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Business Observer Friday, Apr. 1, 2016 6 years ago

Corporate report

Hertz Equipment names chairman; Cell tower venture seeks $500 million; Connecticut company relocates to Sarasota; Firm expands, plans 35 jobs; Top executive switches roles
by: Steven Benna Staff Writer

Hertz Equipment names chairman

Herbert Henkel, retired chairman and CEO of Ingersoll Rand, has been named non-executive chairman of the equipment-rental business of Hertz Global Holdings.

Hertz is preparing to separate Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. as a standalone, publicly traded company later this year. The division is one of the largest equipment rental businesses in North America, primarily serving the construction, industrial, oil, gas, entertainment and government sectors.

“Herb Henkel has had a long and distinguished career in the equipment business,” says John Tague, Hertz president and CEO, in a statement. “His experience, insight and guidance will be invaluable to HERC as it continues to transform its business.”

Henkel was Ingersoll Rand's CEO from 1999 until his retirement in February 2010, and he served as the company's board chairman from 2000 until June 2010. Henkel is currently a director for The Allstate Corp., C.R. Bard and 3M, where he chairs the audit committee.

Cell tower venture seeks $500 million

Grain Management LLC, a Sarasota-based private equity firm that also owns and operates wireless towers and related infrastructure across North America, seeks to raise $500 million.

The firm is raising the money for Grain Communications Opportunity Fund L.P., according to an SEC filing. Specific plans were not released.

This marks Grain's third round of funding in the past five years. The company raised $108 million in 2011 and $240 million in 2012.

Grain acquired 85 wireless towers from Ntelos Holdings Corp. in February 2015. That acquisition provided nearly $2.2 million in cash flow.

Founded in 2007 by David Grain, Grain Management has offices in Sarasota and Washington, D.C. and focuses on investments in the media and communications sectors. The firm manages funds for a number of the country's leading academic institutions, endowments and public pension funds.

Connecticut company relocates to Sarasota
Ergotech Inc., a Danbury, Conn.-based manufacturing company, is relocating its corporate headquarters to its Sarasota location, effective April 1.

The company opened the facility at 6408 Parkland Drive June 1, 2015. As part of the transition, its operating name will officially become Ergotronix Inc., a statement says.

Ergotronix makes ergonomic equipment for workers in a manufacturing or industrial setting. Its clients range from the federal government to a host of Fortune 500 companies.

Firm expands, plans 35 jobs

Nitro Mobile Solutions, a Tampa-based software development firm, plans to relocate its headquarters from New Tampa's Highland Oaks to downtown Tampa.

The move will add up to 35 jobs by 2018, according to a statement from the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. Nitro is also investing $100,000 in renovation, equipment and office furnishings and will triple its space to 9,000 square feet. The new headquarters is at 501 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 910.

Nitro Mobile Solutions joins a list of local companies, such as Accusoft, ReliaQuest and Tribridge that have expanded recently in Hillsborough County.

Founded in 2009, Nitro Mobile Solutions offers four core products that help companies optimize operations through technology. The company was ranked No. 248 on the 2015 Inc. 500 list.

Top executive switches roles
Laser Spine Institute announced Bill Horne will transition from his role as CEO to executive chairman, effective later this spring.

Horne will remain involved in the strategic direction of the company in his new role, according to a statement. Laser Spine President David Pillsbury will take over as CEO.

“It has been my honor to serve as CEO, where I have had the privilege to work alongside the most supportive and dedicated staff who holds patient care to the highest of standards,” Horne says. “In many ways, our staff and patients have become an extension of my family, and I value those relationships.”

Tampa-based Laser Spine Institute has helped more than 60,000 patients deal with neck and back pain. The company has more than 1,100 employees.

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