Around the State
Gimelstob Realty/Better Homes and Gardens, the largest south Florida-based real estate company, acquired Bishop Realty Associates of Homestead. Bishop's more than 30 real estate agents will join Gimelstob, which has more than 33 south Florida offices.
The Women's International Bowling Congress will meet in Fort Lauderdale for eleven weeks in the spring of 2001. The tournament typically attracts more than 800 bowlers a night and another 4,000 delegates. Tourism boosters expect to realize more than 75,000 room-nights and an economic impact of about $60 million.
Motorola's Land Mobile Products Sector will build a 250,000-square-foot addition to its existing 615,000-square-foot Plantation facility and add more than 250 manufacturing and professional jobs by the end of 1998. The jobs will pay an average of $31,375 a year, about $5,000 a year above Broward's average yearly salary. Motorola will receive $4.5 million from the Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund Program if it keeps its agreement to create 1,000 additional jobs at higher than average wages over the next four years.
Rexall Sundown (Nasdaq-RXSD) of Boca Raton will move its vitamin packaging facility to a 157,000-square-foot warehouse in Deerfield Beach. Rexall, the top national vitamin brand in sales, says the purchase will allow it to double its tablet production and packaging operations. The move will create 80 warehouse jobs.
Nailtiques will move its headquarters from Stuart to Kendall. The company is a therapeutic nail care products company with worldwide distribution.
Law firm Greenberg Traurig opened an office in Philadelphia. Greenberg Traurig now employs 315 lawyers at nine offices in the U.S.
West Palm Beach
Paxson Communications (AMEX-PXN) acquired seven more television stations, including stations in Tampa, Miami, New York and Pittsburgh. It now owns 53 stations.
... aren't taking Republic Industries' aggressive acquisition strategy lying down. Both American Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are suing Wayne Huizenga's behemoth, which has become the country's biggest car dealer by buying 25 auto-dealer groups with total revenues of $5.5 billion. Honda is trying to block Republic's plans to acquire more than 60 Honda and Acura dealerships in the next 18 months. If Republic is successful, it would control nearly 20% of Honda's sales volume. Honda sued just days after Republic said it's buying de la Cruz Auto group of Miami for $40 million. Toyota filed suit after Republic said in May that it was buying a company that runs two Lexus dealerships in the Tampa Bay area. Toyota argues that the deal violates its policy of a nine-month waiting period between dealership purchases, since the company had earlier agreed to buy Kendall Toyota in Miami, which also sells Lexus. Republic hasn't limited itself to Japanese car dealerships. It also has plans to buy the Steve Moore General Motors Group in Palm Beach. Republic aims to create juggernaut clusters of auto rental outlets, new vehicle dealerships and AutoNation used car megastores in the nation's biggest car markets. While at least one analyst says the lawsuits mean that Republic's strategy is "riskier than initially thought," Huizenga shrugs off their importance, calling them an annoyance. "We know we will be a partner with (the carmakers) sooner or later. We're trying to take the high road."
-Mark R. Howard