The week that was: Cupid Visits Wall Street

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Sunday is the day of rest, and this week we're resting from the busiest week in Pittsburgh business news in ages. Of course, it started with a name-brand from Omaha, Neb., buying a name-brand of Pittsburgh's...

Cupid Visits Wall Street

Mergers and acquisitions aren't unlike marriages: some are shotgun, others arranged, and all come with a dowry.

So it was only appropriate that the week of Valentine's Day saw a flurry of congregating in the financial world, with Warren Buffett's $28 billion acquisition of H.J. Heinz Co. leading the way for big-ticket Wall Street weddings.

More than $40 billion in deals were announced Thursday alone, leading one J.P. Morgan Chase analyst to tell the Wall Street Journal, "the dam is burst" on such activity. Almost $160 billion in transactions have occurred since January, giving 2013 the biggest start in M&A activity since 2005.

Eastside Of Eden

On Tuesday -- an eon ago, in the pre-Buffett era -- the Post-Gazette's Mark Belko revealed plans for expanded development in the East Liberty neighborhoods already home to Target and Whole Foods. Downtown-based Mosites Co. plans to spend $65 million on the "Eastside" projects, expected to include a 366-unit apartment complex, 50,000 square feet for retailers and nearly 600 more parking spaces to accommodate it all.

The firm will work with the Port Authority and Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority to build a $52 million transit center for buses and pedestrians who want to reach the new space and other parts of East Liberty.

Mosites hopes to build on the popularity and commercial resuscitation seen over the past several years in the area, and construction is expected to begin in mid-2014.

Out Like a Rohr-ing Lion

Jim Rohr, the chairman and CEO of the PNC Financial Services Group, announced Thursday that he was leaving the company after almost 13 years leading the region's biggest bank. His last day is April 23.

Mr. Rohr will celebrate his 65th birthday in October, and has hinted in the past that he would retire around that age.

He will be succeeded by current president William S. Demchak, who, at 50 years old, could follow Mr. Rohr's lead and head the bank until 2028.

businessnews

Erich Schwartzel: eschwartzel@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1455.


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