Fairpoint creditors file lawsuit against Verizon

A litigation trust made up of former FairPoint Communications creditors is blaming Verizon Communications for FairPoint’s bankruptcy.

In a $2 billion fraudulent transfer lawsuit filed in North Carolina, the FairPoint litigation trust claims FairPoint went bankrupt because of its “disastrous” $2.3 billion purchase of Verizon’s landline and Internet operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in 2008. FairPoint filed for bankruptcy 18 months after the acquisition.

The complaint alleges that Verizon lured FairPoint into the deal and dealt it a bad hand, resulting in FairPoint buying “inferior assets that had no future.”

Verizon is calling the lawsuit meritless.


Unum says net income slightly off in 3rd quarter

Unum Group, which employs some 3,100 people in Maine, reported net income of $205.6 million or 69 cents per diluted share during the third quarter of 2011, compared with $220.8 million or 68 cents per share in the same period last year.

“While our performance was slightly below expectations, I am generally pleased with our results, particularly given the challenging economic environment,” said President and CEO Thomas Watjen in a letter to employees released Tuesday. “Although we face challenges, we are fortunate to be in a very strong business and financial position, and therefore we should remain confident in our future.”

The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company, which sells disability, life, dental, long-term and other types of insurance, reported after-tax operating income of $221.5 million or 74 cents per share in the third quarter, up from $219.9 million or 68 cents per share in the third quarter 2010.

“Our net income results include certain investment gains and losses that lead investors to focus on our operating results, which were generally solid,” Watjen wrote.

Operating income from Unum’s UK division took the hardest hit during the quarter, dropping 26.1 percent, to $34.9 million.

The company’s U.S. segment reported operating income of $219.5 million, up 7.2 percent.

Watjen told employees that the increase in earning-per-share is largely due to a decrease in the number of outstanding Unum shares, which is partly the result of a stock buyback.


Macy’s plans $400 million renovation to flagship store

Macy’s iconic flagship store, which is already the world’s largest, is about to get even bigger.

The department store chain announced Tuesday that it plans to spend about $400 million over the next four years to expand its flagship location in Manhattan.

Macy’s will add about 100,000 square feet of selling space for a total of 1.2 million square feet by opening up space currently used for stock and offices. The store’s current total space is 2.2 million square feet.