In 2006, a group of Las Vegas investors slipped into town and began buying some South Side properties and optioning others through paper companies that existed to obscure the buyer's identity, a tactic commonly used by major assemblers of land. By the time Triple L Management ended its buying spree, it had spent about $55 million for roughly 3,000 acres between Toyota's pickup plant and Loop 410 South. The out-of-towners paid with cash, stunning SA's real estate community and touching off a flurry of lame jokes about the mob's newfound interest in San Antonio. But more importantly, the display of financial muscle helped create huge expectations, every bit as much as the dazzling blueprint for a master planned community produced by Scott Polikov's Austin-based Gateway Planning.
- Friday, 04 November 2011 05:18
- Greg Jefferson
The Water Ch2oice political action committee isn't exactly the campaign cash machine that supporters of the Bexar Metropolitan Water District feared it would be, a business- and politico-backed goliath intent on practically buying the dissolution of the utility. Or maybe dissolution is just cheaper than you'd think.
The PAC raised $62,385 between September 29 and October 29, including nearly $6,000 worth of in-kind expenditures for a fundraiser, according to a campaign finance report it filed this week. City Hall lobbyist Frank Burney, a fundraiser for the anti-BexarMet campaign, said he expects to have collected and spent $75,000 by the time Election Day rolls around November 8.
- Saturday, 29 October 2011 23:01
On Oct. 15, World Occupy Day, it just so happened that I was in Tamaulipas, taking a bike tour of the state’s small but modern state capital, Ciudad Victoria, home to just under 350,000 residents. A few hours into the ride, we peddled onto the main city plaza and beheld the Occupy Victoria movement. Sort of. The protest consisted of about five people in red shirts and a megaphone. The occupation ended at about 3pm.
- Friday, 28 October 2011 17:04
- Greg Jefferson
Not many market followers seem to believe the Daily Mail story this week about Mumbai-based Reliance Industries Ltd. looking to buy Valero Energy Corp. That's probably because of the huge premium the energy and manufacturing giant – India's largest company – reportedly would offer for the San Antonio-based refiner: $48 per share for stock that closed Tuesday at $21.84, before the story hit. It sounds a little like a rookie mistake in fantasy football, wildly overpaying for top talent.
After the U.K. newspaper ran this bit of speculation, Valero's stock price jumped 15.2 percent to $25.15 on Wednesday. But the excitement waned considerably the next day, with the stock climbing another $1.09, or 4.3 percent. Respectable, but relatively modest. By the close of trading Friday, the market had pretty much shrugged off the report; shares gained a measly 46 cents.
But whether or not you believe there's something to the rumor, it highlights the fact that Valero's stock has been undervalued for months.
- Sunday, 23 October 2011 06:56
- Greg Jefferson
With a November 8 dissolution election closing in, some defenders of the Bexar Metropolitan Water District want to know how a money loser like the San Antonio Water System has the gall to think it can better manage the utility. South Side operative Gina Castañeda, who's running the Keep BexarMet campaign, puts it this way: "BexarMet has cash-flow, and SAWS has negative cash-flow." Indeed, when you lose a combined $67 million in 2009 and 2010, you give detractors like Castañeda plenty of ammunition. But while she's right about BexarMet, she's wrong about the City-owned utility.
Which is not to say that SAWS is a model of fiscal health.