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Corporate Report: June 22

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  • | 6:12 a.m. June 22, 2012
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SRI/Surgical Express sale probed by law firms
The sharks are circling. This week, no fewer than four law firms announced plans to investigate the proposed sale of Tampa-based SRI/Surgical Express Inc. to Synergy Health PLC.

The law office of Brodsky & Smith LLC of Bala Cynwyd, Pa.; Levi & Korsinsky LLP of New York City; Powers Taylor LLP of Dallas; and The Briscoe Law Firm PLLC of Texas are accusing the company's board of potentially breaching its fiduciary duty in approving the sale. The focus of the attorneys is the $3.70 proposed payout for each share of stock, which they argue is well below the 52-week high of $4.91 a share. The company traded as high as $4.14 per share on Feb. 2.

The firms are all seeking potential plaintiffs.

The agreement is scheduled to close July 16.

United Insurance Holdings hires Raymond James exec as CEO
The board of directors of St. Petersburg-based insurance holding company United Insurance Holdings Corp. has appointed John Forney as its CEO. Forney will also serve as a director on the company's board.

The 50-year-old Forney most recently served as managing director in Raymond James' Public Finance Department, leading the firm's investment banking efforts in catastrophe-insurance financing. During his time at Raymond James, he specialized in the property insurance sector through his work with government-sponsored insurance entities in Florida, California, Louisiana, and Texas, as well as a major national insurance industry consortium.

He is frequently on the speaker's circuit at insurance industry conferences, and has testified on insurance industry issues for legislatures in Florida, Texas, New Jersey, New York and California.

“[Forney] has a unique combination of strategic and finely honed operational skills, a significant track record in working with publicly held insurance companies,” Greg Branch, chairman of United's board of directors, says in a press release.

United Property and Casualty Insurance Company, a subsidiary of United Insurance Holdings Corp., writes and services property and casualty insurance in Florida, South Carolina, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Tampa's Quality Distribution completes RM, Wylie Bice assets buy
Tampa-based Quality Distribution Inc. has completed its acquisition of the operating assets and rights of RM Resources LLC and some of the operating assets of Wylie Bice Trucking LLC. The two purchases cost the company $81.5 million in cash and stock and another $19 million in possible future costs based on the financial performance of the assets.

“A year ago we embarked on a growth strategy to enter into the emerging frac shale energy market, with the intention of providing fluid hauling and disposal services in multiple shale regions,” Quality CEO Gary Enzor says in a press release. “The Bice and RM acquisitions represent one of our most significant steps in this strategy by diversifying our energy logistics business and broadening our reach into the oil-rich Bakken shale.”

Combined for the fiscal year that ended March 31, the Bice and RM businesses generated $129.1 million in revenue and $15.2 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Bice operates two trucking terminals in North Dakota utilizing approximately 500 drivers, making it one of the largest haulers of fresh and disposal water and oil in the Bakken shale. RM has five existing disposal wells and is required to deliver a sixth well within 6 months of the closing.

Tampa attorney named president of Florida Bar
Tampa attorney Gwynne Alice Young will be installed as the 64th president of The Florida Bar June 22 during the bar's annual convention in Orlando. Young's election to the bar's highest post makes her the fifth woman to lead what is now the nation's third largest bar.

As president, Young plans to work to expand legal opportunities for minorities and women, ensuring adequate funding for the courts and for legal services to the poor and educating bar members and the public about judicial merit retention.

Young, a shareholder at Carlton Fields, is also the firm's fifth attorney to lead the bar. She won a three-way race, the first since 1983, to secure the presidency in 2010. At Carlton Fields, Young's work involves representing insurers in insurance coverage matters, real property litigation, probate and trust litigation, and other business disputes. buys Urban Dealight, gains six new markets
Tampa-based daily deal company, a leader in the daily deal industry, has acquired Urban Dealight, a similar company that offers local and national deals in 10 major U.S. markets.

Urban Dealight currently offers local and national deals in Austin, Texas; Oklahoma City, Denver, Seattle, Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas; San Antonio, Houston, St. Louis and Atlanta.

“This is a key acquisition for our company,” Founder and CEO, Chad Jaquays, says in a press release. “It broadens our reach and significantly strengthens our competitive position in our Denver, Atlanta, Austin and Houston markets.”

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. However, CFO Douglas Bauer says it is the firm's 11th and largest acquisition since was launched in late 2009. plans to announce two additional acquisitions in the next few weeks.

Bisk Education creating program for UF
The University of Florida Executive Education has chosen Tampa-based Bisk Education Inc. to assist in the creation of 100% online, non-credit executive education certificate programs. The university will launch the programs using technology provided by Bisk's University Alliance division.

“Today's professionals are always looking for new ways to connect and collaborate with others; they also lead very busy lives, and may not have time to return to the classroom,” Ron Kirsch, executive director of University of Florida Executive Education, says in a press release. “By working with Bisk Education and offering superior online programs, we're able to fulfill both needs, reaching these prospective students with video-based, faculty-led programs that uphold the same academic standards achieved on campus.”


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