Timken's shareholders have spoken and now the company is forming a committee to explore the possibility of separating its steel and ball-bearing businesses.
The announcement, made by the company yesterday, comes on the heels of a non-binding vote by shareholders last month to split the Canton-based company's steel and ball-bearing businesses.
Timken spokesman Dan Minnich said the company's board of directors "appreciates the opinion of (its) shareholders and especially those expressed through the voting result at the annual meeting that happens in May."
That vote was spearheaded by investment group Relational Investors, LLC and the California State Teachers' Retirement System. CalSTRS spokesman Michael Sicilia said the plan to split the company is aimed at increasing value for shareholders.
"The companies are somewhat undervalued and they're actually two separate forms of business," he said. "Each of them would grow in value significantly if they were valued by the market separately."
The company's leadership was against the proposal. They said in a letter to investors ahead of the vote that the integration of the two businesses gives Timken a competitive advantage in the market.
Sicilia said the announcement by Timken is a step in the right direction.
"The board said they would take about 45 days to make an announcement and they've made an announcement in less than that," he said. "We're pleased and we hope that that's a hopeful sign."
Timken Chairman "Tim" Timken said after the vote the company would respond in 30 to 45 days. A statement from the company says the committee will consist of all of the independent members of its board of directors who are not members of the Timken family. The company hopes to have findings from the committee by the end of September.
Timken's stock price rose around two percent in Tuesday morning trading.
Community members will come together to pitch their creative business ideas and possibly bring home the prize of $10,000 in start-up funding.
LRMR Innovative Marketing, who represents LeBron James, is presenting Akron Creating (330) CEOs Entrepreneurship Summit at the University of Akron on Tuesday, September 27.
University of Akron Instructor of Finance and Stephen Washington explains how the business pitch should be made.
"Just imagine yourself in an elevator with a wealthy individual who could fund the start-up of your business and you had 60 seconds to sell them on your idea," says Washington.
The winner of the best business pitch will also receive eight weeks of mentoring by the nonprofit organization 100 Urban Entrepreneurs.
University of Akron Instructor of Finance Stephen Washington says that this an opportunity that doesn't come by very often.
"At a time like this in our economy, when employment is so difficult, I think that entrepreneurship is going to be critical," says Washington.
A morning workshop, titled How to Deliver a Winning Pitch and Creating a Business Under $1,000, will feature speakers and the afternoon will offer a panel discussion with principals of LRMR including Maverick Carter.
More information can be found on www.330ceos.com.
Construction work has taken a bite out of one Akron business.
DeVitis Italian Deli and Market has seen around a 5 percent decrease in sales following the Tallmadge Avenue construction that began early this year. DeVitis and Sons Incorporated Vice-President Tony DeVitis says construction in front of his building has created a negative impact on business.
"Overall, our retail sales are off slightly. In the begininning of the project, when there was more confusion and people were not accustomed to the construction, the difference in sales was much more significant," says DeVitis.
DeVitis says he thinks customers are shying away from the area because of the inconvenience.
Although he can't make up lost sales, DeVitis says he hopes to attract more customers once road work is finished.
The construction project that is set to be completed in late October will build new sidewalks and street lighting along with the installation of a new water line.
Better sales of high-end tires are boding well for Akron's Goodyear.
At a Detroit auto conference Thursday, Goodyear chief financial officer Darren Wells pointed out that the "price mix" of more specialty tire sales could help the company reach a very important milestone in the coming third quarter.
"We're feeling very good, I think we feel confident that for the third quarter," Wells told the conference, "we'll be able to fully offset raw material cost increases with price mix."
Wells says high-end tires like "FuelMax" are selling well at dealers, with many having to reorder more often.
He says despite the rise in raw material costs - costs increasing by nearly $600 million dollars in the third quarter, the company is "feeling good" about its ability to overcome those costs.
Wells says the company's outlook is good in the next couple of years, as well.
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