Saturday, September 27, 2003

Tristate summary

Staff reports

Insurer braces for hurricane claims

Ohio Casualty has joined the list of Cincinnati-based insurance companies expecting to incur losses from Hurricane Isabel.

The Fairfield-based company expects to report an estimated $16 million in third-quarter, pre-tax losses from damage payouts, including about $9 million from the hurricane. The company posted $3.7 million in catastrophic losses in the same quarter last year.

Ohio Casualty expects about 2,000 hurricane-related claims. Cincinnati Financial and Midland Co. have already reported loss estimates from the storm.

Formica looks for office space here

Brokers for CB Richard Ellis have been hired to find a corporate headquarters in Greater Cincinnati for Formica Corp.

Formica, based in New Jersey, is seeking 15,000 to 20,000 square feet in downtown or Northern Kentucky, according to CB's Ed Schreyer. Formica's designated spokesman for the move didn't return calls.

Schreyer said the move will include about 25 high-paying executive positions. The maker of countertops is seeking to trim expenses following a bankruptcy filing in March 2002.

Display maker to trim 80 jobs

AD-EX International Inc., a Woodlawn-based designer and maker of corporate trade show exhibits and displays, plans to eliminate 80 jobs.

The company also provides storage and configuration for national companies such as IBM and Lexmark, CEO Tim Murphy said. Because of cost-cutting by Hewlett-Packard, which recently acquired Compaq, AD-EX has lost a major portion of its contract with those companies, prompting the job cuts at its Sharonville warehouse.

Murphy said the job cuts will take effect by the end of December. He said AD-EX hopes to absorb many of the workers on other storage and configuration contracts it has at its Sharonville plant as well as at another site in Springdale and its main plant in Woodlawn.AD-EX employs 275.

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