Around the State
BankAtlantic (Nasdaq-BANC) agreed to acquire Oriole Homes Corp. (AMEX-OHC) of Delray Beach for $22.4 million as part of BankAtlantic's plan to increase its noninterest- income revenue.
Republic Industries (NYSE-RII) agreed to acquire Value Rent-A-Car from Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America for $77.5 million. The agreement will feed up to 27,000 Mitsubishi vehicles a year to Republic's rental car operations, which also include Alamo, National and Spirit. Republic owns the nation's largest chain of new-vehicle dealerships and the used-car chain AutoNation USA.
Miami-based Vitech America (Nasdaq-VTCH) will acquire S?o Paulo computer manufacturer and distributor Microtec Sistems for $14.6 million. As a result, Vitech, which assembles and markets computers and related products in Brazil, will double its market share to 7%.
Royal Caribbean will buy Celebrity Cruise Lines for $1.3 billion. The purchase will add five ships to Royal's 15 and make it the second largest cruise line, behind Carnival.
Lennar (NYSE-LEN) will spin off its commercial real estate business into publicly held LPC Inc. and will merge its homebuilding operations with Los Angeles-based Pacific Greystone in a stock-for-stock transaction. The merger creates the country's fifth-largest homebuilder.
Channel 4 WFOR-TV, BellSouth, Lucent Technologies and Precision Response Corp. have formed the News4-BellSouth Hurricane Hotline - reportedly the most extensive such network. The toll-free hotline (305/550-9944) provides tracking, shelter information and evacuation advisories for southern Palm Beach, Dade and Broward counties and the Keys.
Port St. Lucie
Port St. Lucie National Bank Holding Corp. (PSL) merged into Seacoast Banking (Nasdaq-NMS) of Stuart, a subsidiary of First National Bank and Trust Company. PSL will add $133 million to Seacoast's $900 million in assets, and $121 million in deposits to Seacoast's $795 million.
West Palm Beach
Pratt & Whitney Space Propulsion is building a rocket engine manufacturing and assembly facility that will create hundreds of high-tech jobs and make booster rocket parts used in launching communication satellites and government payloads.
In a major divestiture, Paxson Communications (AMEX-PXN) sold its 46 radio stations (42 in Florida), six radio news and sports networks, two minor league sports teams and its billboard division, to Clear Communications of San Antonio, Texas. The $693-million sale will help Paxson pay for its recent acquisitions of the Travel Channel and television stations in Virginia, Hawaii and New York City.