September 18, 2014

Around the State

| 2/1/1997
Miami

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Oil and natural gas exploration and production company Forcenergy agreed to buy the interests in three Alaskan crude-oil fields from Pittsburgh-based Marathon Oil for $128 million. Forcenergy also agreed to acquire the outstanding stock of Great Western Resources, which has oil and gas operations in the onshore Gulf Coast regions of Texas and Louisiana, for $48 million.

Kos Pharmaceuticals will raise approximately $40 million through an initial public offering. The IPO is being underwritten by Cowen & Co., Dillon Read & Co. and Salomon Brothers, and capital raised will be used for research and development, to recruit a sales staff and repay debt.

Shorestein Co. paid $207 million for downtown Miami's First Union Financial Center - the state's tallest office building. The deal is the most ever paid for an office building in Florida.

CHS Electronics, a distributor of computers, software and printers, agreed to acquire Frank & Walter Computer GmbH, based in Germany, for 2.2 million shares of common stock valued at $37 million. The purchase makes CHS Electronics Germany's largest computer distributor and Europe's second largest.

Fort Lauderdale

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Florida Panther Holdings signed an agreement to purchase the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Resort and Marina and the Radisson Bahia Mar Beach Resort and Marina.

Republic Industries acquired Ed Mullinax Inc., [See Players, page 29] which owns one Lincoln Mercury and four Ford dealerships in Ohio and Florida, for about $100 million in stock.

Boca Raton

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Questron Technology agreed to buy New England-based electronic hardware distributor Comp Ware Inc. for $4 million. The acquisition, to be completed in early 1997, will generate approximately $6 million in gross proceeds.

West Palm Beach

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Pharmaceutical company American Diversified Group will move its corporate headquarters to New York City. The company says the move will position it to exploit its growing international orders.

Paper Acquisition Corp. has an agreement to purchase the outstanding stock of Frye Acquisition and the assets of Technicarbon Co. Both companies will operate independently.

Jacor Communications acquired 5.3%, or 2 million Class A common shares, of TV station operator Paxson Communications at $6.75 to $6.91 a share, according to Bloomberg Business News.

TURF WARS

Southeast Is Talking About ...

... the invasion by Alabama banks. Birmingham-based rivals AmSouth and SouthTrust began a southeastward march last June when SouthTrust acquired Prime Bank of Boynton Beach. Three months later, Colonial BancGroup of Montgomery, Ala., announced plans to buy Jefferson Bancorp of Miami Beach. In 1997, AmSouth will focus on adding customers in existing markets, but won't rule out buying a bank in either Broward or Palm Beach counties.

SouthTrust plans to open a branch in Fort Lauderdale to become "much bigger" in Palm Beach and Broward, says Charles Hughes, chairman and CEO of SouthTrust National Bank of Florida. Hughes also won't rule out an acquisition in Dade County.

Colonial, which looms largest of the 'Bama banks in south Florida, should close on its purchase of Jefferson during this year's first quarter, according to Jefferson President Barton Goldberg. By 2000, Colonial plans to have $5 billion in Florida assets, including $2 billion in south Florida. Jefferson, whose nine offices are near coastal areas in all three south Florida counties, will be the base for Colonial's south Florida expansion. Though aggressive, the Alabamians may have arrived too late to be major players in the southeast. Barnett, First Union, NationsBank and SunTrust already combine for more than half the region's $72 billion in deposits. And takeover targets with sizable assets, such as BankUnited in Coral Gables and First Bank of Florida in West Palm Beach, aren't looking to be acquired. No matter how it grows, Colonial's name will be prominent in Florida at least for the next two years. Goldberg is 1996-1997 president of the Florida Bankers Association. He will be succeeded by Charles Brinkley Jr., Colonial's president for Florida and former president of Southern Bank.

- Jim Freer

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

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