Mac-Gray sells MicroFridge for $8.5M in cash

Laundry-management company Mac-Gray Corp. said Monday that it sold its MicroFridge operations to appliance marketing company Danby Products for about $8.5 million in cash.

The companies value the total amount of the deal at approximately $11.5 million, which includes about $3 million in assumed existing liabilities and financial obligations.

Mac-Gray purchased MicroFridge in 1998 and said the business is not as large of a contributor to its overall operations as it once was. This coincides with a shift in the company’s business, which is seeing more growth in its laundry facilities management operations as opposed to its laundry facilities contracting business.

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MicroFridge sells combination refrigerators/freezers/microwave ovens to college, hotels and motels, assisted living facilities and the federal government for military housing.

Shares of Mac-Gray added 40 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $9.46 in afternoon trading. [Read the full article]

Gov. Dave Freudenthal urged Wyoming legislators on Monday to hold onto the state’s financial reserves as they meet over the next four weeks to craft a new budget.

Speaking in the last state of the state address of his second term, Freudenthal said Wyoming’s financial position is the envy of other states because state government has taken steps over the last year to cut employees and department expenses.

State financial experts predict that Wyoming should have about $700 million in reserves by the start of the two-year state fiscal cycle that starts in July.

Freudenthal noted that interest groups have been lobbying him as well as top legislators to spend the state’s reserves. He urged lawmakers to resist that call.

“There are many reasons for this state to remain fiscally conservative,” Freudenthal said. He said he doesn’t see anything to indicate the national economy is on the verge of a robust recovery. [Read the full article]

Fitch Ratings has today affirmed the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s Long-term Foreign and Local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘B+’. The Rating Outlook for both IDRs is Stable. Fitch has also affirmed the Country Ceiling rating at ‘B+’ and the Short-term foreign currency IDR at ‘B’.

Venezuela’s ratings reflect the sovereign’s volatile macroeconomic environment and its tenuous policy framework in the context of still favorable external and fiscal solvency indicators relative to peers following the devaluation in January 2010, and its manageable debt service profile.

Oil accounts for 93% of total exports, while the central government’s revenue volatility is high even compared with other non-investment-grade oil-exporters, thus leaving Venezuela highly vulnerable to a prolonged decline in international oil prices. [Read the full article]

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The price of beer has a good chance of increasing this year if West Virginia lawmakers can get a proposed tax hike to Gov. Joe Manchin’s desk.

Manchin won’t veto a higher tax on suds, spokesman Matt Turner said Monday, but getting lawmakers to raise the price of such a popular product during an election year could be a challenge for the bill’s supporters.

Delegate Bill Hamilton introduced legislation Monday that he says is one of several planned attempts to fund substance abuse treatment and prevention by raising taxes on alcohol.

Monday’s bill is the pricier of two the Upshur County Republican has proposed so far. Both would raise the beer tax, which has remained at $5.50 per barrel since 1966.

The latest bill would increase that to $22, or by four cents per bottle or can. The other beer tax bill, reintroduced Feb. 1 from last year’s session, would add a penny to the price of each bottle or can by hiking the tax to $11 per barrel. [Read the full article]

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