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Corporate Report: September 14

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  • | 5:55 a.m. September 14, 2012
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Equity investors infuse with capital
Sarasota's has received a substantial investment from several private equity firms to help position the company for growth and new strategic acquisitions, it says in a news release.

The investors include Palm Beach Capital, a private equity firm based in West Palm Beach, Logisticap Partners based in Ponte Vedra Beach and another co-investor.

“This funding is key to our strategy to drive continued growth both organically and by acquisition,” Eric Baird, CEO of, says in the release. “We have been aggressively pursuing acquisition targets and this funding will enable us to concentrate more keenly on the potential in the marketplace.” provides shipping, receiving and package forwarding services for international corporations, foreign nationals and expatriates.

Clearwater's Tech Data Corp. buying European distributors
Clearwater-based Tech Data Corp. has agreed to acquire the shares of several distribution companies belonging to Specialist Distribution Group for an estimated $350 million. As its name suggests, Specialist Distribution Group is the distribution arm of Birmingham, U.K.-based Specialist Computer Holdings, a privately held IT services company.

The deals are subject to approval and are scheduled for completion by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tech Data would acquire SDG, IQ Sys and ISI Distribution in the United Kingdom; ETC and Best'Ware in France; and ETC in the Netherlands. The companies represent combined sales of about $1.75 billion annually.

The acquisitions were described as strengthening Tech Data's enterprise business, Azlan, and expanding its offerings in Europe. It will add 600 employees to Tech Data.

Lighthouse Guidance Systems, Blueye join USF Technology incubator
Lighthouse Guidance Systems Inc. and Blueye LLC have joined the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator, at the University of South Florida.

Lighthouse Guidance Systems is an educational technology company that develops tools for academic planning. In early 2012, the company partnered with the Pinellas County School District to give parents and students the ability to see how Florida colleges and universities view grades and test scores. LGS Connect, one of Lighthouse Guidance Systems' academic planning tools, is software that provides guidance counselors and school administrators with a new method for monitoring students' academic progress.

Blueye creates technology to increase the efficiency of temperature-controlled supply chains, including the transportation of food, pharmaceuticals and flowers. Among Blueye's products is a “smart” sea container with optimized airflow designed to provide a consistent temperature even during a power outage. The company has also created online tracking software that sends alerts via satellite and cellular communications networks based on environmental or location changes.

The Tampa Bay Technology Incubator provides participating companies access to business services, faculty and student researchers and research equipment.

Lantmännen Unibake opens St. Petersburg R&D center
Lantmännen Unibake has opened a new research and development center at 230 19th St. S. in St. Petersburg. The company says the addition to the firm's St. Petersburg bakery represents a $1 million investment. Lantmännen Unibake makes European-style artisan breads.

Insignia Bank CEO completes term on American Bankers Association Council
Charles Brown III, Insignia Bank's CEO, has completed his term representing Florida's banks at the American Bankers Association Community Banker's Council.

The council includes two bankers from each state to represent community banking from their respective state. The group provides feedback on government relations, products, services and educational development.

Brown will finish his final term on the FDIC Advisory Board with the October meeting.

10 Gulf Coast firms named to watch list
The Florida Economic Gardening Institute (GrowFL) at the University of Central Florida recognized the following 10 Gulf Coast companies out of its 50 Florida Companies to Watch:
-Bayshore Solutions, Tampa
-Biolife LLC, Sarasota
-FACTS Engineering LLC, New Port Richey
-Marketing Arm International Inc., Port Charlotte
-MethodFactory Inc., Sarasota
-MyGreenBuildings, Sarasota
-Power Quality International, Odessa
-ReliaQuest LLC, Tampa
-Telovations, Tampa
-The Launch Pad, Odessa

GrowFL's Companies to Watch honors second-stage growth companies based on employment rates and revenue growth. Award winners were also selected for their entrepreneurial leadership, product innovation, social/community responsibility and competitive business practices.

More than 425 companies were nominated for the award, with 140 moving to the final rounds before the 50 honorees were named.


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