Archive for the ‘Business & Development’ Category

The Failed Microsoft/Yahoo Deal – the Portland Connection

So it turns out the Rose City had a hand in the progression and eventual failure of the Yahoo/Microsoft merger. An article in today’s Wall Street Journal, among other sources, reports executives from the two companies met here on April 15th at a Portland law firm:

As a result, Microsoft executives were surprised when Mr. Ballmer on April 5 letter sent a letter to Yahoo directors threatening a hostile approach if they didn’t reach a friendly deal by April 26. That spurred Yahoo executives and an entourage of bankers and advisers from both sides to meet with Microsoft on April 15 at a Portland, Ore., law firm. A presentation from Yahoo included a slide that said Microsoft’s offer “significantly undervalues” Yahoo.

Late into the meeting Mr. Ballmer addressed the elephant in the room: “Where are we on price?” he asked Mr. Yang, according to two people who were present. Responding to Mr. Ballmer’s question, Mr. Yang repeated that the original offer of $31 a share “substantially” undervalued the Internet company. Mr. Ballmer again asked for a firm price, and Mr. Yang said he didn’t have a number.

They also reportedly met aboutsocial issues,” such as management and perhaps corporate cultures. I find it interesting the two giants chose to meet in Portland for this meeting. Apart from the law firm, Portland seems to be a good middle ground for the two of them to have traveled to. Wonder if they got a chance to enjoy Stumptown Coffee or Voodoo Doughnuts while here? Anybody know what that law firm is?

POST UPDATED 10:48 AM with more links and info.

Portland Deschutes Pub location seeks drinkers, err, employees

Browsing the page for the upcoming Deschutes Brewery Portland pub revealed to me a job fair which is occurring tomorrow and Friday in case you are interested. No word on whether there will be beer drinking involved in the application process:

J O B   F A I R
for our Portland Pub
Thursday & Friday, March 20 & 21
at the Mark Spencer Hotel
409 SW 11th Ave – Downtown Portland
(in the Pearl Room, downstairs)
Thursday from 8am to 2pm & 3pm to 7pm
Friday from 9am to 2pm
Hiring: Servers, bartenders, hosts,cooks and dishwashers.
Drug testing will be required.


Li Ning takes on the Swoosh

Watching AZN the other day I saw part of a news special about preparations for the upcoming Beijing Olympics – and a story that caught my eye about a Chinese athletic shoemaker – Li Ning – who recently opened their first international office….in the Pearl.

This article from just a few months ago in the Oregonian talks about them as if they were a very small company struggling to go big… but from the information in the piece I saw – they are being pretty darn smart about their international marketing efforts – and have a number of athletes competing in the Olympics who will be sporting their logo – including the recently traded Shaq. And then the bold move of moving into Nike and Adidas’ (amusingly pronounced Ah-de-das on the program) backyard here in Portland… pretty smart.

Even if it’s not a homegrown company – it’s pretty cool to have another upstart that could turn into something big here in Portland. Of course it also makes me think how much the US is going get our asses kicked by Asian companies in more than just science and technology…

Downtown Portland Getting Uwajimaya?

Thanks to Cuisine Bonne Femme over at Portland Food and Drink for the heads up on this one.

Have you been to Uwajimaya in Beavertron or Fubonn in Greshland? They are fantastic stores – good fresh seafood and produce, cooking supplies (I bought my husband a great cleaver from there for Valentine’s Day a few years ago) and all the unique (and sometimes just plain crazy) Asian grocery items you could ever want.

We had a party a few years ago with an Asian theme. We went to Fubonn and got lots of fun pre-packaged snacks and ingredients for some of the various recipes we were putting together. We also bought a dozen cans of wacky flavored sodas and juices….like grass jelly, chrysanthemum, coconut ginger and lychee fruit… we covered the labels with construction paper, numbered the cans and everyone did blind tastings trying to figure out what the flavor was.

So a Uwajimaya in Chinatown would be so awesome. I love the store – but I try to avoid crossing the west hills whenever possible. It’s just not worth the effort and frustration of getting there. Fubonn is much closer and easier to get to, and I love the whole Asian shopping plaza, but it’s definitely still a ‘destination’ shopping trip.

CBF reports that while it’s still not a done deal, things are looking good. Let’s hope this one gets through all the red-tape and is a go!

The Viper Room…coming to Portland?

Last week, L.A.’s Viper Room was sold to Peter Morton, whose father owns the Hard Rock Cafe chain of restaurants. It seems the son has similar aspirations. Along with buying the club, Morton’s company plans to open up a chain in “Las Vegas, Miami, Portland, Seattle, New York, London and Tokyo.”

First, I was surprised at the talk of creating a chain, but the fact that Portland’s included on the list is also surprising. Since this is just in the “talking about it” phase, who knows where the chain will set up shop in our area. Any ideas? If I were to advise Morton’s group, I’d tell them to stay away from that Bossanova space on Burnside if they want to make it beyond a year or two.

Comcast gets its hand slapped…lightly

The Mount Hood Cable Regulatory Commission issued a fine to Comcast Cable in the amount of $43,899 for failing to give area customers the minimum 30 days’ notice of a change in their channel line-up that moved some stations to the more expensive tier. On top of the lack of notice, Comcast proceeded to charge customers an extra dollar to cover the switch. Pretty sneaky, sis.

Oh, and for those who don’t know, there’s another increase coming in March.

New I-5 Bridge: Another Glenn Jackson?

There are rumblings in today’s Oregonian that the new I-5 bridge is going to be another boring slab of concrete ala the Glenn Jackson bridge. Kind of a shame, really, when one thinks of all the fantastically beautiful bridges we have here. This new bridge should be the crown jewel. So why can’t they get very creative?

Apparently, they have to keep the span low in order to not disrupt the flight paths of the small private planes (about 70 per day) that land at nearby Pierson Field. Can’t they just eliminate/remove Pierson field? Nope. It’s apparently part of the “Fort Vancouver Heritage” because it’s been there since the early 20th century. As a former Vancouverite, I think that’s kind of ridiculous. Pierson field is basically a mud puddle with a runway parked along Highway 14. There’s another small airport right off of Mill Plain. Is private air-traffic that heavy in Vancouver that two airfields are needed? Is it so heavy that it should affect the single-largest highway on the west coast?

I certainly don’t mean any offense to the people that use Pierson field. It’s simply my opinion that the bridge is more important.

Portland: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

I’m a big fan of Portland. Some readers (ahem) may mistake my frequent critiques of public policy in Portland as hatred. But if I didn’t love my city, I wouldn’t give a damn about bad policy, or devote all the countless hours I do to civic involvement.

Of course, there are two sides to every story, but today I’m giving you the rosier side (pun intended). This is adapted from a post I started last spring, when I was seriously considering leaving Portland because of the shameful inequity in our public schools. The original title was “Ugly Beauty.” I never published it, and today I give you the “Beauty” side of things, with all the ugliness stripped out.

Powell’s Books Is Expanding

By 2010, Powell’s Books will be even bigger. According to the Portland Business Journal, the flagship store at W. Burnside and 10th will add at least one additional floor, but may increase by as many as three.

The added space will be used to house Powell’s Technical Book store located in the north Park Blocks. No worries to Powell’s fans, the store plans to remain open during construction.

Galleria – Just kind of sitting there

I was driving to my girlfriend’s house the other day. My Sirius radio is on the fritz, and being a rock and roll kind of guy, my local radio options are severely limited to Clear Channel crapola. So, when I’m driving around town, I’ll either plug in my I-pod, or listen to AM talk radio to get some yucks out of right-wing fearmongers like Lars Larson and the incredibly gullible people who call in. Now, I’m about as left as they come, but I have a sick fascination with right-wing radio. However, on this day, I was feeling particularly tired with our current Administration, out-of-state homophobes who want to tell loving couples that they are second class citizens, and the corporate-shills like Lars who grease their wheels. After he trotted out the tired (and woefully inaccurate) “John Kerry said that only dumb people join the military!” line for the umpteenth time, I just felt depressed. People actually believe this stuff, and they vote. And that is not funny at all.

But I’m not gonna write about that today. Today I’m gonna write about the Portland Galleria

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