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Business Observer Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 3 years ago

Corporate report

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SRN, Atlanta's D-Unity Group agrees to barrier reselling deal; Vology raises $40 million in new financing; St. Petersburg's Uptown Title joins Florida Agency Network; and more corporate news.
by: Sean Roth Research Editor

SRN, Atlanta's D-Unity Group agrees to barrier reselling deal
University Park-based SRN Inc. reached an agreement for D-Unity Group LLC in Atlanta to sell SRN's portable barrier system for concealing accidents.

Roger Vaughn and Stacy Vaughn of D-Unity Group will be selling the SRN1000, a privacy screen and barrier used mostly for law enforcement nationally.

Roger Vaughn has more than 20 years of experience with the Air Force and other government agencies, including as a contractor for the Department of Defense and as an independent business consultant. Stacy Vaughn, vice president and managing partner of D-Unity Group LLC, has more than 20 years' experience as former government service employee and a federal contractor for the Department of Defense.

The couple hosts “Veterans with a View,” an Internet radio show that highlights veteran-owned businesses, veterans and the small businesses.

Vology raises $40 million in new financing
Oldsmar-based Vology Inc. has raised $40 million of new senior financing. Vology raised the new capital in a syndicated financing deal led by SunTrust Bank, Fifth Third Bank and Hancock Bank. The proceeds were used to extinguish the company's existing $15 million senior secured revolving credit line negotiated with Bank of America in 2010, and will support the company's near-term growth plans.
The financing includes a $15 million revolving line of credit, a $15 million acquisition line and a $10 million term loan, as well as an “accordion” provision for up to $15 million of additional revolving or term loan commitments. Unlike the company's former financing terms, the new structure allows Vology to borrow against both its assets and cash flow.

Other transaction terms were not disclosed.

The financing allows Vology to lower its average cost of debt, extend maturities and gives it additional flexibility, particularly in regarding new growth and acquisitions.

St. Petersburg's Uptown Title joins Florida Agency Network
Uptown Title in St. Petersburg has joined the Florida Agency Network. With the Uptown Title addition, the Florida Agency Network increased its coverage to 27 locations across Florida.
Florida Agency Network is a new network of independent title agencies providing IT and network personnel, in-house legal counsel, title plant, municipal lien search, a permit resolution department, REO services, foreclosure auction services and more.

Invisa buys Uniroyal Engineered Products for $55 million in stock
Sarasota-based Invisa Inc. purchased Uniroyal Engineered Products LLC and Engineered Products Acquisition Limited, the holding company for Wardle Storeys (Group) Limited, for $55 million in a combination of new non-convertible preferred stock and a smaller portion of common stock.

Uniroyal and Wardle Storeys each have more than 50 years of experience developing, manufacturing and marketing coated fabrics used in the automotive, industrial equipment, upholstery, hospitality, health care and recreation industries.

The acquisitions give Invisa a larger geographic reach through Uniroyal's existing United States-focused business and Wardle Storeys' coverage in Europe.

Uniroyal's and Wardle Storeys' combined revenue for the fiscal year ended Dec. 29 was $104 million. The companies reported another $50 million for the six months ended June 29. The newly joined company makes 65% of its revenue from the automotive industry.

Invisa now has 409 employees worldwide and leases 480,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Stoughton, Wis., and Earby, England. All existing management of Uniroyal and Wardle Storeys will remain in place.

“We believe that these acquisitions position Invisa as a leader in the coated fabrics market with strong brand recognition and a history of product innovation,” Edmund King, Invisa's CEO, says in a press release. “With established revenue in this growth industry, significant cash flow, and proven management, we are excited about Invisa's future.”

Clegg Insurance Group buys Hopf and Hopf
Clearwater-based Clegg Insurance Group acquired Hopf and Hopf Inc., an insurance agency in Tampa that generated $250,000 in net-commissions revenue last year. This is the second acquisition in the last 18 months for the 4-year-old Clegg Insurance Group, which purchased Florida Insurance Partners of Safety Harbor in May 2013.

The acquisition of Hopf and Hopf, which sells property and casualty insurance statewide, gives Clegg Insurance Group 35% more customers. The insurance agency says those new customers will now have access to more insurance policy options, including automobile and commercial insurance coverage.

“This is an exciting time for our company,” Ryan Clegg, founder and president of Clegg Insurance Group, says in a press release. “With an expanded footprint in Tampa Bay and additional plans for growth over the next year, we look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

To manage the agency's growth, Clegg Insurance is looking to hire additional employees in the coming year.

Former Google executive bringing Valpak to Silicon Valley
A husband and wife team, Damian and Jami Vest, acquired the existing Valpak business in San Jose, Calif., and expanded it to become Valpak of Silicon Valley.

The Santa Clara County territory covered in the franchise agreement includes the California cities of San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara.

The entrepreneurs now mail Valpak's signature blue envelope to 310,000 homes per month.

Damian Vest previously spent three years working for Google as a business development and strategic partner manager.

Valpak franchisees need a minimum liquidity of $75,000, and a net worth of at least $150,000.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. buying 18M shares of Bloomin' Brands
Bain Capital Partners LLC sold 18.3 million shares of Bloomin' Brands Inc.'s common stock to Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands operates four restaurant brands: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick opens new office in USF Connect
The law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP has opened an office in part of the University of South Florida's USF Connect campus. The goal of the new office is to offer legal assistance to startup companies and entrepreneurs. USF Connect provides facilities, access to research, capital, faculty, students, inventors, investors and more.

Shumaker patent attorney Thomas Toner is spearheading the firm's efforts. He worked in the USF Connect space from 2011 until he joined the law firm in June. Toner will provide USF Connect businesses with assistance and seminars about intellectual property rights and other legal issues that face new companies in high-tech fields.

“Every new company needs to be aware of the rules that govern intellectual property, but particularly for tech companies, it's imperative that they understand the steps they need to take to protect themselves and their inventions,” Toner says in a press release.

The firm says the new office is designed to create unplanned natural interactions between the startup companies and attorneys.

“You never know where a conversation is going to go,” Toner says in a press release. “In my time at USF Connect, those free-flowing interactions have been very rewarding.”

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