NWA readies launch of new regional jets

Aug. 16, 2007

Northwest Airlines said it plans to launch its new Embraer 175 regional jets on Tuesday with a flight from Minneapolis to Omaha, Neb. The 76-seat planes will be flown by Northwest's new regional subsidiary, Compass Airlines, which is based in Chantilly, Va., near Dulles airport. Compass, which currently flies only one jet, will begin with two of the Embraer jets and add about two a month through the end of next year, for a total of 36. Eagan-based Northwest bought the operating certificate of bankrupt FLYi Inc., the parent company of Independence Air, in early 2006 and used that to build Compass, which took its first paying flight in May. Compass, Northwest-owned Mesaba Airlines and independent carrier Pinnacle Airlines all fly under the Northwest Airlink name. General Mills paid CEO Sanger $12.1M

General Mills paid Chairman and CEO Stephen Sanger compensation worth $12.1 million last year, according to the company's proxy filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sanger's base salary was $1.2 million, but the bulk of his pay for the year ended May 27 was almost $7.9 million in stock and options awards granted in June 2006. Much of it was based on his performance in 2005. The Golden Valley-based food company also paid Sanger $2.5 million as an annual incentive award based on having met financial targets. Additionally, perks of $520,398 were for Sanger's personal air travel, financial planning costs and matching contributions from the company.


James Horvath, chief executive officer of American Crystal Sugar Co. for the past nine years, will retire Oct. 18. President David Berg assumes the CEO duties. Moorhead, Minn.-based American Crystal Sugar, the largest beet sugar producer in the United States, has annual revenue of about $1 billion and is owned by almost 2,900 Minnesota and North Dakota shareholders in the Red River Valley.


Gander Mountain Co., a St. Paul-based outdoor-products retailer, said its secured bank credit facility is being increased to $345 million from $275 million, with an option to expand it by another $50 million. The credit line will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes. ... Xcel Energy's Public Service Co. of Colorado subsidiary sold $350 million of its 30-year first mortgage bonds with an annual interest rate of 6.25 percent. ... US BioEnergy Corp., Inver Grove Heights, celebrated the opening Wednesday of its second Nebraska ethanol plant, this one in Ord. ... Organizational Concepts International LLC, Minneapolis, said it will operate its formerly separate business units - Strategic Talent Partners, Logic Opera and PayCraft Consulting - as a single entity under the OCI brand.


Ikonics Corp.: Joseph Nerges, beneficial owner, bought 7,559 shares Aug. 8-9 at $8.86-$8.96 per share; holds 281,278 shares.

Innovex Inc.: Terry Dauenhauer, chief operating officer, bought 75,000 shares Aug. 8-10 at 85 cents-$1.03 per share; holds 134,933 shares.

Best Buy Co.: Bradbury Anderson, chief executive officer, sold 65,000 shares Aug. 8 at $45.25 per share, option related, 10(b) 5-1 Plan; holds 2,519,038 shares.

Digi International Inc.: Lawrence Kraft, vice president, sold 25,000 shares Aug. 8 at $15.95-$15.98 per share, option related; no further holdings. Joseph Dunsmore, chairman, sold 25,000 shares Aug. 9 at $16.20-$16.21 per share, option related; holds 9,201 shares.

Stratasys Inc.: Thomas Stenoien, chairman of the board, sold 1,000 shares Aug. 7 at $51.25 per share; holds 9,240 shares.

Tennant Co.: Thomas Dybsky, vice president, sold 500 shares Aug. 7 at $43.22-$43.24 per share and 2,386 shares Aug. 8 at $44.01-$44.31 per share; holds 4,390 shares.

Trading of company stock reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Bloomberg News; holdings include only common shares owned and do not include stock warrants or options.

- Staff and wire reports