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Corporate Report: June 8

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  • | 10:00 a.m. June 8, 2012
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Odyssey Marine Exploration starts recovery from two shipwrecks
Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Exploration has started operations to recover the anticipated silver cargoes from the S.S. Gairsoppa and S.S. Mantola shipwrecks.

The company says historical records indicate the Gairsoppa was carrying up to 7 million ounces of silver, and the Mantola was carrying 600,000 ounces of silver when each sank.

Odyssey Marine Exploration discovered both shipwrecks in the third quarter of 2011 and conducted a series of reconnaissance dives to both sites in March and April.

Both the Gairsoppa and Mantola projects are being conducted under a contract with the UK Department for Transport. Under these contracts, Odyssey will retain 80% of the net salvage value of the cargoes after expenses.

German submarines torpedoed both merchant ships. The Gairsoppa was sunk during World War II and the Mantola during World War I. At that time, the UK government insured privately owned cargo under their War Risk Insurance program.

Odyssey chartered Swire Seabed's 291-foot merchant vessel, Seabed Worker, for recovery operations.

“Modern steel wrecks such as Gairsoppa and Mantola require an advanced set of tools capable of surgically cutting through steel decks and removing bullion,” Mark Gordon, Odyssey chief operating officer and president, says in a press release. “[Seabed Worker] has the ability to carry up to 300 tons of cargo below her decks. We also expect to continue utilizing our own ship Odyssey Explorer for archaeological operations on HMS Victory in the English Channel.”

Coastal Orthopedics & Sports Medicine hires Paige LeMay as CEO
Sarasota-based Coastal Orthopedics & Sports Medicine | Pain Management has named Paige LeMay as its CEO.

Prior to joining Coastal Orthopedics, LeMay served for 15 years as chief operating officer for Campbell Clinic, a large orthopedic group in Germantown, Tenn. She also served as a board member for the Tennessee Medical Group Management Association and was a past president of the Mid-South Medical Group Management Association.

Coastal Orthopedics operates three offices and two surgery centers.

Tech Data plans $100 million share buy-back
The board of directors of Clearwater-based Tech Data Corp. has authorized a share repurchase program of up to $100 million of the common stock. Since 2005, the company has purchased $1 billion worth of Tech Data stock equal to 24.5 million shares to date.

The company's share repurchases will be made on the open market.

“The $100 million share repurchase authorization reflects the confidence held by our board and our management team in the financial performance and long-term growth prospects for Tech Data,” Robert Dutkowsky, the CEO of Tech Data, says in a press release.

Innovative Food Holdings buys Artisan Specialty Foods Inc.
Naples-based Innovative Food Holdings Inc. purchased Chicago-based Artisan Specialty Foods Inc.

Artisan Specialty Foods is a supplier of niche gourmet food products in the Chicago area. In 2011, Artisan had estimated unaudited sales of more than $5.6 million. It stores more than 1,200 items and distributes products to more than 450 customers.

In addition, Artisan Specialty Foods operates a bulk repacking facility at its warehouse in Chicago.

The CEO of Artisan Specialty Foods, David Vohaska, will join Innovative Food Holdings as executive vice president of Artisan Specialty Foods.

“We intend to operate Artisan Foods as a wholly owned subsidiary which will allow it to continue to focus on its growing business while at the same time allowing Artisan to benefit from Innovative Food Holdings' centralized financial controls and operational expertise,” Sam Klepfish, CEO of Innovative Food Holdings, says in a press release.

The transaction is expected to have an immediate positive impact on the company's sales and overall gross margins. Further, Innovative Food Holdings officials expect to use Artisan's existing product lines to expand Innovative Food Holdings' capabilities and offerings.

Innovative Food Holdings Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiaries, markets and sells gourmet food.

Tiki Toss 3D app developer hires Ignition Branding
App development company Mellow Militia has selected the Ignition Branding firm of Tampa as its marketing communications and public relations firm. Mellow Militia, best known for its hook-and-ring style iOS game Tiki Toss 3D, plans to work with Ignition Branding to form co-marketing relationships with consumer product brands that Mellow Militia will feature in updated versions of its Tiki Toss 3D app.

Entrepreneurs Kyle McGetrick and Chris Puglisi started Mellow Militia LLC in 2010 to develop and market digital consumer products.

Flat Rock Systems hires CEO, new chief technology officer
Tampa-based Flat Rock Systems LLC announced the addition of three new key executives.

James Dunham has been appointed as the company's CEO. Company founder Chris Hoyer will continue with the company as chairman.

Dunham was previously a vice president at SAP and Siebel Systems.

Jaya Prakash Rao, a veteran of Oracle, Corio, and ArcSight, has been hired as chief technology officer for Flat Rock. Rao has more than 20 years of application software development experience.

Frank Hailstones will lead Flat Rock's efforts in the audit and forensic accounting market. Hailstones spent 18 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers, 13 of which as a senior partner for PwC's Government and Internal Audit businesses in the UK and EMEA.

Flat Rock Systems provides investigative services and software solutions.


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