASA selected
2004, Boeing had almost won the tanker contract through an unusual leasing
arrangement with the Air Force. But Congressional scrutiny of the financial
deal, led by Senator John McCain of
o Raytheon and EADS CASA were unsuccessful in their pursuit of a $2 billion Joint Cargo Aircraft contract in 2007.
· Crestview Aerospace Corp. (now L-3 Communications Crestview Aerospace) was awarded a Bell Helicopter Textron contract, potentially worth more than $100 million. Major assembly of UH-1Y helicopter airframe structures for the U.S. Marine Corps. is slated to begin in 2007 at the company’s Fairhope plant.
· Maritime services include barge fleeting service, container repair and leasing, dunnage services, freight forwarding, guard service and ship watching, heavy lift and salvage, industrial diving, line handling, marine fumigation services, maritime waste disposal, ship chandlers, stevedoring, towing and many more.
o Five barge
fleeting service companies serve
o There are five shipbuilding
and/or repair facilities along the
o The Theodore
Ship Channel is host to several other service facilities. It is well suited
to the oil and gas industry, as it is the closest deep water location to the
open Gulf, and is home to
o Two decades ago, Bayou
la Batre was known as the "
In 2001 Austal USA began
as a partnership between Bender Shipbuilding and the
Australian company Austal to build aluminum
high-speed passenger ferries. It employs over 11150 workers. In 2006 Bender
sold its 30 percent stake in Austal
o Austal is the world leader in building high-speed catamaran ferry ships for passengers and autos.
The Navy awarded
its $223 million contract for the first of two planned “Flight O” vessels to
prime contractor Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics company that teamed with Austal
§ Austal and General Dymanics were vying with a team led by Lockheed Martin Corp. for an opportunity to build 55 of the vessels. Each contractor was to build two ships before the Navy made its decision in 2010. Cost overruns on what was supposed to be a $220 million vessel plagued both teams, and Lockheed's contract for its second ship was canceled in April, and General Dynamics in November 2007. Each team now has only one ship in production, with both slated for delivery next year. The Navy plans to try out the two vessels in an "operational assessment" in early 2009, which could lead to a decision on future purchases.
§ The first of the General Dynamics/Austal vessels is about 70 percent complete, and is now slated for delivery around summer of next year. But the ship's expected cost is 50 percent to 75 percent higher than its $223 million contract price. – PR 9/12/07
announced the cancellation of the second LCS in November 2007 after it could
not reach a deal with the General Dynamics/Austal
team on reworking the LCS contract to contain rising costs. Despite the
§ The LCS is in line for $339.5 million toward another ship buy this fiscal year, contained in a compromise defense spending bill, is barely one-third of what the Navy had sought, but is more than some lawmakers -- including Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa -- had voted to support. While the new appropriation is not enough to buy another ship, it could be combined with other funds. Lawmakers ordered the Navy to open the competition for future purchases to other shipbuilders. How many might be interested is unknown, but 18 teams responded when the Navy originally sought contractors for the LCS program. – PR 11/8/07
o Austal is also eyeing a military contract for high-speed, passenger-vehicle ferries. The Joint High Speed Vessel program would call for eight ferries -- five for the Army and three for the Navy -- over five years starting in fiscal 2008 – PR 7/4/2007
o Austal has completed one Hawaii Superferry, the Alakai, and a second is under construction.
o Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local 441 is continuing its efforts to organize workers at Austal USA after the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Austal broke federal labor laws in alleged actions linked to a failed 2002 union vote. Union officials said that Austal fired 10 employees because of union activities and threatened to fire all who signed the cards, or to fire everyone if a union succeeded. Austal has denied those allegations. – PR 6/13/2007
o Austal was promised $10 million in city, county and state funds to help pay for a $20 million shed, contingent on creating 600 new jobs. Austal is now building toward the 1,200 employee mark that would earn it another $5 million from the state.
o Austal has said it will proceed with a $200 million,
1,200-job expansion on its planned 700,000-square-foot modular manufacturing
facility just southeast of its existing
§ The U.S. Navy plans to contribute up to $33 million to the facility. – PR 12/21/07
§ The construction is expected to start in June and be complete about 12 months later. A second phase -- a "mirror image" of the first -- would complete the $200 million expansion by 2011.
Steel and Materials
ThyssenKrupp, a German steelmaker, plans to build a $3.7 billion,
2,700-worker steel processing facility
o The ThyssenKrupp facility,
expected to be operational by 2010, will manufacture and process carbon and
stainless steel for high-end manufacturers, chief among them the South's
automotive assembly industry. The raw steel used in
o Construction permits were approved by state and federal regulators and site preparation should be completed by early next year. The project will employ 29,000 construction workers over the next 18 months.
o The state's $811 billion incentive package for ThyssenKrupp was approved by voters in a statewide election June 2007.
§ ThyssenKrupp AG will have to employ 2,000 people for two years to receive the entire incentives package.
§ The incentives package includes $461 million in upfront payment, with $314 million going to the company in cash, $67 million toward training, $45 million toward land purchase and $25 million in road building.
§ State and local governments promised $350 million in tax breaks.
don't include an estimated $115 million that the Alabama State Port Authority
will spend to build a facility on
§ The figures also don't include a state corporate income tax credit that effectively frees the company from state income taxes for its first three decades of operation.
§ The Mobile City Council voted unanimously to commit $33.5 million cash to the deal.
§ The Mobile County Commission also approved a total payment is $83.5 million. The commission promised that $70 million would come directly from its Pay-As-You-Go roadbuilding fund.
Of its $83.5
million, the county will get back about $45 million through the state
transportation department paying to widen and expand
§ The Industrial Development Authority of Mobile County approved a 20-year package of tax breaks, which includes a break on non-educational property and sales taxes worth an estimated $178 million in its first year, though officials said that figure would depreciate. J. Gary Cooper pegged an estimate of the county package's full value over 20 years it at more than $3 billion. At that amount, the package would average about $105 million annually.
A consortium of
other area city and county governments has met to consider sharing a portion of
that amount -- estimates range from $13.5 million to $20 million, but none of
those governments have formally agreed to any payments. For the remaining $13.5
million, the county and state are trying to put together a regional economic
development authority comprised of city and county governments in southwest
§ The agreement also includes a provision that appears to be a commitment from state government to never seek the kinds of legislation that have been proposed elsewhere to deal with global warming: "In the event that state legislation is introduced that adds a new tax on energy, (carbon dioxide) or the use of electricity, natural gas, coal or industrial gases, the state shall use its best efforts to (1) defeat such legislation or (2) seek an amendment to such legislation providing the company an exemption therefrom."
§ According to the Deravi study, state and local governments will reap $1.4 billion in tax revenues over 30 years, breaking even on the $461 million in state and local cash incentives by 2020, after 10 years of operation, and recouping all the property, income and utility tax breaks by 2030.
taxes, where no breaks have been granted, are projected to bring in $218
million for the state,
§ The $811 million incentive is over $300,000 per job (compared to the $167,000 per job initially given Mercedes in 1993) – James Cobb, PR 6/17/2007
o The ThyssenKrupp steel mill
will increase the level of economic activity in
§ Beyond the 2,700 employees of ThyssenKrupp, spending from the mill is projected to create 4,300 indirect employees. ThyssenKrupp employees will make an average of $41,900 a year. The $41,900 salary for ThyssenKrupp employees is lower than the $50,000 to $65,000 range discussed by local economic development officials.
Alabama can expect about $3.7 million a year in extra tax revenue from ThyssenKrupp, including $1.5 million a year to
City and county
governments in Baldwin, Clarke, Escambia and
o Alabama State Port Authority will build a terminal on
the south tip of
o Land speculators started buying chunks of land in
o U.S. Steel Corp., who has a steelmaking complex in
o See here for environmental concerns about the ThyssenKrupp plant
a 370-worker steel mill on U.S. 43 in Axis in north
Berg Steel Pipe Corp. has chosen
· Holcim (US) Inc, a subsidiary of the Swiss cement giant Holcim Ltd., received a waiver on sales and use taxes and a five-year abatement on property taxes collectively worth $1.4 million tied to a proposed $60 million expansion of its 156-worker cement production plant in Theodore.
· GAF building and roofing materials plant has operated at Emogene and Florida Streets for several decades. It is a former EPA superfund site – Lagniappe, 6/5/07
& Root, a subsidiary of the Halliburton Company, was an engineering and
construction firm with operations in
The auto industry plants in
ALCOA’s bauxite refining plant in
Graphics is the anchor tenant at the
o Chapura Inc.
develops software that synchronizes data between PDAs
and desktop computers. Its former president has moved home to
o CentralLite System’s innovative automatic lighting systems meet consumer needs and offers artistic beauty in lighting. Xanté develops products that enable the highest quality printing solutions for its clients.
o STI, a Mobile-based education data management
company, provides software to help K-12 schools keep track of things like
attendance, scheduling, grades, discipline and money. It is scheduled to
relocate its headquarters and 150 employees to the
The healthcare information technology
sector is well represented in
o Mobile-based Computer
Programs and Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:
CPSI) specializes in health care information systems for small and medium-sized
hospitals nationwide. It has more than 900 employees at its headquarters off
§ CPSI owners include Palisade Capital Management, L.L.C (8%), Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC (8%), Century Capital Management LLC (7%), Neuberger Berman Inc. (5%), M. Kenny Muscat (5%), John Morrissey (3%).
o SSI's client base
exceeds 2,200 and includes hospitals, doctors, HMOs and insurance carriers.
Founded in 1988, SSI has about 370 employees . Its
headquarters are on
§ SSI has forged an alliance with Pittsburgh-based The Bank of New York Mellon which will allow Mellon's health care clients to use SSI products and give SSI clients access to Mellon's "full suite of treasury services" geared toward the health care industry.
§ In 2007, SSI was among trade publication Healthcare Informatics' top 100 health care product and service providers, coming in this year at No. 61 based on 2006 annual revenue of $37 million. That's down from $41 million in 2005.
§ Smith said the health care IT market is moving from licensing software -- where the client pays a single fee upon signing a contract -- to paying on a per-claim basis. Software license fees would range from around $10,000 to $50,000, and the revenue was recognized immediately, he said. Now, with claims going through SSI's clearinghouse, the revenue is not recognized immediately.
o DocuSys provides anesthesia and drug management systems and has about 60 people working at its facility at the University of South Alabama Technology & Research Park.
o TeleVox developed
software for computer-generated reminder calls for a doctor, dentist or
orthodontist appointments. It was founded in 1992 by Neil Armentrout
and his wife Fran Smith, and was sold to West Corp. of
· The University of South Alabama Research Park opened in 2003.
o In early 2006, Mentor Graphics' facilities accounted
for nearly all of
Food and Seafood
o An updated economic impact study of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, funded by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, was presented with estimates that the Alabama Seafood Industry will suffer more than a $112 million loss.
· Marshall Biscuits, Sara Lee, and others have production facilities
In its facility
Banking and Finance
· The Mobile Bay area's largest banks are: Regions Bank (Birmingham; in 2006 merged with AmSouth – also from Birmingham), RBC Centura (North Carolina), Compass Bank (Birmingham, acquired by a Spanish bank in 2007), Wachovia Bank (Charlotte, NC, merged with Birmingham-based SouthTrust in 2004), BankTrust (Mobile), Colonial Bank (Montgomery), and Whitney National Bank (New Orleans) – PR5/27/07
o First National Bank was the oldest bank in
o Merchants National Bank
became First Alabama when it went statewide and Regions when it expanded out of
o Following the 2006 $10 billion merger of Regions and AmSouthBancorp, the two Birmingham-based banks were forced
by federal regulators to divest a total of 52 branches. In
o RBC Centura acquired 22
Mobile-area AmSouth branches, and announced it would make
o RBC Centura agreed to
acquire Birmingham-based Alabama National Bancorp. in
a deal valued at $1.6 billion. The deal includes subsidiary First Gulf Bank NA, which has eight
· BankTrust: (Nasdaq: BTFG)
o In 1985 the Mobile
National Corporation holding company and its subsidiary, The Bank of Mobile, opened for business
in 1986. The Main Office was located in downtown
o In 1993 Mobile National Corporation merged with South Alabama Bancorporation (parent company of First National Bank, Brewton) and adopted the name South Alabama Bancorporation. Both banks retained their local identity, management, and board of directors. The Monroe County Bank joined in 1996, followed by The Commercial Bank of Demopolis in 1998. Also in 1998 the Bank of Mobile changed its name to South Alabama Bank.
o In 2002, the bank changed its name to BankTrust and the holding company’s name changed to BancTrust Financial Group, Inc.
o In 2003 CommerceSouth, Inc. was acquired. Total assets were approximately $1.1 billion.
o In 2006 a team of former Regions bankers in
o In 2007 BancTrust Financial
Group Inc. announced that it would merge with Selma-based The Peoples BancTrust Co. Inc. in a $143 million deal, which will bring
the combined total of branches to 54 throughout
Commonwealth National Bank is a minority-owned
bank with branches in Toulminville, Crichton and
Woodlands Financials, a
New Horizons Credit Union, formerly Scott Credit Union, has five branches and
aims to finish a sixth by the end of the year. The smaller Azalea City Credit Union has two branches, but recently changed its
charter to expand northward in
Bay Bank based in
Century Bank, headquartered in
BancorpSouth, based in
· First Community Bank
· Mobile Area Banks (from Business View, 9/2007)
In retailing, Birmingham-based Saks Inc.
has both Parisian and McRae’s stores in
o Bruno’s operates eight Bruno’s and nine Food World
grocery stores in the
o Gayfers, Hammel's, Kayser's, Kress, Reiss Brothers are all downtown stores that have gone out of business
Six call centers call the
Kellogg Brown & Root closed its
· Tourism employed about 30,800 people in the Mobile MSA and earnings (both direct and indirect) amounted to almost $837 million with 2.5 million visitors.
o The idea for the
o Degussa established the first chemical plant in Theodore in the 1970s and remained one of the only industries in the park until 1990. By 1996, Degussa had expanded its operations and established joint ventures with two other chemical manufacturers that built new production facilities in the park. They were soon joined by a host of smaller firms and refineries.
This phase of industrial expansion followed a decade of
real estate development in the
· LeMoyne/Mobile River Industrial Park
o Axis is a rural
unincorporated area located 20 miles north of
The Mitchell Company is a real
estate development company based in
The company was
founded as Central Gulf Steamship Corporation by Niels
F. Johnsen and his sons, Niels
W. and Erik F. Johnsen. Incorporated in 1947, the new
company was backed by a group of
1960s, ISC became the number one U.S.-flag carrier between the
Most of the
company's sales come from the chartering of vessels such as car and truck
carriers, ships with strengthened hulls for use in polar
regions, and coal and sulfur carriers. In addition, the company uses
lighter-aboard-ship (LASH) vessels to provide scheduled ocean freight
transportation services between the
o In 1989 ISC purchased Waterman Marine Corporation, which operated the Waterman Steamship Corporation, for $34 million
Its CG Railway Inc. subsidiary,
is a rail-on-barge service connecting
CG’s railway terminal was launched at Choctaw Point in 2000, and was
o International Shipholding has 15 wholly owned subsidiaries and a stake in three joint ventures.
o The company is traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ISH
o Key numbers for fiscal year ending December, 2006: Sales: $274.9M One year growth: 4.9% Net income: $17.0M Income growth: 143.6%. Employees: 604. Market Cap: $122.6M
Cooper/T. Smith Stevedoring Inc. was started by Angus
Cooper in 1905. The New
Orleans-based T. Smith and Cooper companies merged in 1983. Cooper/T. Smith now
has operations in thirty-eight
Ryan-Walsh Stevedoring: The Walsh family side of the company was established
in 1867 as a
Bender Shipbuilding & Repair is a
privately-held shipbuilding and repair company in
o In 1965, Bender built the first of more than 1,000
fishing vessels it would produce by the end of the century. In the early 1960s
and again from the early '90s to today, Bender produced a variety of supply
boats, anchor-handling tugs and other vessels for the offshore oil and gas
industry. Prior to 1980, it was named Bender Welding & Machine Co.,
Inc. Bender has built ammunition boxes during World War II, provided
steel for construction of Ladd Memorial Stadium in 1948, manufactured 1,200
buoys for the development of the Intracoastal
Waterway system in the 1950s, built push boats for
o It is active in both ship construction and repair, is
affiliated by common ownership with Tampa Bay Shipbuilding & Repair Co.,
Inc., the successor to Tampa Shipyards, Inc., and was the
o Bender has the world's largest production laser, a
$1.3 million cutting machine that is in use in only a score of factories and
yards globally. Bender was the only
o Bender's work force is not unionized. After a series of accidental deaths and serious injuries in the shipyard during the 1970s and ''80s, the company dramatically improved its safety record in the 1990s
o With 650 employees - compared with a peak of 1,200
several years ago when Bender temporarily operated an auxiliary yard in
o During the early 1990s, the company built or
converted 27 vessels for use as casino boats. President Tom Bender was a
central figure in a high-profile
o Bender employs more than 1,000 people on property along about a mile of waterfront on the west bank of the river and 2,000 feet on the east bank – PR 6/24/07
o Bender Shipbuilding has been accused by a worker
rights group, the New Orleans-based Alliance of Guest Workers for Dignity, of
bringing 32 Mexican welders to its
· Steiner Shipyard, with origins as a family shipyard dating back to the 1920s, is a well-regarded entity in the local maritime markets. Steiner is perhaps best known for its endeavors in the fishing vessel markets, as it has built hundreds of boats over the years.
C&G Boatworks was founded in Bayou La Batre
in 1996, opened a dry dock along the
Stauter Boat Works:
· Negus Boat Works was started by Rone, Don, and Ed Negus
· Mitternight Boiler Works in Satsuma
· Gulf Coast Marine Supply is a general supply house founded in 1935 by Marvin Mostellar Sr. In the early years it catered to the ships trading in the Port of Mobile but it became more industrially oriented.
· Mobile Rosin Oil Company, established in 1924, uses rosin from pine trees to serve a number of industries including rubber, paper, paint, preservatives, construction and lubricants. Rosin oil was initially used in the manufacture of axle greases. But the rubber industry quickly became, and remains, its largest user because rosin oil is an excellent tackifier and processing aid in rubber manufacturing.
Masland Carpets is a major carpet manufacturer headquartered in
Saraland. It was founded in
Gulf Lumbar Company manufactures Southern Pine lumber. In 1939, with
WWII approaching, Ben May
bought a lumber concentration yard. In 1952 the management of Gulf Lumber was
taken over by the Stimpson brothers, Billy, Ben and Gordon. In 1973,
after the death of Ben May, they acquired the company from his estate. Billy,
Ben and Gordon officially transferred ownership to the younger members of the
family in 1992. Gulf Lumber Company has 3 primary
areas of operation: a Sawmill, a Treating Plant and an import company known as
Gulf Trading, LLC. Today, independent logging crews haul more
than 400 loads of logs per week to the
Buchanan Lumber Mobile is a family owned business
Mobile Paperboard’s mill on
Hargrove & Associates engineering
firm, founded in
· Thompson Engineering Testing Inc. was established by Vester Thompson Jr. in 1953. He sold the company to its employees in 1996.
· Volkert & Associates Engineering
o Poor engineering of the U.S. 98 rerouting, designed by the Alabama Department of Transportation and Volkert Engineering, contributed to runoff problems, according to interviews with transportation officials.
· Gulf States Engineering: Started in 1998 by Robert O. Edens, Gulf States Engineering serves industrial, commercial and government clients throughout the U.S. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Timothy Morris PE bought into the firm in 2001 as the fifth employee, and since that time the company has grown to include 40 employees in the Mobile office and 10 employees in the Gulfport office.
· Cox Nuclear Pharmacy, founded by Billy Cox, joined two other companies in January to form Triad Isotopes, one of the largest independent nuclear pharmacy companies in the country, in a deal estimated at more than $100 million. – PR 11/18/07
· CentraLite was formed in 1997 by Jim Busby, after he left QMS. CentraLite designs and manufactures home lighting control systems. Former Mayor Mike Dow joined as Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing in 2005.
o CentraLite's ownership was shown as Jim Busby, 1.4 million shares; Jim Busby Jr., 866,500 shares; Karen Swanson, 500 shares; Richard Palesano, 26,000 shares; Tom Hendrich, 23,000+ shares; and Mike Dow, 31,250 shares. – MBT 2/15/05
Big 10 Tire Company was founded in
· Molyneux and Demouy
Marshall Biscuit Co. is a Saraland company that makes frozen biscuits sold
in supermarkets. The Marshall Biscuit Company was founded in 1924 by John
Marshall. It began with the “Electric Maid Bake Shop”, a coffee shop in
Leroy Hill Coffee Company: In 1968 Leroy Hill purchased the
o In 1994 Hill was charged with orchestrating bogus
bids so he could buy 80 acres of state land adjoining his 3,500-acre ranch in
o In 1995, The widow of deceased coffee merchant Raymond E. Brooks sued the Leroy Hill, accusing him of cheating the terminally ill Brooks out of his share of the company they founded.
o In 2005 Paul Stewart and his coffee company, Coffee Pro Inc., won a $2.5 million verdict against Leroy Hill Coffee Co., which is owned by his estranged father-in-law, Leroy Hill, and two employees. The defendants were accused of slandering Coffee Pro by criticizing its product and ethics and by describing one of the company’s salespeople as a coffee thief and a homosexual. Hill, had originally been a defendant, but was dismissed the case, in a ruling that the plaintiffs had not presented evidence that he personally defamed anyone. Stewart started Coffee Pro in 1997.
Haas-Davis Meat Company was started in 1865 by George Augustus Haas and his
half-brother Fank Hemley.
Haas soon bought out Hemley. The company was located
· Carrington Foods and Miss Sally’s Stuffed Crabs began production in 1971. Miss Sally's stuffed crabs supplied to Sam's Clubs in southern and midwestern states through early 1994 were stuffed with surimi, a whitefish used as an inexpensive crab substitute. As a result of fraudulent use of the word "crabmeat," Carrington Foods was ordered to pay $78,000 in fines after pleading guilty to food product misbranding. Carrington Foods subsequently lost its contract with Sam's Club.
George Naman of
Autry Greer &
Sons, Inc. runs Greer’s Food Tiger grocery stores,
Greer’s Markets, and Tiger Discount Liquors.
Founded in 1916, it is still owned and run by the Greer family. It has 34 stores throughout the Southeast and
is based in
Bayou La Batre Seafood Companies (2005): Jubilee Foods, Sea Pearl
Seafood Co., Graham Fisheries Inc.,
o The restaurant's walls are covered with Wintzell's folksy sayings as well as photographs of hundreds of celebrities, sports heroes, politicians and local fishermen who have eaten there.
o SouthernPointe bought the 220-seat restaurant in January 2000. Bob Donlon, owner and chief executive officer of SouthernPointe Group, has been in the restaurant business for 40 years. His son-in-law, Bob Omainsky, is president of the company and a former district manager for Cracker Barrel restaurants.
o The company has four restaurants in Mobile County and
one in Fairhope, and it plans to open a sixth store in May next to Wal-Mart Supercenter at Schillinger and
Moffett roads in Semmes. The goal is to have seven company-owned eateries and
then focus on helping franchisees get started regionally, according to Donlon,. The new,
7,000-square-foot restaurant on Schillinger and
Moffett roads will be the company's first prototype store, Omainsky
said. All the other Wintzell's are located in former
restaurant buildings. The Wintzell's in the former Wharfhouse restaurant on
“The Nuthouse in
Goldstein's Jewlery was founded in
1879 by Julius Goldstein and purchased by the Frank family in the 1950s. It is
now owned by Richard Frank Jr. Goldstein's was originally located on
Shoe Station was founded in
· Standard Equipment Co. Inc., distributor of industrial, construction and marine supplies, was founded in 1906 by Richard A. Christian, and is today owned by E. Burnley Davis Sr. and Robert D. Wilkins. Standard was originally located at Commerce and St. Anthony streets, but for nearly 50 years has operated at Beauregard and Water streets near the state docks. – PR 9/27/07
o John B. Waterman founded the company in 1919 with
only $2,000 capital and a ship, the Eastern Sun, leased from the
o Ryan Stevedoring Company was organized in 1924 as a wholly-owned subsidiary, for the business of loading and discharging vessels.
o In 1926, Waterman organized and became president of
o Waterman, in 1930, purchased from the government the Mobile Oceanic Line, including fourteen ships that were soon refitted and improved for freight and passenger service. The Pan-Atlantic Steamship Corporation, with four vessels, was acquired in 1933. From 1935 to 1937 the management of fifteen vessels of the Anchor Line of Glasgow was taken over
o An affiliate, Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., built Navy and cargo ships.
o By 1930 its fleet included 14 ships varying in size from 7,500 to 9,200 deadweight tons. At the beginning of World War II, Waterman owned and operated 38 American flag vessels, as well as three Canadian and five Anchor Line ships, and 12 chartered vessels. By World War II, the company owned more than 125 ships.
o The company also ran Waterman Airlines , led by the founder's son, Caroll B. Waterman. In 1945 Waterman bought TACA Central American Airlines (it was sold in 1961)
o Under the leadership of E.A. "Ed" Roberts, who became president in 1936, Waterman became the largest privately owned steamship line in the nation, operating a fleet of 125 ships.
o The Waterman company erected
one of downtown
o In January 1955
P. McLean sold his trucking company for $25 million, moved to
o The first leveraged buy out in
o In 1989 International Shipholding
Corporation purchased Waterman Marine Corporation, which
operated the Waterman Steamship Corporation, for $34 million. ISC moved to
Alabama Dry Dock
& Shipbuilding Co., Kelly-Atkinson Construction Co., Henderson Shipbuilding
Inc. and U.S. Steel Corp (in Chickasaw) were shipbuilders in
The Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company
(ADDSCO) was one of the largest marine production facilities in the
o During and after World
War II, ADDSCO was the largest employer in southern
o By 1964, ADDSCO was down to 2,300 workers and was concentrating not on shipbuilding, but repairs. Racial equality was an ongoing problem following the war, addressed repeatedly by both management and union actions until the 1960s.
o In 1992, ADDSCO was
acquired by Atlantic Marine Holdings, a
privately held company. Atlantic Marine Holdings also owned two shipyards
o It was sold again in 2006 an investment firm headed by former U.S. Navy
Secretary John F. Lehman and the combined yard is now known as
Atlantic Marine Alabama. Lehman promised new investment in the business,
which is the second-largest landholder along
o Atlantic Marine sold an 87-acre parcel to the Port Authority and 102 acres on
o Atlantic Marine is committed to up to $10 million in upgrades, including removing dilapidated buildings, upgrading piers and bulkheads, performing a safety audit and building a training facility. Atlantic Marine has more than 600 permanent, full-time workers, not counting temporary employees and hopes to add 300 to 500 more within two years – PR 6/24/07
· The Star Fish & Oyster Company was started by Sebastian Gonzales, and continued by his four sons. It closed in the 1980s due to changes in federal fishing regulations.
Karl Graf arrived ca 1888 from Baden Baden,
Germany and began a dairy business at
The Mobile Shipyard owned by the Collins
family was located on
o In 1848 the businessmen of
o Progress of this line was hampered by the Civil War
and the depression of 1873, and the line did not reach the Ohio River until
1883, crossing the river to
o In 1940 the Gulf,
Mobile & Northern merged with the bankrupt Mobile & Ohio creating
o In 1972, GM&O merged with Illinois Central to
form Illinois Gulf Central. At the
time, there were 19,000 employees nationwide, 5,000 of them in
· The New Orleans & Mobile Railroad became CSX Transportation
Morrison cafeteria, a novel dining concept for the area, was opened by J. A. Morrison in 1920 in
In 1951, Morrison Cafeterias diversified
into noncommercial feeding by providing meals on the set of the film The Greatest
Show on Earth. Catering
contracts would constitute one of the primary business segments of the company
for the next 40 years. In 1952, Morrison Cafeterias signed a catering agreement
o In 1968, Morrison Cafeterias Consolidated, Inc. changed its name to Morrison Incorporated which completed several acquisitions in the 1960s and 1970s, adding a motel chain, a china and small wares facility, an insurance carrier specializing in coverage for strip mines, a distribution company, and a breading plant. With each acquisition, Morrison replaced existing management with Morrison personnel, attempting to meld the disparate organizations into one corporate body.
o Late in the 1970s, the company began to flounder, as its widespread interests had created bureaucratic layers that led to lower profit margins. In 1980, the company selected a new chief executive, Ernest Eugene Bishop. Bishop had joined Morrison in 1947 at age 16, rising through the company's ranks. Bishop divested all of the company's nonrestaurant holdings, noting later that the company's management "fell into the integration trap in the late 1960s and into the 1970s because it was in vogue."
o In 1982,
the company acquired the 15-unit restaurant chain, Ruby Tuesday, Inc. Ruby Tuesday was founded in 1972 by five college
students attending the
o In 1987, Beall was named president and COO, and CEO in 1992. This year also featured the reorganization of Morrison's businesses into three primary divisions, Morrison's Family Dining Group, Casual Dining Group, and Hospitality Group. Morrison's strategy to distance itself from its cafeteria image and identify itself as a specialty restaurant and contract-feeding operator led to a name change in 1992, when the former Morrison Incorporated became Morrison Restaurants Inc. The company restructured its operations again in 1994, combining its Hospitality Group with its Family Dining Group to create the Morrison Group, and renaming its Casual Dining Group the Ruby Tuesday Group, providing a clear indication of the company's strategic priorities as it entered the mid-1990s. Several months after reorganizing the company into two operating groups, Morrison sold all of its education and business/industry food service accounts to Gardner Merchant Ltd., an international contract food services company, leaving Morrison with only its health care food service contracts. In 1996, Morrison's Fresh Cooking — unable to withstand the loss in popularity of cafeterias in general — sold out to Picadilly.
o In 1998 Ruby Tuesday moved its corporate headquarters to
The company is credited with bringing the supermarket
o In 1997, the chain was purchased by Jackson, Mississippi-based Jitney Jungle, and by 1999 the combined chains went into bankruptcy. The next year some stores were sold off to Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie; most of those locations have since closed in the wake of that chain's own troubles. Nineteen other locations were sold to Birmingham-based Bruno's Supermarkets.
Gayfers was founded by C.J. Gayfer on
o Gayfer's (for so the company styled itself until the 1970s,
when it dropped the apostrophe) did business from several locations over the
years including 103 Dauphin St., later renumbered to 169, where it was housed
from 1880 to 1886, and the building next door, on the southeast corner of
Dauphin and Conception streets. In 1898, a disastrous fire ravaged its stock.
But the store recovered, and its new ``Spira and
o In the 1950s, Gayfers
became affiliated with Ohio-based Mercantile
Stores, a holding company (which also owned
Merchants National Bank of Mobile was
incorporated in 1901 with offices at
Gulf Federal Bank was chartered in 1963 as Gulf Federal Savings and
Loan Association and opened its doors in 1964. The institution has had a
troubled past. Howard Leroy Davis, who managed Gulf Federal from 1963 to 1983,
was convicted in 1986 of issuing $920,000 in unsecured loans to a friend in
exchange for $100,000 in kickbacks, as well as other misuses of the
· QMS (Quality Micro Systems) was founded in 1977 by James (Jim) Busby. Busby’s brother-in-law Mike Dow joined as EVP of sales and marketing and a member of the board of directors. Initially involved with controllers for printing bar codes and labels, it entered the laser printer business in the mid-1980s. QMS pioneered PostScript along with Apple and introduced the first auto switching printer and Kanji color printer. It was the first to sell a laser printer for under $2000 in 1985. In only six years, QMS grew from startup to $9 million in revenues and a $100 million market cap. It was listed on NASDAQ in 1983. In 1986, QMS became the first Mobile-headquartered company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. QMS employed 1500 people worldwide and had yearly revenues of over $300 million. In 1988, Dow left QMS to become Mayor of Mobile. Busby stepped down as chairman in 1997 after several years of decline. QMS was sold to Minolta in 1998 and changed its name to Minolta-QMS. In 2003, Minolta merged with Konica and the QMS name was dropped. The QMS headquarters was sold to the Mobile County School Board.
· Saunders Engine & Equipment Co. Inc., a family business founded in 1959 that provides diesel engine services to commercial marine clients, has agreed to sell its Mobile operations to Houma, La.-based Marine Systems Inc – PR 7/10/2007
Three George's Candy Store, which operates a store on
While most other
states fund robust consumer protection agencies to monitor and supervise the
way that utilities are regulated, no one in
Company is a member company of the Southern
Company, one of the largest investor owned utilities in the
o Alabama Power's 1997 KWH generation by source was 72% fossil fuel, 20% nuclear, and 8% hydro and other sources.
o As a part of the Southern Company System, Alabama Power is directly connected to the Southern Company grid.
It generates and distributes electricity to most of the
southern two thirds of
The Alabama Power Company was founded by steamboat
captain William Lay in 1906 in
o In 1947 the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the creation of The Southern Company, comprising Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Mississippi Power, and Gulf Power. The company had to sell South Carolina Power.
In 1885, the Electric Lighting Company of Mobile was organized by
Colonel H.M. Byllesby of
o Byllesby went on to form electric companies around the country
The Electric Light and Power Company was formed in
o In 1892, the Mobile Light and Railroad Company built a powerhouse at Water and Monroe Streets. It merged with the Electric Light and Power Company. These were then merged with Col. Byllesby’s Electric Lighting Company to form the Mobile Electric Company.
T.K. Jackson, a native of
The Mobile Electric Company’s
The Mobile Electric Company was purchased by the Alabama Power Company in
1925. Alabama Power formed the Gulf Electric Company to run its southern
· In 1999 the Environmental Protection Agency initiated an enforcement action against the company for violations of the Clean Air Act.
o In 2006, Alabama Power announced that it would spend $2 billion upgrading pollution controls at its coal-burning plants as part of a settlement with the agency.
o Legal claims against five coal-fired plants filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center were unsuccessful, but the SELC plans to appeal the decisions.
· As a regulated monopoly protected from competition, Alabama Power is allowed to earn between 13 percent and 14.5 percent return on equity.
o That range is exceptionally high, experts say. Critics have regularly questioned whether the PSC is overly generous with the utilities it is supposed to regulate. However, Alabama Power's residential rate is currently about 11 percent below the national average, according to the company.
o Alabama Power Co.'s residential rates have by more than one-third in the last five years. Nationally, the average residential electric rate climbed by about 16.3 percent. Since 1992, Alabama Power's residential electric rate has increased by almost 38 percent, compared to a national average of 30.4 percent.
coal-fired Barry Plant in north
· Alabama Power has been important in local economic and industrial development and recruiting.
· Mobile Energy Services Company’s 61 megawatt energy facility is located within the Kimberly-Clark tissue mill, and is the exclusive steam supplier to the mill and provides a substantial portion of the mill's electricity requirements. The powerhouse is fueled by a combination of coal, biomass and natural gas.
EnergySouth is an investor-owned energy
company engaged primarily in the distribution of natural gas in southwest
o In 1836, James H. Caldwell
created the Mobile Gas Light and
Coke Company and was given the task of providing “natural gas”
lighting for the downtown streets of
o Mobile Gas Light and Coke was reorganized as Mobile Gas
Service Corporation in 1906. The Company was incorporated under
the laws of the state of
o Mobile Gas was majority-owned by William Hearin, former publisher of the Mobile Press-Register, who was Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1983 to 2001.
o Bay Gas Storage formed in 1991.
o EnergySouth incorporated in 1997, and the next year, Mobile Gas and Bay Gas Storage became its subsidiaries.
o EnergySouth Midstream Inc. is a new subsidiary of EnergySouth, and Bay
Gas Storage will operate as a division of Midstream. The company has opened a
new Midstream sales office in
o EnergySouth trades under the ENSI symbol on the Nasdaq.
§ EnergySouth is now part of iShares Russell Microcap Fund.
§ The guaranteed return on equity for the company's natural gas subsidiary coupled with the growing profit its storage component have sparked speculation among analysts that the company could be bought out. EnergySouth maintains it is not for sale.
Revenue Growth (1yr)
Revenue Growth (5yr)
Operating Margin Growth (1yr)
Operating Margin Growth (5yr)
o In 2006, Bay Gas Storage accounted for about 45 percent of EnergySouth's earnings, and the company predicted that will grow further in coming years.
o Mobile Gas and Bay Gas are independently operated, but Bay Gas has a 20-year contract to store natural gas for Mobile Gas. Mobile Gas pays about twice as much for storage as commercial Bay Gas customers such as Tampa Electric Co.
o EnergySouth reported $14 million in earnings in 2006, up from $13.8 million the previous year, attributing the gain to the strength of Bay Gas Storage. Earnings at Bay Gas rose 26 percent from 2005 to 2006, the company said, while profits dropped at Mobile Gas.
o In 2007 EnergySouth
o C. Dean Liollio, EnergySouth president and chief executive officer, came to the company in 2006 after a 23-year career at Houston-based CenterPoint Energy Inc. The EnergySouth board of directors had raised the annual base salary of its chief executive officer, Dean Liollio, from $325,000 to $400,000. Liollio was hired in 2006 to replace former chief executive John Davis, who retired.
Directors: WALTER A. BELL Commissioner, Department of
Insurance, State of
o EnergySouth directors and executives own more than one million
of the company's shares. There are more than 7.9 million shares outstanding. Major Shareholders (as of 12-06): Thomas Van Antwerp
has voting rights on over 581,000 shares or 7% of outstanding shares (including
Ann B. Hearin 105,000, Louise B. Hearin
64,000 , Luis Williams 12,000, Hearin-Chandler
Foundation 175,000, Staples Family LLC 210,000). Other major beneficial owners
include Royce and Associates, LLC,
· Mobile Gas, EnergySouth's largest subsidiary, serves over 100,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The Alabama Public Service Commission regulates gas deliveries to these customers.
o Mobile Gas' service territory covers approximately 300 square miles. Mobile Gas is also involved in merchandise sales, specifically sales of natural gas appliances.
o EnergySouth also provides natural gas transportation not subject to Alabama Public Service Commission regulation through its pipeline and storage subsidiaries.
Company is directly connected to three natural gas processing plants in south
· Federal surveys that show customers of Mobile Gas Service Corp. pay some of the highest rates in the nation for natural gas. - PR
o Mobile Gas charged an average of $20.81 for 1,000 cubic feet of gas in 2005, compared with a national average of $12.81.
o Mobile Gas is the country's second-most-expensive state-regulated utility for residential gas prices, according to a national price analysis conducted by federal officials at the request of the Press Register.
o The Mobile City Council asked the Alabama Public Service Commission to investigate natural gas rates. Reggie Copeland and William Carroll voted against the resolution.
o Mobile Gas Service Corp. charged its estimated 5,000 commercial customers up to twice as much as some utilities in surrounding states, according to an analysis of 2006 natural gas charges by the Press-Register. – PR 2/18/2007
o The Alabama Public Service Commission questioned the
use of the federal survey results and said that PSC President Jim Sullivan did
not believe the Mobile Gas rates were unfair or out of order, based on the PSC
rules that the company operates under.
o The Alabama Attorney General's Office is reviewing financial records at Mobile Gas Service Corp., an evaluation prompted in part by consumer complaints about the utility's high natural gas rates. – PR 8/4/07
· Bay Gas Storage Company, Ltd., an EnergySouth subsidiary, provides natural gas storage services.
o Bay Gas owns and operates three underground caverns used for natural gas storage located in McIntosh
o The third Bay Gas storage cavern alone is about 250 feet wide and 1,200 feet deep. It will cost about $60 million to develop Bay Gas has plans to drill a fourth cavern will have the capacity to hold 5 billion cubic feet of natural gas and is scheduled to begin service in the fall of 2009. The project is the first phase of a planned expansion that will later include a fifth cavern also capable of storing 5 billion cubic feet of natural gas, raising the company's total capacity at Bay Gas to 22 billion cubic feet.
o Natural gas storage now accounts for about 44 percent of EnergySouth earnings.
o EnergySouth Services held a general partnership
interest of 90. 9% in Bay Gas Storage Company, Ltd. (Bay Gas), an
o Utilities purchase gas and place it in underground storage facilities during the summer months when prices are low, then pull the gas from storage for use during the winter months.
o Storage caverns are cut from naturally formed, underground salt domes through solution mining. A well is drilled, water is injected and salt brine -- a mixture of water and salt -- is extracted.
o A Mobile Gas Service Corp. storage deal appears to
charge customers here about double the standard rate in the industry. Under the
terms of the 20-year storage deal, which concludes in 2014, Mobile Gas customers are
scheduled to pay Bay Gas $84 million in fees. Press-Register research indicates
that customers might have saved about $42 million if Mobile Gas had struck a
deal at the standard industry rate for storage. The cost that Mobile Gas
customers pay per unit of gas placed in storage has increased significantly
o The profits of EnergySouth and Bay Gas Storage are not limited by the PSC's jurisdiction. The cost of Bay Gas storage is borne by Mobile Gas customers, not by the utility.
o Congress' passage last year of the Energy Policy Act was designed to encourage more infrastructure investment like EnergySouth is doing with its storage caverns. It also aimed to encourage consolidation in the energy industry by removing Securities and Exchange Commission requirements surrounding utilities mergers.
Hub Inc. plans to build 50 billion
cubic feet of natural gas storage between
o MoBay has won approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and received required air and water permits from the ADEM in 2006.
o Still needed are a permit from the Corps of Engineers
and a long-term lease from the state of
o The balance of negotiating power tipped when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January granted MoBay a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the proposed project. Under federal law, the certificate gives the company the power to take the land by eminent domain. MoBay has acquired more than 90 percent of the onshore pipeline rights of way from private landowners by negotiation.
o Its Houston-based parent company is Falcon Gas Storage. The company said it plans to start construction in April 2008 and complete the $250 million storage facility by 2009.
o The MoBay project is a
conversion of the company's nearly depleted gas field in the
o The project would create the largest natural gas
storage facility in the
o The Bayou La Batre
Industrial Development Authority granted MoBay an
abatement of state and county taxes, saving the company an estimated $7.5
million in ad valorem taxes and $8.7 million in sales
and use taxes over the course of five years. MoBay,
however, will pay full sales and use taxes to the city of
The Board of
Water and Sewer Commissioners of the City of
on Bayou Chotage
(Three Mile Creek) was the important early source of water supply for the City
In 1832, the
city constructed an aqueduct from a spring near the late residence of Judge
Lipscomb at Spring Hill. In 1836, the City of
In 1840 the city
o The pump site at Spring Hill fed a tank site was about 2 miles from town. From the elevated tank, a system of lines extended throughout the City.
o Some of the lines consisted of cast-iron but the majority were bored-out heart pine logs.
In 1886, the Bienville Water
Supply Company was organized with Dr. George A. Ketchum
as its president. This company constructed a pumping plant on Clear Creek off
· In 1898, because neither the Stein nor the Bienville companies were able to meet demand, after some litigation, the City acquired the properties and water-rights of the Stein interests, and decided to construct a public-owned supply. Bienville Water Supply sued the city and it was appealed to the US Supreme Court. In 1900, the City system was put into operation.
o The pumping station was on Three Mile Creek at the
east end of what is now
· The Bienville and the City systems, after the abandonment of the Stein system, operated as virtually parallel, but separate systems until 1907, when the city acquired the Bienville holdings for $350,000. Since that time the two systems have been interconnected and operated as one.
During World War
II supply became inadequate and the water sheds of Clear and Three Mile Creeks
were becoming more urbanized and the quality of the supply was endangered. The
source of supply recommended by the Mobile Water Works to the City and Planning
Commissions was Big Creek, in the western part of
In 1952, so that
money could be raised from issuance of bonds to update the existing water
system, the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners was created and entered into
a contract with the City of
· The Big Creek (Converse) Reservoir was placed in service in 1952 at a cost of about $7,000,000 including land, dams, pumphouse, reservoir and pipelines. Construction required two years.
delivered from the 3,600-acre lake that collects water from a 103 square mile
watershed and pumping station by pipes to two reservoirs where it is diverted
either to domestic or industrial use. The reservoirs are at an elevation of 220
feet and industrial water is delivered by gravity to industry at an elevation
of about 25 feet. The industrial water line extends from the filter plant
northward about 7 miles to the industrial sites at Magazine Point. Pumps at
Many years ago,
the Board made the decision to create a water supply reservoir in
· The Mobile Water Service System is publicly owned and is operated by the Board under a deed of trust from the City. This Board consists of five members that are appointed by the City Council. Raw water was purchased from the City Water Works Board from 1952 to 1968. The two Boards were merged in 1968, with the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners taking over the raw water system.
· The potable water system provides water through two water treatment plants. The potable water system consists of approximately 1,265 miles of water lines ranging in size from 2 to 60 inches in diameter. The total storage capacity for the potable water system is 57,000,000 gallons. The Mobile Area Water and Sewer System has three wastewater treatment plants
o Raw water from
o As the number of industries has declined dramatically since the canal’s construction, the demand for industrial water has fallen substantially and, consequently, the canal is routinely shut down. In the event of emergency, water from the pipeline canal could be diverted to a water treatment plant for public consumption.
· Harbor Communications is a Mobile-based competitive local exchange carrier, or CLEC.
o In 2007 it was sold to J&L LLC, consisting of
real estate developer Larry
Wireman and his associate Judy Ramey, along with Boihem
Investments LLC, an entity of
o Mark B. Baggs Sr. co-founded Harbor in 2001 with Ed Forbess and two other people. Forbess now serves as the company's general manager, while Baggs is its vice president of operations and marketing.
o Harbor grew up in the Center for Entrepreneurial
Excellence business incubator alongside Southern Light LLC. At one time, Harbor
and Southern Light had a common investor, and they still do business
together. Harbor's has had 19 employees
for the past three years. Various business information services put annual
revenue at about $4 million. Harbor provides services primarily to businesses
Southern Light LLC, founded in
The DayTrading Institute
partnership, Oil Shale Exploration Co.,
was offered an oil-shale mine lease in
James R. "Jimmy" Phipps, the brainchild behind the "Life Without Debt"
pyramid scheme that ensnared numerous affluent Mobilians
several years ago, has been found guilty of money laundering, tax evasion and
other crimes, and faces what could be a substantial prison sentence. Phipps
operated pyramid schemes for more than 20 years, all the while claiming that
federal tax laws were illegal and didn't apply to him because he was
"sovereign." Prosecutors charged that from 1998 to 2006, he collected
more than $25 million from 30,000 "Life Without
Debt" participants. Of those, more than 90 percent lost their money. In
the summer of 2001, "Life Without Debt"
Text Copyright 2007
Disclaimer: These Notes are not original. They are complied from various sources,
primarily the Press-Register (PR),