The week that was: 07/06/14

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Saving the August Wilson

Local organizations — the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust — are joining forces with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh to try to purchase the financially ruined August Wilson Center for African American Culture in an effort to preserve the center as a public asset. Their $7.2 million bid for the $40 million Downtown facility still comes in lower than the $9.5 million being offered by New York developer Liberty Partners, a company that envisions a hotel at the site. 

PPG eyes paint company

PPG Industries made a $2.3 million bid Mexican paint producer Consorcio Comex SA de CV, in a deal that could make PPG the largest paint maker in the world with a 12 percent market share. Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams had offered about the same price, but was blocked from the bidding process by antitrust authorities who said the purchase would give Sherwin-Williams 60 percent of the Mexican paint market.

Pittsburgh icon fights bankruptcy

News came of the dizzying downfall of Anthony J.F. O’‍Reilly, a Pittsburgh icon who once topped the Business Week list of highest paid chief executives when he was head of the Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. Mr. O‘‍Reilly, 78, has fallen on hard times because of large investments and the courts are forcing him to sell off assets such as the 750-acre estate he owns in his native Ireland.

Quote of the week

“What I always say to my daughters — and they laugh, but it makes the point — is if they fight, they better believe in ghosts because I’‍m coming back.” 

— Robert Fragasso, CEO of Fragasso Financial Advisors, Downtown, on how money and death can sometimes bring out the worst in family members when an inheritance is involved.

Foundation revises its policies

The Addison Gibson Foundation will change the way it has distributed millions in funds since 1936 to people who can‘‍t afford medical care or a college education. Instead of providing low-interest loans to individuals, the trust will allot about $500,000 a year to five colleges for scholarships and about $500,000 a year to five hospitals who treat people with no health insurance or money to pay for treatment. The foundation’‍s money came from a fortune that Armstrong County native Addison Gibson made in the oil fields of east Texas and Oklahoma in the early 20th century.

Tim Grant: or 412-263-1591.

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