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Deere sells wind energy business

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Co. has signed an agreement to sell John Deere Renewables, its wind energy business, to Exelon Generation Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Exelon Corp. Deere expects the transaction will close in 2010.

John Deere Renewables includes 36 completed projects in eight states with an operational capacity of 735 megawatts. The agreement includes the completed projects plus others in development.

“As Deere sharpens its own strategic focus, we have concluded that the company’s resources are best invested in growing our core equipment businesses around the world,” said Samuel R. Allen, Deere & Co. chairman and CEO. “We have chosen to place the wind portfolio with Exelon in part due to its demonstrated leadership in the energy industry.”

Deere said the $900 million sale, including earn-out provisions, will result in an after-tax charge of about $25 million in its fourth-quarter results.

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KB appoints new treasurer

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Los Angeles-based KB Home has announced the appointment of Thad Johnson to the position of treasurer.

Johnson will report directly to Jeff Kaminski, EVP and CFO, and will be responsible for the care and custody of the company’s financial assets, as well as maintaining and developing its banking operations and relationships.

Previously, Johnson served as the company assistant treasurer for two and a half years.

“We are pleased to promote a talented individual such as Thad into the treasurer role,” Kaminski said. “As a proven performer on our team, we believe Thad will provide continuity and bring a sound perspective to the treasury function. I look forward to working with Thad as we continue to execute on our growth strategy.”

Prior to KB, Johnson served as assistant VP with U.S. Bancorp’s commercial real estate group. He also has more than 10 years of management consulting experience with several East Coast-based firms.

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Picketers linger at two ProBuild sites

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Picketers continue at two Chicagoland locations of ProBuild Holdings, the nation’s largest pro dealer, which has been trying to negotiate a new contract with Teamsters Local 673 since April. A one-day mediation session held on Aug. 24 was unsuccessful after both sides failed to reach any agreements. Teamsters spokesman Roger Kohler said the union was initially hopeful “because [ProBuild] sent someone out from Denver for the first time.”

Top of the list, according to both ProBuild and the Local 673, are healthcare benefits. The union claims many of its warehouse and delivery drivers will not be able to afford health insurance due to higher premiums and a cutback in hours. Bill Myrick, ProBuild’s newly appointed CEO, told Home Channel News that the company is trying to standardize its best practices across its many locations, and one of these is healthcare plans. “We want to treat all of our employees equally,” Myrick explained.

“We look very much forward to resolving this issue,” he added.

Meanwhile, union employees continue to march along the road in front of ProBuild stores in Yorkville and Wheaton, Ill.

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