January 16, 2014

Illini Men Drop Third Straight, 66-58 To Purdue

The Illini men dropped their third straight Big Ten game Wednesday night.  A.J. Hammons scored 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks to lead Purdue to a 66-58 win in Champaign.


January 15, 2014

State Farm Selling Canadian Companies

State Farm Insurance is getting out of Canada. The Bloomington-based insurance giant is selling its Canadian unit to Desjardins Group, Canada's largest credit union.

The purchase price is not being made public at this point. State Farm, Desjardins and its French partner Credit Mutuel, will invest $1.5 billion in the combined business. State Farm's investment in Desjardins stock will be $450 million Canadian.

State Farm is now the fourth largest auto insurer in Canada and seventh largest property and casualty operation, though it's business is largely concentrated in three provinces, Ontario, Alberta, and New Brunswick.

The new business to be run by Desjardins under the State Farm brand for some years would become the second largest Canadian property and casualty insurer with a larger geographical reach.

Desjardins approached State Farm. Rust also said the agreement opens the door to future cooperative ventures in Canada. 

Desjardins tells its Canadian workers in a letter that the regulatory and political response to the great recession, and the Bloomington company's U.S.-centric approach limits State Farm's ability to respond and adapt to changing Canadian markets.

Rust calls the decision to sell "difficult" but says it will create opportunities for the new operation to become a market leader in Canada. The deal is expected to close in January of 2015.

At that point State Farm's 1,700 Canadian workers and 500 Agents would work for Desjardins.

Desjardins is also acquiring State Farm's Canadian mutual fund, loan, and living benefit operations. It says State Farm agents in Canada will retain their existing agency agreement terms for a few years. 


classroom
(Scott Eisen/AP)
January 15, 2014

Lawmakers Push For School Funding Changes

Illinois ranks last in the nation when it comes to how much money the state kicks in for public education. This has to do with the complicated formula that determines school funding. There is a move to change how that's done.


Chris Christie
(Mel Evans/AP)
January 14, 2014

Christie Concedes ‘Mistakes Were Made’ In Bridge Scandal

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, engulfed in scandal over the politically motivated closing of bridge access lanes and questions about how he spent federal Hurricane Sandy aid, pledged Tuesday to "cooperate with all appropriate inquiries."


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