LETTER FROM ... THE PIZZERIA
Touchdowns and Pepperoni
In this turnaround season for the Washington Redskins, Domino's Pizza considers itself a winner as well, never mind that area Domino's owners lost $1 million on Monday discounts based on the number of touchdowns the Redskins scored the day before.
All season long, the 22 Domino's franchise holders in the Washington area that operate 145 outlets subtracted a dollar from every pizza they sold on Mondays for every touchdown the Redskins scored on Sundays.
In the early part of the season, the Redskins seemed to be scoring touchdowns faster than the pizza outlets could bake another sausage and mushroom pizza with extra cheese. After the first four games of the season, the Redskins had hit the end zone 19 times, but their juggernaut offense slowed in the latter stages of the season.
By the time the Redskins botched a final field goal attempt at Tampa Bay a week ago and their season ended, they had scored 57 touchdowns, a bit more than three a game for the 18 games they played, up from 40 in 16 games a year ago.
Dave Wood, who operates 17 Domino's outlets in Northern Virginia, said that overall the Washington area stores sold an average of about 100,000 pizzas on Mondays, with a high of 350,000, compared with 30,000 on Mondays before the season started. That resulted in $5.7 million in discounts for customers.
But Wood said that partly because of the promotion, Domino's business on the other six days of the week picked up about 10 percent throughout the fall.
"Did we possibly lose a million?" he asked rhetorically. "Possibly."
Charlie Malament, who operates five Domino's in the Maryland suburbs, added, "It was definitely a success. I would have liked to have been challenged some more" with big pizza Mondays. "The offense definitely tailed off some, but overall it was a great promotion."
The Domino's operators haven't committed themselves on continuing the promotion next season. But Wood said, "There's a 99 percent chance we'll do it again."
-- Kenneth Bredemeier
LETTER FROM ... LEESBURG
Hospital Linking Up With Supervisors
The board of directors of troubled Loudoun Healthcare Inc. voted Thursday to form a liaison committee between the hospital and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in an effort to improve communication between the two groups as the hospital tries to recover from its financial difficulties.
Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large) and Vice Chairman Eleanore C. Towe (D-Blue Ridge) will join new LHI Chairman Mark Lowers and board member Joseph Boling as members of the committee, which will meet regularly to discuss the hospital's progress.
The supervisors recently adopted a resolution requesting representation on the hospital's board of directors, and Towe said she and the other supervisors will "keep the pressure on" for that change.
Since the move from Leesburg to Lansdowne, the hospital has reported a loss of $27 million, and last year it hired a Louisiana-based consulting firm, Pitts Management, to help restore its financial stability and preserve the hospital as an independent institution.
The hospital also is in the middle of a search to replace interim chief executive Joseph Ruffolo.
Joseph Ramos, former chairman of the LHI board, said he is optimistic bout the future of LHI, which reported breaking even for the month of December. "I feel so much better than I did six months ago," he said.
-- Sarah Schafer
Hyattsville Incubator For Tech Start-Ups
In a move to boost Prince George's County's high-tech development, the county's Economic Development Corp. and the University of Maryland Technical Advancement Program will unveil a 15,000-square-foot Technology Growth Center in Hyattsville this week.
The center in the Prince George's Metro Center will function like an incubator, with suites to house start-up technology companies. The building, which will be equiped with Internet access and flexible space to accommodate growth, will range in size from 110 square feet to 5,000 square feet.
InteliData Sells Stake In Web Services Firm
InteliData Technologies Corp. scored $39 million with the sale of its stake in Home Financial Network, a Connecticut provider of World Wide Web services to financial institutions.
Home Financial completed its deal to sell to Sybase Inc. on Friday. For its 25 percent stake in Home Financial, InteliData will receive $5.8 million in cash and 1,773,000 shares of Sybase stock.
InteliData was the initial outside investor when Home was formed in 1995.
InteliData Chairman William F. Gorog said the deal "is a huge step forward for InteliData, providing a level of financial stability and capital that helps ensure our long-term viability."
InteliData, which makes Internet banking and bill-payment systems, has lost money in each of the last three years.
Mercantile to Acquire Union National Bancorp
Baltimore's Mercantile Bankshares will expand its community banking network with its planned purchase of Westminster's Union National Bancorp, a family-owned bank founded in 1816.
The deal will exchange 1.15 shares of Mercantile common stock for one share of Union National stock. Based on Friday's close, the value of the deal would be more than $49.3 million.
Union, with nine offices in Carroll County, has $309 million in assets. Mercantile has 21 banks in the region and $7.9 billion in total assets. Mercantile has built its business by buying community banks and letting them operate more or less independently. In this case, Union will merge with longtime Carroll County competitor and Mercantile affiliate Westminster Bank and Trust Co., which has 10 offices.
General Atlantic Buys Tech Services Unit
Connecticut investment firm General Atlantic Partners bought out the technology services division of Corporate Software & Technology last week for $30 million.
The leveraged buyout will create a new Arlington-based company, Internosis, which will be owned by General Atlantic and Internosis's 261 employees. Internosis has 119 employees in Arlington.
Internosis will offer information tech services to clients in the Boston-to-Washington corridor.
Robert Stalick, Internosis chairman and chief executive, said the company plans to expand nationally and internationally in the coming years.
General Atlantic claims to be the largest private equity firm devoted to the global information technology industry. It has investments in more than 80 information technology companies.
Corporate Software, based in Norwood, Mass., will remain in business as a software reseller.