Massachusetts business in brief

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

LoJack shares drop more than 30 percent

WESTWOOD – Shares in LoJack Corp. plunged by 31.5 percent after the maker of vehicle tracking systems reported a $6.4 million loss for the quarter that ended on March 31 and decided to stop providing its own fiscal forecasts for the upcoming year.

The Westwood company has been burned by a larger-than-expected downturn in domestic new car sales. The company has been trying hard to diversify beyond its reliance on auto sales, but its revenues still dropped to $27.8 million, down 40 percent from the same time a year ago.

LoJack said it has reduced its global work force by more than 20 percent since the beginning of 2008 to respond to the downturn. The company also said it has reduced employee compensation and benefits for 2009 that should save $5.5 million for the year. The company didn’t specify how many jobs it has cut; it employed 850 people, including 400 in Massachusetts, in March 2006.

Calif. equity group may make offer for J. Jill chain

QUINCY – Private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital Corp. could be in the hunt for a bargain by buying the Quincy-based J. Jill chain from Talbots Inc. Bloomberg News reported that the San Francisco private equity firm could submit an offer next week, and may work with Gordon Brothers Group, a Boston-based liquidator. If Golden Gate succeeds in buying the 283-store chain, it would continue to operate at least part of the apparel chain, according to Bloomberg. Talbots, which bought J. Jill for $517 million in 2006, put its J. Jill division up for sale in November because of its sales declines.

Boston Herald raising price to $1 on May 11

BOSTON – First, The Boston Globe decided to raise its prices. Now, the Boston Herald is raising its price, too. The Herald’s daily paper will rise to $1 from 75 cents on May 11 in Greater Boston. Outside of the area within 30 miles of Boston, the price will remain unchanged at $1. The Herald raised its price for Greater Boston readers from 50 cents to 75 cents last July.

The Globe, meanwhile, plans to raise the price of the paper in most communities in Eastern Massachusetts to $1.50 starting on Monday. The paper will be available for $1, up from 75 cents, in communities primarily within Route 128 – including Boston, Quincy, Braintree and Milton.

Boston Autoport signs new exporter

BOSTON – The Boston Autoport in Charlestown has landed a new auto exporter. The Grimaldi Group will ship wheeled cargo, including cars, trucks and tractors, through the Massachusetts Port Authority terminal to West Africa on a monthly basis.

Agency lures teams to build ‘green’ homes

BOSTON – MassDevelopment is seeking development teams to build and sell moderately priced “green homes” on two sites in Devens. The agency will review submissions and select up to five teams that will receive a $5,000 stipend and an invitation to submit a proposal to develop housing by early 2011 on 4.6 acres at Devens. Teams will be evaluated by the environmental friendliness of their proposals

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