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Business Observer Tuesday, May 8, 2012 7 years ago

Corporate Report: May 4

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Alico selling, Infinity Technologies buying and more corporate news.

Alico selling land in Frostproof to Griffin
Fort Myers-based Alico Inc. is selling two parcels of land totaling 4,020 acres in Polk County. The sales price of the two properties is $10.1 million in cash and will likely result in a pre-tax gain of $9.2 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012.

Ben Hill Griffin III, the brother-in-law of John R. Alexander, Alico's chairman, and Ben Hill Griffin Inc. were the buyers. The transactions were referred to and approved by Alico's Audit Committee, which is comprised of independent directors.
Both parcels were considered by Alico to be surplus to its agricultural operations.

The first parcel of 3,635 acres is located in Frostproof, and its purchase price was $9.1 million, or $2,500 per acre. Alico recorded a deposit for the parcel of $200,000. The sales contract was entered into mid-April, and Ben Hill Griffin III is scheduled to close and take possession no later than June 12.

The second parcel, which is also in Frostproof, is 385 acres. The purchase price was $1 million, equal to $2,750 per acre. Alico received a $50,000 deposit. Similarly, Ben Hill Griffin Inc. agreed to close and take possession no later than June 12.

Sunovia lands new financing to grow fixture production
Sarasota-based LED lighting company Sunovia Energy Technologies reported it has secured the financing necessary to increase production of its Aimed Optics LED product lines to more than 10,000 fixtures per month. The $5 million financing was accomplished through a matching funds arrangement where funds invested into a subscription agreement by accredited investors were matched by a private credit facility. Officers, directors and founders of the Sunovia Energy were investors in the subscription.

The company says the market demand for the Sunovia Energy's proprietary fixtures exceeds production capabilities, and it plans to increase its production during the next 36 months.

Infinity Technology Solutions buying ArchiTech Software
Tampa's Infinity Technology Solutions signed an agreement to acquire ArchiTech Software & Web Solutions Inc. Started in 2003 by Scott Michie, Apollo Beach-based ArchiTech is a professional Web design and Internet marketing firm.

“At ArchiTech we've worked hard to help our clients build their business and I know Infinity has a similar work ethic, which is why they are the best fit to help us help our clients,” Michie says in a press release.

Infinity Technology Solutions provides managed IT and marketing services to businesses.

HSN hires Nordstrom's executive to lead it merchandising efforts
St. Petersburg-based multimedia retailer HSN Inc. is hiring Anne Martin-Vachon as chief merchandising officer, effective May 14. Martin-Vachon will oversee HSN's merchandising and planning teams and report directly to CEO Mindy Grossman.

Martin-Vachon joins HSN from Nordstrom Inc., where she served as the chief marketing officer responsible for all marketing, visual merchandising and marketing operations for Nordstrom, Nordstrom.com and Nordstrom Rack. Prior to joining Nordstrom, Martin-Vachon was president and CEO of the international beauty and skincare company Lise Watier Cosmetiques Inc. She was also previously the chief marketing officer at Bath & Body Works LLC.

Martin-Vachon will oversee the product development, assortment, pricing, category expansion and merchandising of HSN brands across all product categories. In addition, she will be responsible for the overall merchandising strategy, development of new product offerings and brand partners as well as working with HSN's executive team to determine investment opportunities.

Marathon Construction, Demolition buying MagneGas for Ala. project
Tampa's MagneGas Corp. entered into an agreement with Marathon Construction and Demolition LLC to provide MagneGas fuel for metal cutting on a large demolition project in Tanner, Ala. The project calls for redevelopment of a former large automotive manufacturing plant in Alabama, with more than 300 acres of facilities to be demolished.

The company has taken its first delivery of 400 MagneGas cylinders and has started the demolition. Marathon and MagneGas are also considering placing a mobile MagneGas refinery onsite at the project to produce MagneGas fuel locally. In the interim, Marathon Construction has agreed to use MagneGas fuel exclusively for 120 days while the fuel is sourced from MagneGas' headquarters in Tampa.

Founded in 2007, MagneGas Corp. is the producer of MagneGas, a natural-gas alternative and metal-working fuel.

Tampa defense attorney Cohen aligning with McIntyre, Panzarella
Prominent Tampa criminal defense attorney and litigator Barry Cohen announced his firm Barry A. Cohen PA has formed a co-counsel relationship with the Tampa bankruptcy law firm McIntyre, Panzarella, Thanasides, Hoffman, Bringgold and Todd PL.
The McIntyre firm has located several of its lawyers in Cohen's downtown Tampa office. At the same time Cohen's firm will have full access to the McIntyre firm's 18 lawyers and its multidisciplinary practice areas.

“I have worked with Rich McIntyre and Paul Thanasides on important commercial cases, including major 'bet the company' litigation, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the relationship with these tenacious lawyers,” Cohen says in a press release.

Cohen recently represented a client in a federal court cases against WellCare Health Systems Inc. that resulted in a $177 million reimbursement payment to the state and federal Medicaid systems.

“People think of Barry for his criminal defense work, but he has also obtained substantial premises liability and catastrophic injury awards and has assisted local and national businesses in their key commercial litigation needs,” Rich McIntyre says in a press release. “Barry has skills and an approach to cases that I have long admired. It is an honor to have him participating in cases with us.”

Cohen's former law partner, Todd Foster, has opened his own firm, but will continue to co-counsel with Cohen's firm on certain major federal criminal matters.

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