March 29, 2015

Around the State

| 4/1/1998
CLEARWATER -- Sun Jet International Airlines plans to fly again with the help of financing from Roseland, N.J.-based Aviation Industries, a possible buyer. Sun Jet filed for bankruptcy last year. A return to the skies will bring about 60 employees back to work.

LARGO -- Indian Rocks National Bank, an affiliate of Hermitage, Pa.-based F.N.B. Corp., will combine with Seminole-based Seminole Bank in a merger valued at $29 million.

PLANT CITY -- Apollo Management subsidiary Sombrero Acquisition Corp. agreed to buy truck line MTL Inc. (Nasdaq-MTLI) for $250 million. MTL management will remain. Investment company Apollo is based in N.Y.C.

ST. PETERSBURG -- Western Reserve Life Assurance Co., a subsidiary of Aegon USA, plans to relocate its headquarters and 1,400 employees from Largo to a larger facility in Carillon Office Park. Republic Bancshares (Nasdaq-REPB) agreed to buy Bankers Savings Bank of Coral Gables in a stock-for-stock deal.

TECO Energy (NYSE-TE) bought north Florida propane gas business Griffis Gas and affiliated transporting company U.S. Propane. Griffis operates in Jacksonville, Gainesville and Ocala.

Rutland Bank changed its name to First State Bank of Pinellas and will open its third branch in St. Petersburg. The bank also has a branch in Seminole.

TAMPA -- Intermedia Communications (Nasdaq-ICIX) will buy Austin, Texas-based National Telecommunications for about $151 million. Intermedia becomes the fourth largest local and long distance provider to businesses and governments in Florida.

Low attendance prompted the Florida Aquarium to lay off 21 of its 123 workers, sell two trams and cut $412,000 from its budget. The attraction has suffered financially since opening in March 1995.

Romac International (Nasdaq-ROMC) plans to merge with Source Services Corp. in a $375 million deal making the Dallas company a subsidiary of Romac, which will become one of the nation's largest providers of professional workers.

Tags: Florida Small Business, Politics & Law, Southwest, Business Florida

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