BB&T seeks permission to delay lawsuit response

BB&T Corp. has requested permission from a federal judge to file its next response on March 13 involving its lawsuit against Hitachi Vantara Corp. The lawsuit was filed Nov. 26 in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem.

The bank claims Hitachi Vantara is responsible for what the bank calls a “catastrophic” outage that kept millions of customers from using online and mobile-banking services for over 15 hours.

BB&T extended branch hours on Feb. 23-24 and Feb. 26, 2018, and called in employees.

Hitachi filed a dismissal request Jan. 22, claiming the bank failed to follow its operational advice. BB&T is required to file its next response by Wednesday. Hitachi has agreed to the extension.

Hitachi is being sued for breach of contract, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and gross professional negligence in how it sold, installed and maintained the hardware.

Since the lawsuit was filed, Hitachi has changed the name of the subsidiary to Hitachi Corp. LLC. BB&T became Truist Financial Corp. on Dec. 7, completing its $30.4 billion purchase of SunTrust Banks Inc.

Richard Craver

BlackRock buys 5.5% stake in Journal buyer

The pending sale of BH Media Group’s newspaper portfolio to Lee Enterprises Inc. has attracted a high-profile asset manager in BlackRock Inc. The portfolio includes the Winston-Salem Journal and News & Record of Greensboro.

Blackrock said in a regulatory filing Friday that it has bought an initial 5.5% stake representing 3.17 million shares. BlackRock is one of the world’s largest asset managers. It is not clear when it bought the stake.

Lee Enterprises Inc., based in Davenport, Iowa, said Jan. 29 it is paying $140 million in cash to Berkshire Hathaway to acquire 30 daily newspapers, 49 paid weekly publications and 32 other print products. The deal also includes The Buffalo News and Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald, which Berkshire Hathaway owned separately.

The deal is projected to close in mid-March, the companies said. Lee would expand from 50 to 81 daily newspapers.

Later on Jan. 29, an affiliate of a hedge-fund group made public it had acquired a 5.9% stake in Lee. Alden Global Capital’s MNG Enterprises bought 3.4 million shares of Lee at $2.7173 a share for an overall investment of $9.24 million.

The 5.9% stake makes Alden the third-largest shareholder in Lee. Cannell Capital held a 7.9% stake at 4.57 million shares and Franklin Mutual Advisors LLC a 7.5% stake at 4.36 million shares.

Richard Craver

Kimpton Cardinal ranks 11th among N.C. hotels

U.S. News & World Report listed Friday the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel as the No. 11 hotel property in North Carolina.

The Kimpton debuted in April 2016 in the former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. headquarters in downtown Winston-Salem. The hotel has 174 guest rooms on the second through sixth floors of the 22-story building.

Three Greensboro hotel properties were listed in the top-20, led by the O’Henry Hotel at No. 8, Proximity Hotel at No. 17 and Grandover Resort and Conference Center at No. 18.

Atop the list is the Umpstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, followed by Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands and the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte.

Richard Craver

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