Early Briefing: A New Day at Sunrise

*Sunrise Senior Living chief executive Paul J. Klaassen is stepping down as chairman, one of several governance changes announced yesterday, two years after the company disclosed accounting irregularities and came under fire for management practices. Sunrise also said Klaassen agreed to pay back his bonuses from 2003 to 2005. He also agreed not to accept bonuses for the past two years. Klaassen will remain on the board, along with his wife, Teresa, with whom he founded Sunrise with a single facility in Oakton in 1981.

Sunrise, of McLean, also said it risked being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after missing a Monday deadline to file its annual report for 2006. See story

*Giant and Safeway, the Washington area's two largest grocers, are talking with their employees' union about a new contract. The old one expires March 30. United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400, which with Local 27 in Baltimore represents about 23,000 workers at Giant Food and Safeway, characterized the talks as slow in a posting on its Web site this week.

Both companies have put out ads saying they're accepting applications for temporary employees, though only Safeway tied that directly to the labor talks. See story

Computer executive Tom Loveland speaks with staffer Geraldine Smith in the office of Democratic Dels. Jill P. Carter and Nathaniel T. Oaks of Baltimore while handing out literature.(Photo: Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)

*The computer services industry has quickly learned the ways of Annapolis as it tries to repeal a tax that affects it. Two high-tech executives founded the Maryland Computer Services Association, which has mobilized dozens of others to tell lawmakers how the tax will affect their business and retained two lobbying firms. The group also tapped the services of two public relations firms, including one led by Gov. Martin O'Malley's former communications director. See story

*The developers of Prince George's National Harbor are telling cab drivers that both they and their cars have to be clean and presentable and display a National Harbor permit. But the county's Taxicab Board isn't sure Peterson Cos. can do that. See story.

*The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight appeared poised to reduce the amount of capital that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must maintain as a cushion against losses. That would enable them to buy more mortgages and do more to compensate for flagging interest from other investors. The decrease in the capital requirement would enable Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase their mortgage-related investments by a combined $200 billion, staff writer David Hilzenrath reported.
OFHEO scheduled a news conference for this morning with the heads of the two companies.
Reports of such a deal helped drive up Fannie Mae's share price 27.1 percent yesterday and Freddie Mac's 26.2 percent.

*The bankruptcy case of InPhonic, a District wireless-communications services company, should either be dismissed or converted from a reorganization to a liquidation, a U.S. Trustee told a judge. Kelly Beaudin Stapleton, the U.S. Trustee overseeing the bankruptcy for the government, requested the dismissal or conversion because of the debtor's failure to file monthly operating reports and pay quarterly fees estimated at $1,000.

*Slate, the daily online magazine owned by The Washington Post Co., said publisher Cliff Sloan will leave to become a partner in a law firm. John Alderman, vice president of business development at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, or WPNI, will replace Sloan on April 1, the company said. Sloan will join Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

*Carlyle Group's mortgage-bond fund, which defaulted on $16.6 billion of debt, will be liquidated by Begbies Traynor Group of Manchester, England. The firm will assess Carlyle Capital's assets and liabilities so the fund can be closed. Lenders seized Carlyle Capital's assets after it failed to meet more than $400 million in margin calls on mortgage-backed collateral that had fallen in value.

*SRA International, a technology contractor in Fairfax, said it has received a contract to provide intelligence analysis and other services to the U.S. defense community. The five-year "indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity" contract was awarded in December to multiple companies, including SRA, and has a potential value of $1 billion, the company said. Under the Solutions for Intelligence Analysis contract with the Defense Intelligence Agency, SRA will aid fighters, defense policymakers and force planners in the Department of Defense, the company said.

*SI International lowered its first-quarter and full-year 2008 outlook, citing unexpected delays in funding of anticipated new work and the award of a major new contract.

Reston-based SI expects first-quarter profit of $3.2 million to $3.6 million on $128 million to $130 million in revenue. In February, it predicted first-quarter profit of $4.2 million to $4.7 million on $133 million to $141 million in revenue.
SI dropped its full-year profit forecast to $18.9 million to $20.2 million from $21.1 million to $22.2 million. The revenue forecast fell to $560 million to $580 million from $575 million to $600 million.

*Seven developers want to revitalize a half-acre property owned by the District government near the Washington Convention Center. The parcel is one of the last available sites in the Mount Vernon Triangle, a 15-block area at the center of the city, Neil O. Albert, deputy mayor for economic development, said in a statement.

High-end hotels, restaurants, boutiques, cafes and jazz clubs are among the proposals submitted by developers, along with condominiums and apartments. The developers include JBG Cos., Clark Realty Capital and Donohoe Development.

Albert said his office would review the proposals over the next few weeks and schedule public meetings, at which the developers will present their plans.

By Terri Rupar  |  March 19, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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