Central Florida In the News - Feb. 2005
DELAND -- BP International has signed an agreement for $4 million in private investment. The newly public company will use the funding to develop its fabric shade structures business.
LONGWOOD -- Norman and Jean Gould, founders of Gould Publications Inc., a publisher of law enforcement handbooks and other training materials, sold the company to the LexisNexis division of Reed Elsevier Group for an undisclosed amount of money. Gould employs 75 people and produces nearly 100 titles, 40 CD-ROM training courses and 30 handbooks used by law enforcement agencies to train their employees.
MAITLAND -- Electronic Arts Inc. signed a five-year, $300-million deal with the National Football League that gives the company exclusive use of NFL logos, players, stadiums and other assets in its NFL Madden video games. Electronic Arts' Maitland studio, EA Tiburon, already planned to add 650 people in the next five years and has been hunting for new headquarters space.ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
The state's major economic development groups -- the Agency for Workforce Innovation, Enterprise Florida, the Florida Economic Development Council and Workforce Florida Inc. -- are partnering on a pilot program called Florida Business Insights that will develop a comprehensive database of existing businesses in up to 20 counties across the state. The program's goal will be to more effectively serve the needs of existing businesses, which generate some 70% of new jobs in the state. For more information: www.eflorida.comFDN Communications says it surpassed the 250,000 mark in voice and data lines it serves throughout Florida and Georgia. The company provides businesses with local and long-distance phone service along with high-speed internet in one package.
MELBOURNE -- AuthenTec Inc. has struck a deal with Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp., the world's fourth-
largest personal computer manufacturer, to include AuthenTec's fingerprint sensors in its new notebook and tablet computers. With the new order, AuthenTec hopes to ship as many as 6 million of its biometric sensors in 2005.
Harris Corp. (NYSE-HRS) won a two-year Defense Information Systems Agency contract for maintenance and engineering of the agency's Crisis Management Systems that, with extensions, could ultimately be a nine-year, $175-million deal. Harris also says it signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Cox Radio to supply high definition digital transmitters through 2008. Eight of Cox's 78 radio stations have already installed digital transmitters in the last year. Specific terms of the deal were not released.
Dan Moisand of Spraker, Fitzgerald, Tamayo & Moisand has been named president-elect of the Financial Planners Association. The association is the nation's largest membership group for financial planners.
ORANGE COUNTY -- Valencia Community College opened Valencia Enterprises, a business-centered model of specialized courses, seminars and other programs designed for professional development and continuing workforce education. The college will offer more than 200 courses that can be combined into a program tailored for a specific business's needs, either at the Sand Lake Road campus or the business itself.
ORLANDO -- Century National Bank has agreed to be acquired by Seacoast Banking Corp. of Stuart for $46.2 million in cash and stock. Seacoast plans to retain Century's management after the deal closes, which is expected in the second quarter.
LMG Inc. bought 8.67 acres and plans to expand its 58,000-sq.-ft. headquarters by 100,000 square feet. The company, which provides audiovisual staging and presentation services for customers such as the Orange County Convention Center, is also expanding its facilities in Las Vegas.PORT CANAVERAL:
Biometric Testing Site
CAPE CANAVERAL -- Port Canaveral was named one of three ports to test a seven-month pilot program that uses biometric technology to identify workers. Port Canaveral, along with ports in Pensacola and Long Beach, Calif., will issue test ID cards to about 100 of 4,000 to 5,000 people who have access to the port's facilities.Orlando native John Young, who flew to the moon twice and commanded the first space shuttle flight, retired Dec. 31. Young was the longest-serving astronaut in history, with 42 years of service, including 13 as chief of NASA's Astronaut Office.
Orlando Team Sports, a distributor of sporting goods equipment with annual sales of about $100 million, will be
purchased by Collegiate Pacific Inc. of Dallas. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Orlando Team Sports President Michael McWeeney will join Collegiate Pacific's executive management team.
Avalon Park Associates and DeBartolo Development have formed a joint venture to create more than 1,000 condominiums in downtown Avalon Park. The $200-million project is a 50/50 partnership, with construction due to begin in the summer.
Richard C. Girdley has been named president of United States Crane in Orlando. Girdley was previously a vice president at Hill International. He takes over from Julia Ames, who will remain CEO.
OSCEOLA COUNTY -- The Omni ChampionsGate Hotel has landed $144 million in interim financing from GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. The money primarily refinances existing debt.
ROCKLEDGE -- Health First COO Larry F. Garrison has been named chairman of the Florida Hospital Association, replacing J. Daniel Miller, president of HCA West Florida Division.
SANFORD -- XOS Technologies Inc. has signed a multiyear partnership with the Arena Football League in which XOS will design, produce and host the league's official website, www.arenafootball.com, as well as provide other online services through 2007.