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Business Observer Friday, Aug. 29, 2003 15 years ago

Regional Roundup



BOYKIN BUYS RESORT - Boykin Lodging Co. acquired the Radisson Suite Beach Resort on Marco Island for $27.25 million. The Cleveland-based real estate investment trust funded the acquisition through an existing credit facility. It has hired the affiliated Boykin Management Co. to manage the 233-suite resort. Robert W. Boykin, the REIT's chairman and chief executive officer, says the property is an ideal candidate for conversion to condominiums.

HMA-TENET DEAL - Health Management Associates Inc. signed a definitive agreement with Tenet Healthcare Corp. to acquire five new hospitals with an aggregate of $400 million in net patient service revenue and 1,061 licensed hospital beds. The Naples-based company acquired Seven Rivers Community Hospital, Crystal River; Harton Regional Medical Center, Tullahoma, Tenn.; University Medical Center, Lebanon, Tenn; Three Rivers Healthcare, Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center, Kennett, Mo.


LIQUIDMETAL CHANGES - Tampa's Liquidmetal Technologies announced President/CEO John Kang was elected to serve as chairman of the board. Current Chairman James Kang is dropping his management duties to help develop new metal alloys. Additionally, R. Brian McDougall has been elected to serve in the newly created role of chief operating officer. Shares of the company's stock sank 23% Monday, from $4.90 per share to $3.76.


HMS GETS TOP RANK - HMS Host received the top rank in its bid to manage the restaurant and beverage concession at the new 798,000-square-foot air terminal under construction at Southwest Florida International Airport. The Bethesda, Md.-based subsidiary of Autogrill SpA, which already operates a concession at the Fort Myers airport, ranked ahead of three other contenders. A $1.6 billion-a-year revenue producer, the company operates concessions at 70 airports worldwide, including Sarasota-Bradenton International and Tampa International.

$4 MILLION SALE - Miami Lakes-based Watermen at SMC LLC paid $4 million for a 37-acre parcel of land near Colonial Boulevard on Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers. Chuck Mayhugh of Chuck Mayhugh Realty, who represented buyer and seller, says the buyer plans to link adjoining property it owns with the 37-acre site. Tentative plans call for the development of commercial retail on about 10 acres and an unspecified amount of multifamily residential on the firm's remaining land holdings.


SUPERTARGET HEADS FOR I-75 CORRIDOR - Target Corp. plans to build a SuperTarget near Interstate 75 in Manatee County by early 2005. Officials were vague about the exact location of the store because of on-going discussions. The three possible sites are state roads 64 and 70 and University Parkway. The new store is expected to be from 125,000 to 135,000 square feet.


CATALINA AUDITOR WALKS - Ernst & Young LLP resigned, effective Aug. 20, as outside auditor for Catalina Marketing Corp. Already late filing its fiscal 2003 annual report, Catalina may have to restate those and other financial results due to Ernst & Young concerns about its health resource and other divisions. The troubled St. Petersburg company has been trying to diversify beyond its bedrock business of issuing coupons at supermarket checkouts.


ESTATE PLANNER TO SPEAK - Nationally recognized estate planning attorney Natalie Choate of the Boston firm of Bingham McCutchen will be in Sarasota Oct. 1 to present a series of talks to estate planning professionals and philanthropic individuals as a guest of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Choate's expertise includes charitable planning, the advisability of nonstandard investments, life insurance and family partnerships. Choate, a Harvard law graduate listed in "The Best Lawyers in America," authored the book, "Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits."

AQUATIC ATTRACTORS TO INCREASE DEALERS - Aquatic Attractors, exclusive Florida dealer of underwater lighting systems, plans to triple its number of dealer resellers in the next 12 months. The company's submersible lights illuminate a seascape or riverbed, such as around a dock, up to an 18-foot diameter, attracting fish and marine life, essentially creating a giant natural aquarium. The company has 11 dealers in 14 counties in Florida, with 30 lighting systems installed in Sarasota County alone.

WINEFEST SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED - The 14th annual Florida Winefest & Auction, "A Vintage Voyage," will be April 15-18 primarily at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. The Winefest, having funded $4.3 million in charity grants thus far, is one of the largest charity events on the Gulf Coast, and it is ranked among the top five charity auctions in the country. The Winefest board includes business community notables such as attorney David Band, Sarasota Ford's Vern Buchanan, Sysco Foods' Carl Cannova and KB Group's Allan Barberio.

TECHHOUSE GOES GOLD - TechHouse, a 7-year-old IT solutions and consulting company in Sarasota, has achieved Gold Certified Partner for Business Intelligence status with Microsoft. TechHouse is one of only two companies in Florida to achieve the distinction.

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