When tobacco companies settled claims with dozens of states in the late 1990s over the use of deceptive marketing tactics, trial lawyers took home billions of dollars in what remains a contentious example of lawyers’ fees for representing the government.
West Michigan businesses are adapting their strategies to help address the unexpected rise of PFAS contamination as an issue, albeit mostly in measured steps as the quickly changing scenario continues to play out. But regardless of how they are reacting to doing business in the era of intense public scrutiny around PFAS, companies involved in everything from analytical testing to litigation expect the issue to remain front and center for the foreseeable future.
After stories began to emerge in late 2017 that tannery wastes had contaminated the Rogue River, customers at nearby Rockford Brewing Co. started expressing concern about the safety of drinking the beer. Even though Rockford Brewing was connected to municipal water, which has tested non-detect for the PFAS family contaminants over four rounds of testing, the brewery still faced a possible PR crisis, said co-owner Seth Rivard.
The city of Grand Rapids is interested in collaborating with a Lansing scientist who has developed a process that he says can destroy PFAS pollution in drinking water and wastewater, a hot-button issue locally and statewide.
With the “heavy lifting” of its restructuring plan mostly completed, shoe and apparel marketer and retailer Wolverine World Wide Inc. plans to turn its attention to growth in 2018.
Wolverine World Wide Inc. has sold the assets related to its Department of Defense contract footwear business to Morristown, Tenn.-based Original Footwear.
While Houston was reeling from the effects of Hurricane Harvey, employees of Wolverine World Wide Inc. began circulating an email chain with ideas about how they could help with the recovery efforts.
With strong cash flow in the first half of the year and backed by a positive outlook for the rest of 2017, executives at Wolverine World Wide Inc. are getting aggressive in pursuing new growth opportunities.
Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Aug. 7, 2017.
• M&A: Rockford-based Wolverine World Wide Inc. has sold its Sebago brand of boat shoes to an offshoot of BasicNet S.p.A., a clothing and footwear company based in Turin, Italy. A subsidiary, TOS S.r.l., acquired the intellectual property rights for the Sebago trademarks and other assets in a deal valued at $14.25 million, excluding acquisition-related charges, according to a statement from BasicNet. For Wolverine, the move to offload the Sebago brand comes as part of a larger strategy that executives hope will streamline the organization and increase profitability amid a challenging consumer goods market. The two companies agreed to transition the brand to the new owner through the end of this year. Wolverine (NYSE: WWW) acquired Sebago Inc., a maker of penny loafers and docksiders boat shoes, in 2003.
Wolverine World Wide Inc. closed its fourth quarter with revenues modestly higher than expected by Wall Street analysts, while reporting full year fiscal results in-line with its previous guidance.