Miami-Dade Business Briefs - Dec. 2004
Miami-based Spanish Broadcasting System (Nasdaq-SBSA), the largest Hispanic-controlled radio broadcasting company in the U.S., has formed an alliance with media giant Viacom. The deal allows Spanish Broadcasting System to expand its network of 20 Spanish-language radio stations around the U.S. Viacom will take a 10% stake in SBS, gaining a long-sought foothold in the rapidly growing Hispanic media market.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has selected Miami Dade College in downtown Miami as the site for its newly created Food Safety Institute of the Americas. The institute will help develop and promote effective food safety education and training programs throughout Latin America. Food safety experts say such programs are needed to safeguard food supplies from risks ranging from unsafe handling practices to contamination by terrorist groups.
Carnival Corp. (NYSE-CCL) announced a $1-billion stock buyback starting next year. The Miami-based cruise line also is raising its dividend from 12½ cents to 15 cents a share.
H.I.G. Capital of Miami and Endeavor Capital Management of Westport, Conn., won a bid to buy the bankrupt Supra Telecom for $26.8 million. Supra, which provides local and long-distance phone service to residential and business customers, employs 126 in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The company says its new owner plans to keep the company in Miami.
MIAMI-DADE -- Former police chief Carlos Alvarez defeated Commissioner Jimmy Morales to become Miami-Dade's next mayor. The Republican ran on a platform of reform -- promising to restore trust and credibility.
The Performing Arts Center Foundation has chosen Los Angeles fund-raiser Al Milano to replace the retired Nancy Herstand as executive director. The foundation has raised $55 million toward its goal of $80 million for a performing arts center.
The Florida International University School of Nursing has received a $1-million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to help implement the school's doctoral program in nursing. The program, which will focus on addressing healthcare disparities among minority populations, enrolled its first class of students in September.
New York-based insurance giant American International Group (AIG) has announced it will relocate its Latin American property casualty division from New York to Miami's Brickell Avenue financial district. The move will create about 60 jobs, company executives say.
Barely a month after jettisoning its commercial real estate company, LNR Property Corp., Miami-Dade's Miller family has sold Union Bank of Florida to Alabama's Colonial BancGroup for $233 million in cash and stock. The move leaves family members with one principal asset -- home builder Lennar Corp. (NYSE-LEN), which family patriarch Leonard Miller founded in 1954.
The Trump Group sold its 148-acre Williams Island Country Club in north Miami-Dade to Coral Springs-based developer Transeastern. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Fulfilling a pledge to streamline what many consider a bloated bureaucracy, the Miami-Dade School Board has approved a recommendation by Superintendent Rudy Crew to eliminate about 700 positions -- 500 of which are open -- saving the cash-strapped district about $35 million. Most of the cuts target mid-level administrator positions such as career counselors at some elementary schools. Officials say all employees who lose their jobs will be offered positions elsewhere in the district but possibly at a lower salary. Crew, former chief of New York City's school system, took over for the retired Merritt Stierheim last summer.
SUNNY ISLES BEACH -- Developer Jorge Perez of The Related Group is teaming with Donald Trump to build three 45-story condominium towers here. Miami-area developers Gil and Michael Dezer also have signed on as partners. The project is expected to break ground next spring.