Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Business digest

Magic Johnson, HP finance center

The Citizens Committee on Youth plans to establish an Over-the-Rhine computer center that will be partly funded by a $275,000 grant from the Magic Johnson Foundation and Hewlett Packard. The group has negotiated a lease in the 200 block of West Liberty Street. The retired basketball star's foundation considered other Ohio cities, including Cleveland, before selecting Cincinnati, said Dorothy P. Jorden, youth group executive director. The grant helps pay for computer equipment and technical assistance.

To volunteer at the center, or to contribute, call: 632-5100.

Rival acquires Westerman Print Co.

After more than 75 years, Westerman Print Co., a small West End printing company, has gone out of business. Its assets were acquired by Merten Co., a rival Cincinnati printer and part of Champion Industries Inc. of Huntington, W.Va.

Financial terms weren't disclosed, but Champion said it acquired Westerman's customer list, files, accounts receivable and a handful of its employees - including Thomas P. Kennedy, chief financial officer and part owner of Westerman.

Kennedy said a drop in business triggered Westerman's shutdown. The company was founded by brothers Frank and Charlie Westerman in 1927.

Designer offers development forum

Joe Costello, chairman and CEO of think3 Inc., the fast-growing Cincinnati provider of product development solutions, will outline his vision for creating a "design factory'' at Tuesday's Innovation Forum at TechSolve in Bond Hill.

The forum, to start at 3 p.m., is a regular event of the Tristate chapter of the Product Development Management Association, a national organization of product development professionals.

Costello, former CEO of Cadence Design Systems Inc., will discuss his road map for a "design factory,'' creating innovative products.

To register, contact Mark Adkins at 321-7831 or go to

U.S. Bank trust division to grow

CLEVELAND - National City Corp. has reached a definitive agreement with U.S. Bancorp and its lead bank, U.S. Bank N.A., for the sale of National City's corporate trust bond administration business.

That business manages relationships with small and large municipal and corporate bond issuers, providing advice, guidance, reliability and value in bond administration to address corporate trust needs.

"The sale of this business is a strategic decision that allows us to use our resources to focus on ... investment management, charitable and endowment services, retirement plan services, custody and stock transfer,'' said Ted M. Parker, executive vice president of National City Institutional Asset Management.

As a result of this transaction, U.S. Bank's corporate trust division will acquire approximately 3,800 new client issuances, 291,500 bondholders and $34 billion in assets under administration.

Unizan, Huntington merger approved

Unizan Financial Corp. Tuesday said its shareholders approved a merger with Huntington Bancshares Inc., with 98 percent approving the move.

Columbus-based Huntington and Canton, Ohio-based Unizan announced a definitive agreement to merge in January. Both offer a full range of financial products.

Under terms of the agreement, Unizan shareholders will receive 1.1424 shares of Huntington common stock on a tax-free basis for each share of Unizan. The merger is expected to close in July, pending regulatory approvals.

"This strong shareholder approval of the merger confirms we have chosen the right partner," said Roger L. Mann, Unizan president and chief executive officer.

Staff and wire reports

Chiquita boss cuts own bonus
Vexed by fees, lawyer takes on credit cards
Home sales keep up record pace
Latest style is young, funky
Omnicare rejected by rival
Jillian's gets offers for club in Covington
Stocks finish strong as oil worries drop
Grasso pledges to file own suit
Krispy Kreme blames slump on carb counters
SBC ends strike with deal guaranteeing union jobs
American United Life CEO plans to step down
Business digest