Around the State
Cross Country Staffing, the nation's largest medical staffing firm, announced plans to consolidate operations at a new headquarters. The company expects to add more than 50 employees over the next several years.
Pharmaceutical giant Merck and Co., of White House Station, N.J., opened a Southeastern U.S. regional sales office in Boca Raton. The office will direct a sales force of 200 covering Florida, Alabama and south Georgia.
Two former Republic Industries executives announced the formation of Laundromax, a coin laundry super-store chain. The company will open 10 stores in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in 1998 and more than 400 nationwide within five years. LAKE WORTH - A $4.4 million redevelopment and revitalization project, using state, county and city funds, has been completed in downtown. City officials believe the initiative will attract more than 130 new jobs to the area.
Radio Unica, the nation's first Spanish-language radio network, debuted on 30 stations nationwide. The 24-hour network is owned jointly by south Florida media veteran Joaquin Blaya and Mexican radio conglomerate Radio Centro.
Belgian-Dutch-owned financial conglomerate Fortis will purchase John Alden Financial Corp. (NYSE-JA) for $600 million. Fortis officials said payroll cuts at the health insurer will be announced later this year. John Alden employs 700 at its Miami headquarters.
Bestfoods Baking Co. of Bay Shore, N.Y., announced it will close its Entenmann's bakery in North Miami by the end of 1998, eliminating 320 jobs. Bestfoods' Riviera Beach Entenmann's bakery will not be effected.
A federal bankruptcy court accepted a deal between the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the bankruptcy trustee for Southeast Banking Corp. under which more than $150 million will be distributed to creditors and bondholders. The FDIC seized the bank in 1991.
Jewelry and clothing retailer Claire's Stores (NYSE-CLE) plans to buy Renton, Wash.-based Lux Corp. for $43 million in stock. Lux has 56 Mr. Rags clothing stores in the Western U.S.
WEST PALM BEACH
Paxson Communications (ASE-PAX) has an agreement with Walt Disney subsidiary DIC Entertainment to provide childrens programming for PaxNet, a 77-station family-oriented TV network set to launch in August.