SC business notebook, Feb 15

February 14, 2014 

Land Rover, Columbia dealership at 640 Jamil Road.

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Jaguar, Land Rover dealerships bought by Hardeeville business; to combine at Jamil Road site

The Jaguar and Land Rover dealerships in Columbia where purchased last month by the New River Auto Mall of Hardeeville, and soon will be combined at the Land Rover facility at 540 Jamil Road in Columbia. Lucan Breedlove is executive general manager of the combined Columbia dealership. The auto dealer, which has 400 employees, including the 40 in Columbia, already operates a Jaguar Land Rover dealership in Hilton Head. It has nine dealerships featuring 15 franchises throughout coastal Georgia and the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The New River Auto Mall Insurance Agency also has opened offices at the Columbia location.

Winter weather leads to highest number of flight cancellations in 25 years

The relentless snow and ice storms this winter have led to the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. U.S. airlines have canceled more than 75,000 domestic flights since Dec. 1, including more than 14,000 this week. That’s 5.5 percent of the 1.37 million flights scheduled during that period, according calculations based on information provided by flight tracking site FlightAware. It’s the highest total number and highest percent of cancellations since at least the winter of 1987-1988.

Jos. A Bank buying Eddie Bauer

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. is buying the parent company of Eddie Bauer in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $825 million. The men’s clothing company, which itself is being pursued by Men’s Wearhouse Inc., made the deal with Everest Topco LLC to buy Everest Holdings LLC, Eddie Bauer’s parent company. Jos. A. Bank said Friday that the transaction includes $564 million in cash and about 4.7 million new shares of Jos. A. Bank stock issued to Everest Topco at $56 per share. Everest Topco may also earn up to an additional $50 million in cash based on Eddie Bauer’s adjusted earnings for fiscal 2014.

Broth a bright spot in Campbell Soup’s sluggish sales

When people take an interest in cooking, broth sales apparently get a bump. Campbell Soup has been struggling to boost sluggish sales of its famous condensed and ready-to-eat canned soups. But there is a bright spot in its U.S. soup division: broth. The company on Friday reported a higher quarterly profit as U.S. soup sales rose 5 percent. The bump was largely a quirk of the calendar, however; Thanksgiving fell later in the year, meaning the higher shipments associated with the holidays were pushed back to its fiscal second quarter. In fact, Campbell said consumer purchases for its soup division were actually down 1 percent in the period. People bought more of its Swanson broth, but that was offset by declines in purchases of its condensed and ready-to-eat soups.

Kristy Eppley Rupon and The Associated Press contributed.

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