CSM’s frosting reception

first_imgCSM has launched a new range of Craigmillar Frostings for topping or filling cakes. The firm said the frostings range is suited to American-style products, such as cupcakes, brownies and whoopie pies.The frostings contain natural flavours and are available in vanilla, chocolate and caramel varieties. They come in 10kg pails.By the end of this month, CSM claims it will have eliminated azo colourants from its full product range, to cater for consumer demand for natural ’clean label’ products. It will replace the synthetic azo colourants with non-azo colorants.CSM said the move anticipates a new EU regulation stipulating that products containing azo colorants be labelled with the following health warning: ’May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children’. The firm’s European research and product development teams have worked to address the technical challenges of replacing the azo colorants to ensure that product performance and flavour are not adversely affected and in particular the colour brightness and transparency of products such as Craigmillar Merjel jellies remain of the highest standard, said CSM.last_img read more

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Food to go drives Greencore growth

first_imgThe UK’s leading sandwich and celebration cake company, Greencore, has outperformed the food to go market, with like-for-like revenue growth of 15.3% in the past year.In its full year results up to 26 September, it announced that group revenue was also up 7.4% on a like-for-like basis.This comes as the business began a significant £30,000 investment into its Northampton production facility in May this year. The sandwich firm said the extension of the production unit was nearly complete, and construction of a whole new facility on adjacent land would begin shortly.It said it hoped this would enable new business and allow its commitment to growth initiatives with a customer.Its grocery sector, which operates from four facilities and represents approximately 20% of group revenue, has also performed well.Its celebration cakes category grew by 5.4%, but the chilled desserts category declined by 1.0%. Commenting on the results, Patrick Coveney, chief executive, said: “This has been a year of strong strategic, operational and financial progress for Greencore. The group’s focus on extending our leadership in the food-to-go market is yielding great results, with like for like revenue growth in that area of the business exceeding 15%. “We have strong market positions, a clear strategy, and are continuing to lay the foundations for future growth through a significant capacity and capability investment programme in both the UK and the US. We enter the new financial year with good momentum and remain well positioned to deliver further progress in FY15 and beyond.”last_img read more

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That Joe Russo’s Almost Dead “& Company” Set At Fool’s Paradise Is Why We Live For Live Music

first_imgLive music, like any art form, can mean different things to different people. That’s the beauty of it, really–while we all may hear the same notes, each person takes something unique away from the experience. There are always levels to it. To this day, I cherish the vivid memory of my first Phish show, on 7/3/12 at Jones Beach–the excitement of watching those four guys walk out onstage and drop into a funky groove, of finally seeing Phish! I wouldn’t discover until later that this memorable opening tune wasn’t even a Phish song, but rather a cover of Little Feat‘s “Skin It Back”–and an ultra-rare 1,417-show bust-out at that. How would I know? It was all new to me. Thinking back on it now, I can only imagine the giddy delight of the more seasoned fans watching next to me, digesting the significance of what they were watching unfold. They were seeing their favorite band open a show with a long-lost cover, a song they may have been chasing for decades; I was seeing a legendary band for the very first time. Two distinct experiences derived from the same performance, both intensely significant on a personal level, and for very different reasons.I was reminded of this notion a week ago at Fool’s Paradise, after Joe Russo’s Almost Dead‘s fantastic headlining set featuring Dead & Company‘s Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge. During the Eric Krasno Band late-night set that followed, I struck up a conversation with a college student several years my junior. Together, we gushed about how incredible the JRAD & Company show had been, but it became quickly apparent that this set had been memorable to each of us for entirely different reasons. As a long-time fan of the Grateful Dead‘s music and patron of every post-Jerry Dead project and cover band imaginable (oh, the cross we Millennial Deadheads bear), my reasons for the set’s allure felt obvious: It was Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, a live music juggernaut in their own right and arguably the most electric Dead you can hear live today, breathing new life into some all-time favorite songs with help from two of the most influential latter-day disciples of the Grateful gospel, grins plastered across each of their faces. Timelessness meeting timeliness in thrilling fashion. A little bit of JRAD, a little bit of Dead & Co, a whole lot of magic. But to this young fan, the thrills were of a much simpler variety: “Two bass players trading riffs! Then one of them got on drums, and there were two people playing drums! All without breaking their stride!” He didn’t know the significance of this specific collaboration. Hell, he probably didn’t even realize that this wasn’t the band’s usual lineup. But despite his lack of background, the power of the music was undeniable. We watched the same performance, but had two very different experiences–and we each loved it for our own personal reasons.At the end of the day, that’s what this whole live music thing is all about. It’s for everyone, and it’s also just for you. It’s an experience “in utero”–the artists play the notes, plant the seeds, and each of us takes it from there, our own lives and backgrounds and tastes and personalities dictating how it affects us. That’s why we travel across the country and around the world to see our favorite bands. That’s why we relish opportunities to see our favorite artists collaborate, get creative, push the boundaries of the music we love. That’s why we support up-and-coming bands and spread the word about unknown artists we believe in. Live music is the vehicle–where it takes you is up to you.***Below, you can watch crowd-shot footage of the full set courtesy of YouTube user The Sober Goat and view a beautiful gallery of photos from the set courtesy of Patrick Hughes (Faces of Festivals), Keith Griner (Phierce Photo), and Jeremy Scott***Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (& Company) | Fool’s Paradise | St. Augustine, FL | 3/31/17 (setlist via Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Facebook)SET: Jam @ -> Good Lovin > Ruben & Cherise -> Not Fade Away # -> Loser $ -> The Eleven -> Dancing In The Streets % -> Brown Eyed Women % -> I Know Your Rider % ^NOTES:@ – With “China->Rider Transition” Teases (TH)# – With a New Speedway Boogie Tease (TH)$ – With Ruben & Cherise Teases (Band)% – With With Oteil Burbridge on Bass & Dave on Drums &/or Bass as well^ – With a “National Anthem” (Radiohead) Jam and Morning Dew Teases (TH)[Cover photo by Jeremy Scott] Load remaining images Joe Russo’s Almost Dead w/ Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge – Photos by Patrick Hughes, Keith Griner, and Jeremy Scottlast_img read more

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Meet the Women of the Dell EMC Partner Program: Cheryl Cook

first_imgThis is the second post in our Meet the Women of the Dell EMC Partner Program series, which provides insight into what drives the inspiring women of the Dell EMC channel. Missed the first post? Get to know Joyce Mullen (President, Global Channel, OEM & IoT, Dell EMC) now. What is your current role/area of responsibility, and how long have you worked with the channel partner community?I have been working in the channel for 20+ years, holding various sales and marketing leadership positions that covered nearly all partner types—solution providers, distributors, global systems integrators—across multiple companies in the industry.As Senior Vice President of Global Partner Marketing at Dell EMC, I spearhead development and strategy for the newly-established Global Partner Marketing Organization. Beyond my main global responsibilities for branding, partner program marketing, channel events, partner communications, and MDF program investment and execution, I drive long-term partner marketing strategy, together with regional Commercial and Infrastructure Solution business teams. A vocal advocate for the Partner community, I work to create mutually-beneficial business solutions that accelerate our partners’ success.What are your goals for your company’s channel business over the next year?We will continue to invest and refine our Dell EMC Partner Program, collaborating with our Partners and expanding across all Dell EMC solution areas. Like our customers, our partners are undergoing their own Digital, IT and Security transformations.  We need to find ways to support the partner ecosystem as digital marketing and social selling become more and more pervasive.  Extending our digital capabilities and best practices,  in addition to providing digital marketing tools, training and resources, will help our partner community transform the way they market, sell, and integrate these emerging technologies in their own digital journey.Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why?As many working mothers experience, it was difficult to balance my career while raising a family with my two sons.  You need to have the right support, and I was quite fortunate to have Julia, our full-time nanny, housekeeper, and house-wife of 22 years.  I admire Julia for her dedication and commitment to my family.  Her devotion provided me with the comfort and peace of mind that my children were receiving the best, loving care.  Her presence in our family allowed me to pursue my career with confidence, and I would not have the career I’ve had without her.What advice would you give to other women in the industry? Or men?Be confident and trust your instincts.  When I was just starting in business, as confident as I was, I had a lot of self-doubt and questioned my instincts.  As I look back on the choices I made, I can now say that I was right, but there was some self-doubt.  So my advice is: trust your gut and internal compass.  Be authentic, and don’t shy away from new challenges. Please share some words to live by that have helped you throughout your career.I view change as an opportunity, rather than a deterrent or roadblock, and this “glass half-full” attitude has really helped my career. In the IT industry, we feel incredible pressure to change: to survive, we must adapt quickly to the pace of digital transformation and how our customers are planning for it (or reacting to it).  Whether in our own businesses or those of our partners and customers, we know it’s digitize or die, Uber or be Ubered, sink or swim!  The dynamic, rapidly changing world of technology creates many opportunities to evolve and transform the organization to meet our customers’ needs. I like problem-solving and am stimulated by new challenges, and I found that being open to and anticipating change enabled me to accept any number of options or paths that could get me where I wanted to go. I call it “the art of the AND”: instead of viewing choices as an either/or scenario, view them as an “and”, an opportunity.  It is the power of the “AND”—the “What’s next? What else?”—that gives one an advantage. Every time change presented itself in my career, I took the opportunity and adapted, and that openness to change has been critical to my career.What do you do for fun outside of Dell EMC? When I’m not running from airport to Dell EMC office or partner sites, I enjoy exercise, shopping and spending time with friends and family. I am an avid Florida Gator fan (there’s nothing passive about being a Gator, especially for University of Florida alumna). As you can see, I love to combine my favorite things: family (my sisters in this picture) and the Gators … So give a cheer for the Orange and Blue!last_img read more

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Waynesboro – A Divinely Placed Getaway

first_imgStable Craft Brewing, located on a working horse farm, also has a tap room, on-site restaurant, and rustic on-farm lodging. It’s one of the 15 microbreweries on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, all of which are within an easy hour’s drive of one another. Be sure to hit Waynesboro’s other nearby breweries: Seven Arrows Brewing, which provides a pub-like setting and enticing full menu that is adored by locals; and Basic City Beer Co., housed in a renovated brass foundry, which lends a neo-industrial flair to the beers it brews with artesian spring water. While you’re there, sample Hops Kitchen’s beer-infused dishes, such as the popular Chicken Satay or Brewery Crafted Nachos, voted by the Food Network as the best nachos in Virginia!  For breakfast or lunch, Farmhaus Coffee Co. serves up Blanchard’s Coffee alongside local goodies in a bright, airy space that doubles as an art gallery. Try the Avocado Toast, Yogurt Parfait, or a melt-in-your-mouth “Hausmade” pastry. Rest and Rejuvinate Waynesboro has hundreds of hikes out its back door. At Rockfish Gap, where the Blue Ridge Parkway begins, step onto the famous Appalachian Trail and follow it for as many miles as your heart (and legs) desire. If you prefer to stick to the Shenandoah Valley, try one of the trails near Sherando Lake Recreation Area. The Lower Lake has an easy footpath encircling its perimeter, with a larger network of trails spilling outward into George Washington National Forest. Nothing showcases the splendor of the Shenandoah Valley like a scenic drive or bike ride. With Waynesboro as your base camp, you are within minutes of the Blue Ridge Parkway (America’s favorite scenic drive, with over 15 million visitors a year), the Skyline Drive (bisecting Shenandoah National Park), and Route 11 (historic byway that brought bison, Native Americans, and settlers to the valley). The Dooms Day Loop and the Waynesboro to Grottoes Loop are a couple of favorite bike excursions from town, or simply pedal along the bike lanes and Greenway trail within Waynesboro city limits. Fly fishing happens year-round in Waynesboro’s South River, where trophy sized rainbow and brown trout lure anglers to its spring-fed waters. You can also cast your line in neighboring mountain streams, where native brook trout thrive. Grab your gear or a guide at South River Fly Shop just two blocks from the river.  Divinely placed among the adventure, Waynesboro enjoys close proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Appalachian Trail, making it ideal for a great mountain getaway. Add to that a picturesque river in a growing downtown and you’ve got the perfect base camp for exploration. Reenergize with a kombucha tasting at Blue Ridge Bucha’s tap room. This fermented tea is touted for its health benefits, and Blue Ridge Bucha’s organic, small batches are touted for their taste! You’ll want to grab one of their refillable bottles to take with you. center_img Whether your adventure calls for a room with a spectacular view, access to stellar amenities, or storybook surroundings, there’s a place for you to rest and soak up the ambience in Waynesboro. Complete your getaway with a relaxing stay at The Iris Inn, where you’ll find options ranging from traditional B&B rooms to private cottages and luxury cabins overlooking the Shenandoah Valley.  Get Outside Nourish Yourself Waynesboro’s burgeoning art scene showcases contemporary, traditional, folk, performing, and street arts all in geographically close proximity. Check out the Vaudeville-era Wayne Theatre for everything from local to international musicians, art openings, original theater productions, and even film screenings. The Shenandoah Valley Art Center is your go-to for a variety of traditional and contemporary visual art, with galleries, studios, and a wonderful gift shop filled with goods handmade by local artisans. View the familiar folk-art of P. Buckley Moss at her Downtown Gallery, which houses the country’s most extensive collection of her work. Additionally, the Virginia Street Arts Festival has called Waynesboro home for five years, adding distinctive murals to the Wayne Theatre campus, Basic City Beer Co., and the historic Ice Plant building along the South River. Photo by Nils Westergard. Explore the Arts Photo by Jumping Rocks Photography. last_img read more

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Appalachian Trail trailheads closed in WNC

first_imgWest Virginians can fish free for a month Brevard-based SylvanSport shifts focus from manufacturing campers to life-saving PPE Despite social distancing guidelines, large crowds have continued to flock to the Appalachian Trail, forcing the U.S. Forest Service to close trailhead access in Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests in North Carolina and Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee.  West Virginia is under a shelter in place order, but Governor Jim Justice won’t let that stop you from fishing. The governor has announced that WV residents can enjoy a month of free fishing, valid until April 24. The requirement to possess a fishing license to fish in state regulated waters has been waived for WV residents, though anglers are required to practice social distancing.  All fishing regulations remain in place, including bag limits, slot limits, catch-and-release areas, and fly-fishing only areas. The waiver also includes trout and conservation stamps. All requirements for hunting licenses remain in effect.  (Source: Asheville Citizen Times) Tom Dempsey, president of RV manufacturer SylvanSport, has shifted from making campers in his Brevard, NC facility to producing personal protection equipment for medical personnel working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We make campers. We’re not saving the world,” Dempsey told the Citizen Times. “So, we said really early, let’s be responsible.”  The sites impacted by the most recent closures include: Max Patch- Cherokee and Pisgah National ForestsRoan Mountain/ Carvers Gap- Cherokee and Pisgah National ForestsLovers Leap- Pisgah National ForestWayah Bald- Nantahala National ForestCheoah Bald- Nantahala National ForestHampton and Dennis Cove Trailheads (Laurel Falls)- Cherokee National ForestOsborne Farm- Cherokee National Forest In addition to manufacturing PPE, Dempsey has also been able to procure N95 masks from one of his suppliers in China, which he delivered to Hendersonville Pediatrics. The unique campers he builds are also coming in handy as rapid deployable shelters, the Citizen Times reports, with health care providers using them as triage stations before bringing patients into their offices.  Photo of AT sign from Getty Imageslast_img read more

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Uruguay Discusses the New Military Roles in Latin America

first_imgBy Marcos Ommati/Diálogo September 06, 2016 The South American Defense Conference (SOUTHDEC) 2016 began with a moment of silence on August 17th in Montevideo, Uruguay, in honor of Uruguayan Air Force Captain Fernando Martín de Rebolledo and Second Lieutenant Gonzalo Correa, who perished in a tragic military helicopter accident the day prior. However, it was the first time that Uruguay hosted the conference, whose theme this year was “The evolution of the military role in Latin America.” Diálogo talked to Army General Nelson Eduardo Pintos González, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Defense of Uruguay, to discuss the main theme of SOUTHDEC 2016 and other related topics.Diálogo: Uruguay has a very important tradition in the area of humanitarian aid, participation in peacekeeping missions for the United Nations and others. Can you talk to us about this?Gen. Nelson Eduardo Pintos González: The regional scene makes it practically impossible to conceive of a conflict between nations in the region. In addition to having the specific function of defending the sovereignty and independence of the territories, the national defense, beyond the Armed Forces, has the role of seeking and being able to take actions that will benefit the society, the country, and the international community as well. And support through participation in the peacekeeping missions is an important point for achieving that. As far as humanitarian aid in the case of disasters, our Armed Forces of our country fulfill and carry out many activities to benefit society as a whole. They support the various ministries, the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Education and Culture, for example, with various activities. For example, there is a military unit in a city in Uruguay’s interior which gets the maintenance of the unit’s vehicles, the mechanical equipment, and the tanks, done there. Automotive-maintenance classes are taught to young people in that community with the participation of military personnel. Then, professors of the Technical University of Uruguay teach classes to the civilian and military population also in the premises of the military unit. Support to the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Agriculture, and Fisheries is planned with regard to what are called sanitary barriers against the intrusion of a pandemic transmitting an animal illness or one that affects agriculture. The ministry draws control lines with its inspectors, but with the help of the Armed Forces; and there are Armed Forces personnel who also receive education in areas of the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Agriculture, and Fisheries that allow them to participate and carry out specific activities within the requirements of those lines of sanitation control so that they may also collaborate.Diálogo: Uruguay has the National College of Peace Operations (known by the Spanish acronym ENOPU), an institution considered an international benchmark in the training of military personnel for participation in peacekeeping missions. Can you explain how a country of less than 3.5 million inhabitants can be a benchmark in that area of peacekeeping operations?Gen. Pintos: It is more or less like having to explain that we have 45,000 troops who have been through peace missions when our Armed Forces amount to more or less, 25,000. [Laughter] How can I explain?Diálogo: Ah, but that is over multiple years. The 45,000 troops are troops who have participated in peace keeping missions since the beginning, right?Gen. Pintos: Over time, yes, because many of our comrades have gone on more than one peacekeeping mission to different places. So, that has allowed them to gain experience that has then let us integrate them into ENOPU, and, with their contributions, they accomplished very good results in training, leaders in particular, when they enroll for personal development and to prepare for the peacekeeping missions.Diálogo: Given the probable end of MINUSTAH [the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti], will the Uruguayan military personnel there be redirected, for example, to Africa?Gen. Pintos: It may be. There is a possibility. At the moment, Uruguay is part of a battalion with Peru, that is, a Uruguayan company and a Peruvian company together. We are working together in Haiti, and it is a new experience because integrating the two countries into one unit is a new experience, but for now, it has been pretty beneficial for both.Diálogo: The other different role of the military is the fight against drug trafficking. Are the Armed Forces of Uruguay also involved in that fight?Gen. Pintos: No. In our country the fight against drug trafficking is not a fundamental mission of the Armed Forces. The National Navy, in particular, and the Air Force control entry to the country. The National Navy has jurisdiction over the sea and riverine border crossings, where the Naval Prefecture has jurisdiction. And the country’s other point of entry, the airports, are the responsibility of the Aviation Police, which is the responsibility of the Air Force. Basically, that is the part that could be directed and used for the control of drug trafficking. Beyond accidental controls, as with any citizen, the rest falls under the responsibility of the Army. But control and search are not part of its functions… that is, there are no military operations directed at the fight against drug trafficking.Diálogo: The last topic of the conference was female participation in the Armed Forces. What is your evaluation of the female participation in the Armed Forces of Uruguay?Gen. Pintos: Women have participated, as was shown during SOUTHDEC, since the year 1970, more or less. They began to fulfill various functions: First in the medical area, later in justice, until, in the 1990s, the possibility for women to become commissioned officers became available. Today, we have female majors in all of the Army’s branches, and without limitations. They also have no limitations in the Air Force or the Navy. Women are holding positions, and they have responded and earned their places and gained respect.Diálogo: As the host country, can you give us an analysis of SOUTHDEC 2016?Gen. Pintos: I have received the best comments. I believe the objectives we foresaw were well achieved. I believe it is enriching to share experiences among the various actors who participated. Vice Admiral Gonzalo Ríos Polastri [during his presentation about the Inter-American Defense Board] synthesized it very well. He said, “The knowledge of one favors the group.” And so it has. Sharing the knowledge of one with the group has enriched us all. It touched upon very important topics. The peacekeeping missions are a very important topic, one, particularly for Uruguay, that has given it the chance to make itself known to the world. We are a small country, low-key; however, many people in the world know us because we participate in peacekeeping operations missions, and that provides a chance for us to be recognized. Today, Uruguay is part of the UN Security Council, and one of the strong points that made this possible is our participation in peacekeeping operations.last_img read more

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City must keep up its neighborhoods

first_imgWhat has happened to Crane Street? When I drive to my friend’s house on Crane Street, I see empty buildings, rundown homes and garbage littering yards and fouling the street.The news reports from that neighbored are of rampant crime, including shootings and drug related arrests. People hang out at all hours of the day and night in front of stores. Groups of people walk in the street instead of using the sidewalk and even use the street as an area in which to congregate while blocking traffic flow.Crane Street used to have the best bakeries. The White Eagle’s cream pies and Mont Pleasant Bakery’s bread and pastries had people lining up for the best, fresh baked goods.Schenectady, take pride in all of your neighborhoods. Bring back the good things that Mont Pleasant, Bellevue, Goose Hill and the others used to be noted for. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh baking bread in the air — so good — and the sight of neatly kept lawns with flowers and trees. So beautiful.Gina SauterScotia More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

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New chapter for storybook cottage as it goes under the hammer

first_img9 Bundal Street Chermside Qld 4032. Picture: Realestate.com.auA FOUR bedroom storybook cottage will enter a new chapter when it goes under the hammer at 1pm (Saturday June 10).The three bathroom, twin garage, double storey home at 9 Bundal St, Chermside, is big enough for large families to live in comfort and comes complete with established gardens, chicken coop and veggie patch.The residence is set over two levels with multiple indoor and outdoor living and entertaining spaces. On entry, the ground level is decorated with a colour scheme of whites and yellows, complemented by polished hardwood floors and timber windows.9 Bundal Street Chermside Qld 4032. Picture: Realestate.com.auTaking centre stage, a downstairs living room is accentuated by an antique chandelier and a stylish bar complete with pendant lighting, a sink, multiple bar fridges and ceiling-high shelves.Two bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry with external access are nearby. Of these bedrooms, the main has a chandelier, a walk-in wardrobe and an ensuite with twin vanities.Bi-fold doors open the living room out to a spacious covered patio and timber deck, with these areas overlooking the yard complete with feature trees, the chicken coop and veggie patch.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours ago9 Bundal St, Chermside.Back inside, a staircase near the main entrance ascends to the house’s upper level, also with hardwood flooring along with decorative cornices.An open-plan study and dining room is near the kitchen, with frosted double casement windows letting in natural light and breezes.Glass cabinetry, a pantry, stainless steel appliances, an island bench top and built-in range hood appoint the cooking space, with double doors opening to a rear timber deck with privacy screens.Two more bedrooms are upstairs, one of which has a built-in reading bench. Both share a contemporary bathroom.9 Bundal Street Chermside Qld 4032. Picture: Realestate.com.auDetached from the house is a double garage providing additional storage space.Agent Rosemary Ahearn described the property as an ideal family home rich in warmth and charm.“Serenely nestled in a quiet tree-lined street, this delightful two-level residence offers every luxury one could desire,” Ms Ahearn said.“The large master bedroom provides a serene haven for parents, while multiple living and study areas ensure plenty of room for the whole family to spread out and find their own space.”9 Bundal St, Chermside.Ms Ahearn said the residence also offered the potential for dual accommodation, with other features including ducted reverse cycle airconditioning and a barbecue area with water and town gas ready to be connected.The auction will be held on site at 1pm today.last_img read more

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Dutch court approves €1.3bn Fortis settlement

first_imgThe Amsterdam Court of Appeal has approved a settlement worth €1.3bn between Ageas – the successor company to the Fortis financial services group – and organisations pursuing claims for financial losses arising from the group’s collapse in late 2008.The claimant groups include Deminor, a provider of investment recovery services, and the foundation Stichting Investor Claims Against Fortis (SICAF), which both represent hundreds of institutional investors, including pension funds from Europe, North America and Asia.Other groups involved in the settlement are Stichting FortisEffect and the Dutch shareholders’ association VEB.Several court actions in Belgium and the Netherlands were brought by or on behalf of investors that held Fortis shares during the several months preceding the group’s collapse in early October 2008. It was alleged that Fortis misrepresented the value of its collateralised debt obligations, its exposure to subprime-related mortgage-backed securities, the evolution of its financial position, and the extent to which its acquisition of ABN Amro – in a consortium with Royal Bank of Scotland and Banco Santander – had compromised its own solvency.The claimants also alleged that Fortis materially misled investors with public disclosures made in connection with a September 2007 rights issue, aimed at funding the acquisition of ABN Amro, including in the prospectus.In the 18 months between April 2007 and October 2008, the Fortis share price dropped from €30 to under €1.Fortis’ banking operations were jointly nationalised by the Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg governments in September 2008. The Dutch insurance business was also nationalised by the Dutch state. Its investment management operation was acquired by BNP Paribas, which later also acquired 75% of the nationalised Fortis Bank.Meanwhile, the Belgian and international insurance arms remained in the group and continued operating as Ageas.Charles Demoulin, partner at Deminor, which represents more than 500 institutional investors in Fortis, said: “The law gives you rights as a shareholder and we think you should exercise them and even enforce them in court. But you have to select cases with a good chance of winning.”He added: “Awareness among investors, including pension funds, is increasing as they consider litigation to be part of their fiduciary duties to protect their assets. Ten or so years ago, participation in litigation was the exception – now it is much more the rule.”Dutch pension fund ABP – one of Fortis’ largest shareholders at the time of the collapse – declined to comment.last_img read more

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