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Corporate Report

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  • | 6:00 p.m. August 10, 2007
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Corporate Report

by Sean Roth | Real Estate Editor

Quality Distribution buys Boasso America

Tampa-based Quality Distribution Inc. agreed to acquire all the stock of Boasso America Corp. for about $60 million.

Chalmette, La.-based Boasso America is a provider of ISO tank container and depot services, with facilities in Chalmette, Houston, Charleston, S.C., Chicago, Detroit and Jacksonville. For its most recent fiscal year, ended March 31, Boasso had revenues of more than $70 million. Quality Distribution officials expect the acquisition to immediately improve the company's earnings.

"Boasso is well-recognized as a leading company in the tank container industry, and will continue to operate as a stand-alone division under the direction of president Scott Giroir," Gary Enzor, president and CEO of Quality Distribution, said in a press release. "We believe the combination of Boasso and Quality Distribution creates an opportunity for significant growth and value creation for the benefit of our customers, employees and shareholders."

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Quality Distribution, through its subsidiary Quality Carriers Inc., and through its affiliates and owner-operators, provides bulk transportation and related services. The company also provides tank-cleaning services to the bulk transportation industry through its QualaWash facilities.

Cryo-Cell management

survives proxy battle

Oldsmar-based Cryo-Cell International Inc.'s board directors was successful in staving off efforts by a shareholder group to change the company's management at the its annual meeting July 16. IVS Associates Inc., the independent inspector of elections, has certified that Mercedes Walton, Gaby W. Goubran, Scott Christian, Jagdish Sheth, Ph.D., Anthony P. Finch and Andrew J. Filipowski were elected as directors of the company.

"On behalf of Cryo-Cell's Board of Directors and management, we thank all of our shareholders for their continued support and confidence," Walton, Cryo-Cell's chairman and CEO, said in a press release. "We are focused on executing our plan to improve the performance of our business and building upon the strength of our intellectual property. We remain steadfast in our commitment to enhance value for all of our shareholders."

IVS Associates also confirmed that Cryo-Cell shareholders approved the appointment of Grant Thornton LLP as the company's independent registered public accountants for the fiscal year ending Nov. 30, and the stockholder proposal urging the board of directors to adopt procedures permitting certain shareholder nominations for election to the board.

Cryo-Cell is one of the largest family-cord blood banks.

Source Interlink closes deal

with Enthusiast Media

Source Interlink Cos. Inc., a Bonita Springs-based provider of merchandising and fulfillment services for home entertainment products, has completed its acquisition of Primedia Inc.'s print and digital media content division, Enthusiast Media.

Enthusiast Media's magazine content portfolio includes 76 magazine titles, 90 Web sites, more than 65 events, two television programs, a radio program and, in total, about 400 branded products. To date, Source Interlink officials have identified about $22 million in cost savings associated with the acquisition, $18 million of which the company believes it can achieve in a year.

"Enthusiast Media is a great strategic fit for Source," Mike Duckworth, chairman of Source Interlink, said in a press release. "It allows us to build on our core strengths in merchandising and media distribution, and it is the next logical step in our growth and diversification strategy. This acquisition provides additional sources of revenue and earnings, adds attractive margins and cash flow, and gives us a platform to participate in the ongoing consolidation occurring in the publishing space. It also provides us with the opportunity to leverage our expertise in distribution and merchandising in order to take advantage of Enthusiast Media's online presence..."

As part of the transaction, Source Interlink secured a financing package of about $1.65 billion from Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A./J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. About $1.3 billion will be used to fund the purchase, including associated transaction costs, and refinance amounts outstanding under Source's existing revolving credit line.

Enthusiast Media will operate as the publishing division of Source Interlink, joining the company's Magazine Fulfillment, DVD/CD Fulfillment, and In-store Services divisions. Steve Parr will join Source Interlink's executive management team as the division's president.


Walter Industries

awards five-cent dividend

The board of directors for Tampa-based Walter Industries Inc.'s declared a regular quarterly dividend of five cents per share, payable Sept. 14, to shareholders of record as of Aug. 10.

Walter Industries Inc. is a producer and exporter of metallurgical coal and also produces steam coal, coal bed methane gas, furnace and foundry coke and other related products. The company also operates a mortgage financing and affordable homebuilding business. The company has annual revenues of about $1.3 billion and employs about 2,800 people.

Denovo Anderen Bank

approved by FDIC

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. issued an order approving Anderen Bank of Tampa Bay's application. Similarly, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation issued its notice of intent to approve Anderen Bank subject to the completion of certain conditions prior to the bank's opening. Anderen Bank is expected to open several offices surround Tampa, and Clearwater, and in Hernando, Citrus, and Pasco counties within two years of its opening. The new bank will be headed by Charles Allcott III, chairman and CEO of the bank.

Manatee Chamber

wins third state award

The Manatee Chamber of Commerce has been named the 2007 Florida Chamber of Commerce of the Year by the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals at the organization's 88th Annual Leadership Conference. The Manatee Chamber of Commerce won in the category of metropolitan chamber of commerce with a budget of more than $1 million. The chamber candidates were judged on membership recruitment and retention, strategic and long-range planning, committee involvement, technology, government affairs, financial stability, special events, communications and innovative programs and services.

"First, the Manatee Chamber's members strengthen this organization and allow us to undertake a long list of programs and initiatives," Tom Danahy, chairman of the board of the Manatee Chamber and president of LWR Communities, said in a press release.

The Manatee Chamber of Commerce also received the 2000 and 2004 Florida Chamber of the Year Award - which makes it the first Chamber in the state to win three times in the metro category. It is also one of four finalists in the country for a national Chamber of the Year Award from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Signs Now's July franchise

growth nearly equals all of 2006

Through the end of July, Signs Now, a Sarasota-based division of Allegra Network LLC, reported it has signed 10 new franchise agreements, nearly outpacing the new-store growth for all of 2006. Moving into 2007, the sign and graphics franchise company set a goal to develop 18 to 20 new centers throughout the country - Signs Now is halfway through its yearly projection. The company is on pace to gain about 30 new owners, including center re-sales.

As of July 31, new owners have signed on to open franchise locations in California, Louisiana, Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri and Arizona.

Signs Now director of franchise development, Phil LeBlanc, pointed to the company's business-to-business marketing program and its acquisition program, which allows franchisees to buy other independent sign businesses, as reasons for the unexpected uptick in agreements.

offering university courses

Sarasota's, a multimedia investment education Web site for investors, traders, and financial advisors, has added university-style online courses that provide members with education from Wall Street and trading experts. Several courses allow financial advisors to earn continuing education credits through the site.

Financial advisors will now have access to on-demand multimedia education courses taught by experts in the MoneyShow University. 

CE eligible programs include courses such as The Wealth of Nations with Ed Yardeni, Structuring Retirement Withdrawals with William Bengen and Creating Lower-Volatility Portfolios with Lou Stanasolovic. Upon the successful completion of the short questions after each segment, the advisors' request for credits will be automatically submitted to the CFP Board of Standards.

"We are very pleased members can now earn CE credits on select MoneyShow University courses," Charles Githler, chairman of InterShow said in a press release. "This addition is necessary in order to provide financial advisor members of with valuable CE credits at a low cost."

Content provider Sky Angel

adds Gospel Music Channel

Naples-based Dominion Video Satellite Inc., owner and operator of Sky Angel, a nationwide Christian and family-oriented television service, and Gospel Music Channel, the nation's first and only 24-hour music television channel devoted to all styles of gospel music, has launched the Gospel Music Channel on Sky Angel.

The Gospel Music Channel will be available through Sky Angel's existing satellite service and will ultimately become part of the improved programming capabilities offered through Internet Protocol Television. The company recently announced plans for major improvements to the way it delivers its Sky Angel multi-channel programming service. IPTV combines traditional television with broadband Internet services and allows programs and channels, such as the Gospel Music Channel, to be viewed on conventional TVs, personal computers and handheld instruments through a broadband Internet enabled set top box. 

"Gospel Music Channel introduces an exciting new element to our programming line-up," Rob Johnson, CEO of Sky Angel said in a press release. "We share the same passion for delivering family-friendly programming and we're glad to have them on board."

Cable industry executives Charles Humbard and Brad Siegel launched the Atlanta-based Gospel Music Channel in 2004. 

Sky Angel currently delivers more than 30 television and radio channels to customers across the United States using direct broadcast satellite and reaches consumers in homes, churches, prisons, shelters, hospitals and nursing homes. Programming includes family movies; classic sitcoms; Christian shows for kids and teens; biblical teaching and inspirational programs; home life, health and talk shows; documentaries and educational programs; special events, conferences and concerts; Christian music videos; and more.

Sarasota WilsonMiller VP

becomes regional manager

Millard J. Yoder, vice president and principal of Naples-based WilsonMiller, has been appointed regional manager of the firm's development design business unit. Yoder will oversee the business unit's operations in Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. Development Design, one of 10 corporate business units under WilsonMiller's corporate umbrella, provides customized services from a variety of design, engineering, and permitting services for water systems, infrastructure, roadways and other projects.

Yoder, who is based in WilsonMiller's Sarasota office, has been responsible for the design and management of many of the firm's major projects in Sarasota and Manatee counties. He served as project manager for the VillageWalk residential development, numerous projects at Sarasota Memorial Hospital's main and Care Center East campuses, and the Ritz-Carlton hotel, beach club, and golf course. He is currently involved in the site design of the Sarasota Bayside, the Southgate Mall Additions, and redevelopment of the former Winn-Dixie warehouse site.

Insignia Bank's first branch

opens in Lakewood Ranch

Insignia Bank opened its first branch at 6145 Exchange Way in the Lakewood Ranch.

"Insignia Bank is pleased to open our first branch location," Charles G. Brown III, chairman and CEO of Insignia Bank. said in a press release. "This is a unique branch that was custom tailored to our clients' lifestyle." The branch design features a lobby with internet kiosk, a youth area that focuses on financial education, a self-service coin counting machine and a conference/meeting room.

The Insignia Bank Lakewood Ranch office is managed by Linda Baker. Baker most recently served as vice president/manager for CNL Bank in Sarasota. Insignia Bank's main office is located at 333 N. Orange Ave., at the corner of Fruitville Road and North Orange Avenue in downtown Sarasota.

Obee's restaurant

planned for Texas

Port Charlotte's Obee's Franchise Systems Inc. signed an agreement to open its first obee's soups salads & subs restaurant in the greater Dallas, marketplace. Owsen Enterprises Inc., based in Irving, Texas, completed the negotiations earlier this week and has started the process of finding its first location.

Earlier this week, Obee's Franchise Systems announced that a new location is also set to open in the Greensburg, Penn. This is the first of 20 locations that the company has contracted for with Pennsylvania area developers for the three-county territory of Westmoreland, Indiana and Cambria counties.

As part of the company's recent 30-1 stock split, Obee's Franchise Systems has changed its pink sheet stock symbol to OBFM.

Obee's Franchise Systems is the parent company of obee's soups, salads & subs, a fast casual restaurant chain that manages franchises in 21 states from Florida to California.



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