Early Briefing: The Revolution Empire Grows

*What is it with Web sites that like to put CapiTaL letters in their names?

Steve Case's Revolution Health Networkof the District has acquired HealthTalk and invested in SparkPeople, expanding its Internet audience to 12 million unique visitors a month, trailing only online giant WebMD in the health space. HealthTalk is a site devoted to patients with chronic conditions, and SparkPeople offers diet ideas, exercise plans and advice. Financial terms were not disclosed.See story. Here's links to SparkPeople and HealthTalk.

* Fannie Maeplans to raise $7 billion through the sale of preferred stock - Freddie Mac raised $6 billion last week - and cut its dividend in the first quarter. The moves are designed to shore up its capital. See story

*J.P. Morgan's One Equity Partners was an investor in both Reef Point Systems of Massachusetts and NexTone of Gaithersburg. Now it's investing $20 million more in them as they combine and become NextPoint Networks, based in Gaithersburg. See story.

*Under a measure approved by the Montgomery County Council, anyone trying to selling a house in the county must disclose the likely increase in property taxes - often thousands of dollars. See story

*The Energy Department said it would rethink its decision to designate an area that includes the District, much of Maryland and Northern Virginia - as a priority area for the placement of new power lines. See story.

*Power companies responded to Monday's announcement by Maryland regulators about possible intervention in the power market. They said a proposal to re-regulate the electricity market would hurt customers. See story.

*The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is set to consider a series of major developments before four pro-growth supervisors step down at the end of the year. Last night, they approved one of them: Arcola Center, a large, pedestrian-friendly community southwest of Dulles Airport. See story

*A Maryland commission is considering capping emissions of greenhouse gases. The goal may be met through a "cap and trade" system, in which polluters can buy and sell emissions credits. See story

*XM and Sirius, the two satellite radio companies, will pay royalty rates of 6 to 8 percent over a six-year term for music played on their channels, based on fees set by the Copyright Royalty Board. Revenue from music will be subject to the 6 percent rate for this year and 2008, XM said, and this year's royalties will be retroactive to Jan. 1. The rate increases by half a percentage point each year beginning in 2009, said XM, which is based in the District. The company added that the fees are in range of what they expected. See press release.

*Science Applications International Corp. promoted Amy E. Alving to chief technology officer. Alving will coordinate the government services provider's science and technology efforts, guide investments, and develop and recruit technical talent. She replaces Theoren P. Smith III, who died Sept. 27 after a long illness.

SAIC is based in San Diego and has a large presence in McLean. See press release.

*Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, a Rockville firm that develops products to treat nicotine addiction, said that it completed the sale of its biologics unit to Biotest for $185 million in cash. The deal includes Nabi's plasma protein production plant, nine FDA-certified plasma collection centers, the company's Boca Raton, Fla., headquarters, and other facilities.

*Interstate Hotels & Resorts of Arlington said it formed a joint venture with Harte Holdings, based in Ireland, that has agreed to buy four hotels from Blackstone Group affiliates for $207.8 million.

Interstate, a hotel-management company, will invest about $11 million for a 20 percent stake in the properties. It will fund the acquisition with cash on hand and debt under its senior revolving credit agreement. The hotels include the 142-room Latham Hotel Georgetown in the District. See press release.

*Vocus, a Lanham company that makes software used by public-relations firms, reaffirmed its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2007 profit outlook, and forecast 2008 earnings in line with Wall Street expectations. Vocus expects quarterly earnings of 12 cents to 13 cents per share and fiscal 2007 profit of 48 or 49 cents per share.See press release.

By Terri Rupar  |  December 5, 2007; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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