ITT Corp. shareholders at today’s annual meeting rejected a proposal by several church groups that would have required the global manufacturer to prepare a report on its foreign sales of military and weapons-related products and services.
The proposal drew just 6.8 percent of the votes cast at the meeting, the company said. Its sponsors were the Mercy Investment Program and the Dominican Sisters of Hope, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church.
ITT said 83 percent of common shares outstanding were voted at the meeting, held at ITT’s new offices at 1133 Westchester Ave. in White Plains. Shareholders elected 10 board members.
Three church groups will ask shareholders of ITT Corp. of White Plains to require the defense contractor to report on its foreign sales of weapons-related and military services.
The Dominican Sisters of Hope, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church plan to present the resolution at ITT’s annual meeting at its White Plains headquarters on May 12, according to the company’s proxy statement filed today.
The resolution would require the company to file a “comprehensive” report, excluding proprietary or classified data, within six months of the meeting. The resolution notes that two years ago ITT was fined $50 million for violating rules governing the handling of documents related to overseas military contracts.
“Weapons sold to one country at a certain time subsequently can become a threat to our own security, as we have seen several times in our recent history,” the church groups said in a statement accompanying the resolution. The report would help shareholders evaluate the effectiveness of new procedures the company has put in place to prevent further violations of the law, the groups added.
In arguing against the resolution, ITT said that the information already is in the public record through government agencies, ITT’s own annual report, and its Web site. Among other organizations, it cited the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (www dsca.mil,) which lists contracts and public notices of proposed military sales overseas.
ITT Corp. of White Plains said that it has completed work on two new rural water treatment plants in China, part of a pilot project to address rural drinking water issues in the world’s most populous country.
The two plants, which use ITT’s technology, will provide purified water to more than 10,000 Chinese residents.
ITT said that it donated the plants under an agreement with the Center for Rural Drinking Water Safety of China’s Ministry of Water Resources.
“We hope that these two successful pilot models can be promoted to more rural areas of China and offer useful experience for future rural drinking water safety projects in many developing regions of the world,” Mike Kuchenbrod, president of ITT’s China and India operations, said in a written statement.
ITT Corp., a White Plains-based engineering and manufacturing company, said that it has opened a research and development center in northern Italy. The center will support ITTâ€™s Friction Technologies business that makes brake pads and friction materials for cars, trucks and light commercial vehicles. ITT invested $10 million in the center. ITT said that it expects to begin production at another R&D center in the Czech Republic in the fourth quarter.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. reports it has opened its first aloft brand hotel in the United States in Southern California.
The aloft Ontario-Rancho Cucamonga is expected to appeal to Los Angeles area business travelers as well as tourists to destinations such as Joshua Tree National Park, the White Plains-based hotelier said.
Aloft hotels are marketed as affordable, fashionable inns that feature high-tech amenities.
Starwood said it expects to open 18 of the new-concept hotels this year in cities worldwide.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said today it has plans to open a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, under the hotelierâ€™s St. Regis brand.
The 200 room luxury hotel, which would also have 200 residences as well as restaurants and meeting halls, is scheduled to open in 2014, White Plains-based Starwood said.
Shares of Starwood were lower in late-afternoon trading, down $1.07, or 2.2 percent, to $47.18 a share.