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Business Observer Thursday, May 10, 2012 7 years ago

Corporate Report: May 11

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A roundup of the top corporate news of the week.

Lancet Indemnity premiums grow 18% in first quarter
Tampa-based Lancet Indemnity RRG Inc. reported an 18% increase in written premiums in the first quarter compared with the same quarter in 2011. This continued an upward trend for the company. It grew 52% year over year in 2011.

“We've experience great growth but we haven't even scratched the surface of the market,” Anthony Maniscalco, the chief operating officer of Lancet, says in a press release. “We are writing business in 13 states but until we have a major presence in each our job isn't done.”

Maniscalco expects the company will see growth equal to if not greater than what it posted in 2011 this year.

Lancet Indemnity recently hired Brian Menendez to lead its business development and marketing division. Prior to joining Lancet, Menendez worked for Westview Financial Group, an independent insurance firm specializing in advanced case design for life insurance cases.

Started in 2007 by five Tampa Bay area physicians, Lancet Indemnity provides medical professional liability insurance for physicians, groups, captives and associations. Today the group insures more than 2,300 physicians and surgeons.

United Maritime Group selling U.S. United Barge Line
Tampa-based United Maritime Group LLC entered into a definitive agreement to sell its U.S. United Barge Line LLC, a barge transportation subsidiary of UMG, to Ingram Barge Co.

The subsidiaries of the UMG operate businesses in the dry bulk transportation and logistics industry, including U.S. United Bulk Terminal LLC, the largest coal and petroleum coke handling facility in the Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. United Ocean Services LLC, which operates the largest Jones Act dry bulk ocean fleet by capacity.

“Since acquiring UBL in 2007, we have developed the business as an independent provider of barging services to the domestic and export markets for coal, petroleum coke, grain and other dry bulk commodities,” UMG's CEO Steven Green says in a press release.

Ingram Barge Co. is a subsidiary of Nashville-based Ingram Industries Inc.

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as the financial adviser to UMG, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP was the legal counsel.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter following regulatory approval and other closing conditions.

Rapid Pathogen Screening developing test for Homeland Security
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chemical and Biological Defense Division has awarded Sarasota-based Rapid Pathogen Screening Inc. a contract to develop and manufacture a test to detect a biological attack or pandemic. The contract calls for the firm to create a test that's quick reacting and can be taken at the point of care. The test would use a finger prick of blood to differentiate between a viral or bacterial infection.

Founded in 2004, Rapid Pathogen Screening Inc. is a developer, manufacturer, and marketer of diagnostic tests.

ISM International preparing 2013 MyGirl launch
Clearwater-based ISM International Inc. says it has secured production, fulfillment and distribution sources for its MyGirl product line. It reportedly has reached a deal with two unspecified companies in New Jersey.

The first product released will be an organic nail polish remover that is non-toxic, non-flammable and unscented. The second product will be unscented organic nail polish.

ISM International says it will also introduce a MyGirl clothing line and MyGirl jewelry line designed by the company CEO Mario Quenneville. Earlier in his career, Quenneville designed jewelry for collections sold in Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany and Spiegel.

MyGirl products are scheduled to be on retail shelves by the first quarter of 2013.

ISM International is a majority owner of a number of small businesses including a Flea Market / Mini-Stores complex and Instigator Film studio, and is a developer of organic non-toxic products.

American Community Development Group restructures stock levels
St. Petersburg-based American Community Development Group Inc. has received approval for a proposed amendment to its Certificate of Incorporation from the Delaware Division of Corporations.

The change allows the company to increase the number of authorized shares of stock to 500 million and issue up to 75 million shares of preferred stock.

The structural changes were described as important to the company because it should allow it the capital it needs to conclude several acquisitions under review.

American Community Development Group has also retained a SEC accounting firm to begin the corporate audit process.

Both the audit and corporate structural changes are steps toward the company's goal of listing its stock on the OTCQX, an over-the-counter stock marketplace that requires a high level of financial disclosures.

Golden Valley Development hires toxicologist overseeing Percuguard development
Clearwater-based Golden Valley Development Inc. has added Milton Marshall Ph.D. to its advisory board. Marshall will oversee the FDA regulatory approval process for Golden Valley Development's anti-needle-stick device, Percuguard. He will also be responsible for quality control and its early introduction into broad dental and medical markets.

Marshall is currently the director of quality assurance and compliance for the Center for Molecular Imaging at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He has taught at several universities across the country and has authored more than 40 scientific articles in the fields of cancer research, toxicology, and nutritional health.

Marshall holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and virology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He has experience in research and development include of preclinical and clinical drug, biologic, medical device, and over-the-counter product development.

“The design specifications require rigid quality assurance that will provide the health care worker with needle-stick protection and yet allow for manual dexterity and tactile sensitivity. Milton brings the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure that such exacting specifications are met,” Kevin Sorrels, D.D.S., CEO of Golden Valley Development, says in a press release.

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