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On The Block

Massey Energy Co. will start a formal review of options. The decision was prompted by its board, which directed the move as part of its annual review of the Richmond, Va.-based company’s strategy. The company hired Perella Weinberg Partners as financial adviser for the process. Massey Energy is a coal producer with operations in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. The company swung to a third-quarter loss of $41.4 million from net income of $16.5 million a year earlier. Its financial results were hurt by reduced production, higher expenses, and charges for an accident at the Upper Big Branch mine.

CAPE Systems Group Inc. is exploring alternatives to expand its business and increase shareholder value. The review is also designed to allow the company to re-register its shares. The SEC revoked the registrations of the company’s common shares on Nov. 10 because the supply chain management technologies provider did not file required reports. The last report CAPE Systems submitted with audited financial results was for the period ended Dec. 31, 2006. The Piscataway, N.J.-based company attributed the unfiled reports to its lack of resources to audit its financial records.

Texalta Petroleum Ltd. will evaluate plans to sell the entire corporation. The Canadian oil and gas explorer and developer will also consider other options, such as farming out its Australian or Canadian assets. FirstEnergy Capital Corp. was brought in to provide financial advisory and investment banking services. Texalta’s board also implemented a three-year poison pill, which requires approvals from the TSX Venture Exchange and the company’s shareholders. The board is not currently aware of any pending or proposed take-over bid.

New England Confectionery Co., or NECCO, brought in investment bank Sawaya Segalas & Co. LLC to help it identify a strategic partner or to explore the possible sale of the business. NECCO is a candy and confectionary products maker in Revere, Mass. It became a portfolio company of Bethesda, Maryland-based American Capital Strategies Ltd. in December 2007. NECCO expects it will remain a stand-alone company if a strategic partner cannot be identified on acceptable terms.