Bristol-Myers Woes



Corrections or additions?

This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the July 17, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane

Starwood Capital, the owner of the Princeton Marriott

at Forrestal Village, says it will convert that 294-room hotel to

a Westin brand hotel by September. Starwood owns the Westin brand,

and it also owns Sheraton, Four Points, St. Regis and W Hotels names.

In 1997, when Starwood bought the building for $19.6 million, Marriott

had the management contract, but that contract is expiring.

Meanwhile Marriott has opened its own property, the Lafayette Yard

Marriott Conference Hotel, in Trenton. And a developer, Bill King

of King Interests on Nassau Street, has submitted an application to

West Windsor to build a 74,000 square foot Marriott Residence Inn

at Canal Pointe, adjacent to the office building there. The Marriott

chain also owns a Residence Inn on Route 1 South in South Brunswick

and a Courtyard by Marriott on Route 1 South between Mapleton and

Scudders Mill Roads.

King hopes to start construction by the end of the year. The 3 1/2

acre site, contiguous to the AmeriSuites Hotel, is owned by Princeton

Land Partners (controlled by Carnegie Center developer Alan Landis)

and would be sold to Carnegie Hotel Developers LLC. Residence Inn

rooms typically are 50 percent larger than rooms at regular hotels.

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Bristol-Myers Woes

To meet sales targets Bristol-Myers gave hefty incentives

to wholesalers to stock up. Since April, the SEC has been investigating

these incentives, and on July 11 the company owned up to the investigation.

Bristol-Myers spokesman Bonnie Jacobs says the company is cooperating

with the SEC, and that the ongoing dialogue does not reflect any new

information. "The SEC has not stated to the company that it has

done anything improper in connection with the inventory situation,"

says Jacobs. The company has other troubles. After it had paid $2

billion to partner with would-be cancer curer ImClone, the FDA rejected

the drug and the CEO was arrested for insider trading. Also the company’s

patents are expiring on the cancer drug Taxol, the anti-anxiety drug

BuSpar and the diabetes treatment Glucophage — and the results

for a hypertension drug, Vanlev, were disappointing.

Still, the Bristol-Myers Squibb accounting problems are small potatoes

compared to those of Enron, Andersen, Tyco, Global Crossing, Qwest,

WorldCom, Xerox, and Vivendi. And its compatriots in the industry

are suffering too. Merck has admitted it had overstated its revenues

and costs by including about $14 billion paid to retail pharmacies

over three years, and this brouhaha postponed an IPO for Merck’s Medco

benefits subsidiary again. Also Elan, the Irish owners of the 130-person

former Liposome Company on Research Way, admitted to using off-balance

sheet vehicles in January. That, plus some approval setbacks, drove

out Donal Geaney and Tom Lynch, Elan’s chairman and CFO respectively,

from their jobs.

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The state’s private sector has seen its largest employment

decline in a decade, says the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.

Private companies lost jobs since the recession officially started

in July, 2001, with two-thirds of the workers losing their jobs in

the first five months of 2002.

"The continuing job losses tell us the recession isn’t over yet,"

says Joe Gonzalez, NJBIA president. "The hoped-for spring turnaround

has not materialized, the economy remains sluggish, and companies

are still cutting expenses." One third of these losses were in

the manufacturing industry. Among U.S. 1 area cutbacks:

Dataram Corp. (DRAM), 186 Princeton-Hightstown

Road, Windsor Business Park, Box 7528, Princeton 08543-7528. Robert

V. Tarantino, CEO. 609-799-0071; fax, 609-936-1369. Home page:

With its headquarters on Princeton Hightstown Road, Dataram designs

and manufactures high performance memory products for the server,

workstation and PC markets. Last month Dataram cut nearly one fourth

of its workforce worldwide and expects to save $2.5 million.

Despite this action, the 35-year-old company says it has preserved

its "key resources," the global sales team and its manufacturing

expertise. Dataram has such customers as Intel, Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu

Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, SGI, Sun, and Toshiba.

American Re Corporation, 555 College Road East,

Box 5241, Princeton 08543-5241. John P. Phelan, president, CEO. 609-243-4200;

fax, 609-243-4257. Home page:

Beset by problems in the insurance industry, American Re Corporation

has started another round of layoffs. Counting cuts made last November,

they will amount to about 10 percent of the workforce. The most recent

layoffs, 100 people from the international insurance division, involve

both early retirement packages and severance agreements. About 800

people work on College Road West and College Road East, and a spokesperson

could not estimate how many of the layoffs involve those jobs.

American Re is a leading writer of reinsurance in the United States

and is part of the Munich Re Group. It serves insurers in more than

150 countries.

In 2001 American Re lost $862 million, mostly due to the terrorist

attacks. But underpriced contracts — cases where the risks turned

out to be greater than risk managers estimated — account for earlier

losses, $64 million in 2000 and a $101 million in 1999.

Hillier, 500 Alexander Park, CN 23, Princeton 08543-0023.

David Erik Chase AIA, CEO. 609-452-8888; fax, 609-452-8332.

Six employees left Hillier’s Princeton office in an eight percent

downsizing that cut the total number of employees from 380 to 350

nationwide. About 200 people still work at Alexander Park office of

New Jersey’s largest and the country’s fourth-largest architectural


"Two big five-year jobs happened to wind down at the same time,"

says Lois Etz, a principal at Hillier. "We just finished the biggest

job in the United States, a 4 million square foot campus for Sprint

in Kansas City, and the biggest job in the United Kingdom, for Glaxo

Smith-Kline in London. And our institutional and corporate clients

just aren’t building as much in today’s business climate."

Some of the architects who left were not riffed but left for personal

reasons, Etz says. Hillier’s latest projects are to design 110 schools

in Buffalo and a student center in Dallas. It also has the new Princeton

Public Library and the Princeton school renovation, among other projects.

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Paul Kivler, 56, on July 8. He was a technical associate

with Princeton Plasma Physics Lab.

Ellen M. Gross on July 10. She had worked at Xenobiotic

Laboratories on Morgan Lane and FMC Corporation.

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