Louisiana: Sasol $4B, New Orleans's New Years Eve, Community Coffee, Farm2Table
Written by  // Tuesday, 23 December 2014 12:26 //

new-orleans-tourismBig news for Louisiana and bad news for New Orleans;  More community in your coffee and more food for thought;

Business news of the day (based upon press releases:


Sasol announces $4B credit facility for site in Lake Charles Louisiana

New Orleans rated most expensive for New Year’s Eve

Community Coffee announces board members

Farm to Table announces its “calls for papers”  


Sasol today announced the completion of aUS$4 billion credit facility for its ethane cracker and derivatives at its existing site in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

"Securing this financing facility is another key milestone in advancing a defining project for the company," saidPaul Victor, Acting Chief Financial Officer, Sasol Limited. "The support from a large number of international financial institutions is a testament to Sasol's strong standing within the global financial markets."

A syndicate of 18 international banks and other financial institutions are lenders for the credit facility. The syndicate consists of:

* Book-runners and joint lead arrangers: The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.; BNP PARIBAS; HSBC BankUSA, National Association; Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.; JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.; Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated;Mizuho Bank, Ltd.; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Citibank, N.A. * Joint lead arrangers: Absa Bank Limited; KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH; Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited; ING Capital LLC; Korea Development Bank and SG Americas Securities LLC. * Managers: Export Development Canada; Deutsche Bank AG and UniCredit Bank Austria AG. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.is the administrative agent, Bank of America, N.A. is the account bank, and HSBC BankUSA, National Association is the security trustee for the credit facility. The Royal Bank ofScotland plc acted as the project's financial advisor, and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor for the project. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advised the lenders.

In October, Sasol announced its final investment decision relating to a US$8.9 billion petrochemical complex, which consists of an ethane cracker that will produce 1.5 million tons of ethylene annually. The complex will also comprise six chemical manufacturing plants, enabling infrastructure and utility improvements.

The remainder of the funds required for construction will be raised in a phased manner from a variety of potential sources, including surplus cash available in the group. Additional funding will be announced as it is secured.

New Orleans is the most expensive U.S. destination in which to spend New Year's Eve, according to a new survey from TravelMag.com. The survey compared 30 major destinations in the United States based on the cost of their lodging on December 31.

For each destination, the survey established the minimum amount visitors will have to spend on

December 31 to stay overnight in a double room. Only such hotels rated 3 stars or higher and those located close to the city center were considered.

New Orleans tops the list with a rate of $359 for the most affordable room. That figure is over 300% more than what the least expensive room would normally cost. According to Barbara Adams from TravelMag.com, "Hotels in New Orleans are close to being sold out for New Year's Eve and most hotels that still have availability are requiring guests to stay at least two or three nights."

Only slightly less expensive is Atlantic City, where a room on New Year's Eve will cost $350. The New Jersey resort city boasts the biggest rate increase among all destinations, because in general visitors can find a room there for less than $100 per night.

The following table shows the 10 most expensive destinations in the United States for New Year's Eve. The rates shown reflect the price for the cheapest available double room (minimum: 3-star hotel) on December 31. A comparison with regular rates is added, which reflects rates for the least expensive double room the following week (January 7–8, 2015).

New Orleans $359 (+ 302%)

Atlantic City $350 (+ 586%)

New York City $345 (+287%)

Miami Beach $313 (+ 144%)

Honolulu $284 (+ 162%)

Nashville $284 (+ 167%)

Denver $269 (+ 108%)

Las Vegas $249 (+ 117%)

Savannah $223 (+ 153%)

Los Angeles $209 (+ 36%)

For the full rankings of the survey, visit http://www.travelmag.com/articles/new-years-eve-2014/



Call for Papers

  Farm to Table International (F2Ti), a three-day, multi-track symposium on the policy and practice of food and drink, is currently accepting papers for its 3rd annual program, taking place August 8-10, 2015 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. F2Ti features the brightest thought leaders and leading practitioners in the burgeoning farm-to-table movement. F2Ti explores the cultivation, distribution, and consumption of food and drink sourced locally to globally. It takes place in tandem with the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Annual Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO, an event attracting food and beverage professionals from across the country.

This year’s theme, “A Feast for the Senses,” spotlights the sensual aspects of food and drink at every stage of the agricultural-culinary cycle. Topics will include, but are not limited to, best practices in urban farming, bringing products to market, sourcing locally, enhancing sustainability, and the latest trends and developments in the industry, including food science, security, and safety.

Proposals for educational sessions should correspond to the current theme, “A Feast for the Senses,” and should be designed to fit one of the following educational tracks:

•    Crop to Cup (Brewing, Distilling, Vinting, plus non-alcoholic beverages)

•    Farming and Production

•    Food and Beverage Journalism and Media

•    Farm to School

•    Food Innovation (Science, Technology, Trends, etc.)

Interested presenters should refer to the conference website at www.F2T-int.com for additional information regarding submission requirements as well as the consideration and selection process.

The deadline for submitting presentations for review is February 20, 2015. Presentations for the F2Ti program will be selected by the Farm to Table International Executive Advisory Council.

F2Ti is produced by the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in partnership with the SoFAB Institute and the LSU AgCenter.

Who should attend:

•    Chefs, mixologists, and restaurateurs

•    Researchers, scholars, and policymakers

•    Farmers and agricultural professionals

•    Writers, publishers, and media

•    Slow food advocates

•    Brewers, distillers, vintners, and distributors

•    Farmers market managers and urban farmers

•    Nutritionists and health professionals

•    Grocers and retailers

•    CSA/RSA managers and advocates

•    Foragers


Community Coffee Company announced the elections of Tom Sampson and Donna Saurage to its Board of Directors. They join seven other members of this 95-year-old, family-owned and operated coffee company.

Tom Sampson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Peacock Engineering Company. Previously, he spent 27 years in a variety of leadership positions at Kraft Foods. As Executive Vice President of Business Transformation, he led a comprehensive restructuring of the entire North American business and eventually the division of the company into Kraft Foods Group and Monedelez International. Sampson was the President of Kraft’s North American Foodservice business for close to a decade and held other key positions. He also worked for Procter & Gamble and IBM.

He also serves as the Board President of the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center and is actively involved in Leadership Greater Chicago and LINK Unlimited. Sampson has a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame and a master’s of management degree from Northwestern University.

Donna Saurage is the Sole Manager of CCC Holding, the parent of Community Coffee Company.  She was the creator and General Manager of the Community Coffee Places, 6 brand-themed retail specialty coffee and gift shops from 1979 – 1981. During her time as General Manager of the Residence Inn of Baton Rouge, she introduced the city to its first all-suite hotel. She also recruited executives for Sales Consultants of Baton Rouge and served as business advisor to the now-retired Chairman of Community Coffee Company.

With over 50 years of nonprofit sector board experience and leadership, she has served as Chair of Woman’s Hospital and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Baton Rouge, Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, and the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations. Currently she serves as a trustee of the Huey & Angelina Wilson Foundation.

The board of Community Coffee Company also includes:

Matthew C. Saurage, Chairman, Community Coffee Company.

David G. Belanger, Sr., President & CEO, Community Coffee Company.

Donald E. Brunson, Chief Operating Officer and Secretary of Monogram Food Solutions, L.L.C., Memphis, Tennessee.

David E. Hogberg, President of WM Barr, Inc., Memphis, Tennessee.

Ralph J. Nicoletti, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Tiffany and Company, New York, New York.

H. N. “Hank” Saurage IV, Partner and Managing Broker in Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

H. Norman Saurage III, former President and former Chairman of the Board of Community Coffee Company.

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