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Corporate Report

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  • | 6:00 p.m. December 21, 2007
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Corporate Report

by Sean Roth | Real Estate Editor

GeoPharma buys USF cancer technology

Largo-based pharmaceutical company GeoPharma Inc. has signed an agreement with the University of South Florida Research Foundation to acquire worldwide patent rights to a diagnostic technology for early stage detection of ovarian cancer via urine samples.

Ovarian cancer is often called a silent killer because of its vague symptoms that can go unnoticed until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. The most deadly of all gynecological cancers, ovarian cancer is also the most curable if detected early. The National Cancer Institute estimates 15,280 women in the United States will die from ovarian cancer in 2007.

When ovarian cancer spreads from the pelvis, less than 30% of patients survive treatment. When it is limited to the ovaries (stage I), 90% of patients can be cured. Currently, early stage diagnosis occurs in only 20% of ovarian cancer cases.

GeoPharma says there is currently no approved test for the early detection of ovarian cancer, The only ovarian cancer diagnostic test, it reports, is the CA-125 blood test approved by the FDA only to monitor the progression of the disease, not detect it. That test also must be done in combination with several examinations.

Preliminary clinical studies have been conducted at the University of South Florida and further studies are in progress. GeoPharma plans to initiate the necessary steps for FDA approval.

"Ovarian cancer diagnostic test with high reliability, ease of use and detection at an early stage could save thousands of women from untimely deaths." Dr. Kotha Sekharam, president of GeoPharma said in a press release.

Quality Distribution

selling notes for acquisition

Quality Distribution LLC, a subsidiary of Tampa-based Quality Distribution Inc., plans to offer a private placement of $50-million Senior Floating Rate Notes due 2012, Series B. The notes will be in addition to, but not part of, the same series as the company's current outstanding $85-million notes due 2012.

The additional notes are being offered to cover the company's purchased of Boasso America Corp in addition to Quality Distribution LLC's cash on hand and line of credit.

Quality Distribution Inc., through its subsidiary, Quality Carriers, Inc., and through its affiliates and owner operators, provides bulk transportation and related services. QDI also provides tank-cleaning services.

Tech Data gets new deal

with ASCII Group

The ASCII Group Inc., a community of independent computer resellers, has reached a new partnership with Tech Data Corp., a Clearwater distributor of IT products.

The partnership agreement is designed to increase the marketing of Tech Data among ASCII's more than 3,000 members while also providing that ASCII members purchase more than $1 billion worth of products annually.

"Our goal at Tech Data is to become the SMB (small-to-midsize businesses) destination of choice," Derrek Hallock, Tech Data's vice president of SMB Sales, said in a press release.

"That starts by providing resellers with exceptional service and support through our dedicated SMB Sales Division backed by the channel's broadest array of business-building e-commerce tools, technical support, innovative financing options and logistics expertise," Hallock said. "By partnering with ASCII, we will be able to engage many new SMB resellers, better enabling them to profitably grow their businesses."

Tech Data also announced a new North American distribution agreement with Red Condor, for the California company's email security products, including its managed email security services and Message Assurance Gateway (MAG) network appliances.

Tech Data generated $21.4 billion in sales for its fiscal year ended January 31, 2007.

New medical study planned

for SinoFresh spray

Englewood's SinoFresh HealthCare Inc., the developer of an over-the-counter nasal spray that kills bacteria and fungi, announced new human clinical trials on the SinoFresh spray at the University of Chicago, School of Medicine.

The new study is a follow up to an earlier study from the Public Health Research Institute at the International Center for Public Health, which found that contact with the spray kills an antibiotic-resistant strain of the bacteria that causes staph. Staph can cause either a minor reaction such as skin irritations like pimples or boils or in more serious cases blood infections or pneumonia.

The study's conclusion was, "These initial killing experiments using SinoFresh Nasal Spray each show virtual contact killing of the well characterized community acquired Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureur strain MW2 had a complete killing activity within 30 seconds in the presence and absence of mucin and at a high bacterial concentration."

SinoFresh says the annual cost in the United States to treat hospitalized patients with Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections is estimated to be $3.2 billion to $4.2 billion.

Brown & Brown buys

Dalton Insurance Agency

A subsidiary of Tampa/Daytona Beach-based Brown & Brown Inc. has acquired the assets of Glassboro, N.J.'s Dalton Insurance Agency.

A retail commercial insurance agency covering New Jersey and neighboring states, Dalton Insurance Agency reports annual revenues of about $2.5 million. Dalton principals Dan Dalton and Jack Lynn and their staff will continue to operate from their existing Glassboro location as a freestanding Brown & Brown office.

"Dan, Jack, and their team bring us new talents and expertise and are a welcome addition to our growing presence in the Garden State," Thomas Riley, regional president of Brown & Brown, said in a press release.

Brown & Brown, Inc. and its subsidiaries offer a broad range of insurance and reinsurance products and services, as well as risk management, third-party administration, managed health care, and Medicare set-aside services and programs.

CarBiz, Magnolia consultants

agree on distribution plan

Sarasota-based CarBiz Inc. has reached a deal with Magnolia Automobile Consultant, LLC of Madison, Miss., to provide Carbiz software to its dealer network.

CarBiz's management system software is designed to allow auto dealers to better control inventory, improve sales documentation and to assist in collections.

The agreement will give Magnolia Automobile Consultant the right to sell CarBiz's software to its 1,300 dealers in Mississippi, which would nearly double the number of dealerships having access to CarBiz's software package from its existing base of nearly 1,500. Currently, software accounts for roughly 10% of CarBiz's revenue.

The deal is expected to generate additional revenue for both companies by providing an additional product offering for Magnolia Automobile Consultant and a greater number of potential dealerships for CarBiz.

CarBiz recently became the fourth largest buy-here-pay-here car business in the United States after a major acquisition involving 26 dealerships in seven mid-western states.

Syniverse, BSG merger

receives EC backing

The European Commission has approved Tampa-based Syniverse Technologies' planned purchase of the wireless services business of Billing Services Group Limited.

"We believe combining these two companies under the Syniverse name provides mobile operators around the globe access to the highest levels of industry knowledge, expertise and technical capabilities and will enable us to deliver superior products and service for years to come," Tony Holcombe, president and CEO of Syniverse, said in a press release.

BSG shareholders previously approved the acquisition. No other approvals are necessary and Syniverse expects to close the transaction with BSG on or about Dec. 19.

Telecommunications technology provider Syniverse Technologies develops products that allow more than 350 communications companies to offer seamless mobile services.

Innisbrook ownership adds SoftBrands software

Salamander Hospitality has purchased SoftBrands Inc.'s customer management software to be used at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor.

SoftBrands will integrate its Epitome Property Management System Condotelware into the owner relations and property management system along with golf membership, tee times and dining room reservations to create a centralized guest itinerary.

"We were impressed with the investment SoftBrands made to understand our specific needs and offer us flexible solutions," Dale Pelletier, chief financial officer at Salamander Hospitality, said in a press release. "Their end-to-end hospitality applications coupled with the best of breed solutions will allow us the flexibility to manage our resort operations."

Middleburg, Va.-based Salamander Hospitality, founded by entrepreneur Sheila C. Johnson in 2005, owns, manages and develops hotels, resorts and inns. The company has also launched a division of gourmet prepared food markets called Market Salamander with locations in Middleburg, Va., and Palm Beach.

Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club features 72 holes of golf, 620 guest suites and rooms, four restaurants and three bars, the Innisbrook Golf Institute, 11 tennis courts, fitness and racquetball center, six swimming pool complexes, a nature preserve and three conference halls with 65,000 square feet of meeting space.

Chico's comparables lower, total sales climb 5.4%

Fort Myers-based specialty retailer Chico's FAS Inc. saw its comparable store sales slide continue in November.

According to its sales results for the four-week period ended Dec. 1, Chico's company-owned store comparables declined 13.7% versus the same four-week period, ended Dec. 2.

At the same time, however, Chico's total sales increased 5.4% to $133.6 million from the $126.8 million it reported for the four-week period ended Nov. 25, 2006.

For the forty-three weeks ended Dec. 1, total sales increased 8.7% to $1.44 billion from $1.32 billion last year. Comparable store sales for the company-owned stores decreased 6.3% for the forty-three week period compared to the forty-three week period last year ending Dec. 2, 2006.

Chico's operates 1,040 women's specialty stores, including stores in 48 states.


November Sales (dollars in millions)

Comparable Store Sales Percent Increase

Fiscal 2006 Fiscal 2007 Total Sales Fiscal Comparable

$126.8 $133.6 5.4% (10.4)% (13.7)%

Year-to Date Sales (dollars in millions)

Comparable Store Sales Percent Increase

Fiscal 2006 Fiscal 2007 Total Sales Fiscal Comparable

$1.32 $1.44 8.7% (5.8)% (6.3)%


Gevity adds dividend,

nine-cents per share

Gevity, a Bradenton PEO, has declared a dividend of nine cents per share of common stock, payable on Jan. 31 to shareholders of record on Jan. 15. The announcement marks the company's 28th consecutive quarterly dividend.

offers free online distribution

To recognize its inclusion in Google News, Odessa-based press-release distribution company is offering Florida companies free online distribution of press releases.

"We're thrilled that Google News believes our content is worthy of being indexed," says Glenn Selig, CEO of Selig Multimedia Inc., which owns "This is a huge step in the growth of our press release distribution company."

Founded in July, distributes press releases via e-mail to reporters, editors, producers and talk show hosts.

The cost depends on the type and scope of distribution. The company also offers press release writing, search engine optimization of press releases. currently posts for free an online version of those press releases that are emailed to journalists for a fee.

To submit news visit



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