Southeast Fla. Business Briefs - September 2010
» Dizengoff-Trading Group purchased, for $78 per square foot, 106 condo units at Bermuda Cay, a Boynton Beach apartment complex that was converted to condos in 2005.
» Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin resigned shortly before being arrested on state public corruption charges. Wasserman-Rubin, a Democrat and the county’s first mayor and first Hispanic commissioner, is the second commissioner in the last year to face corruption charges.
» Regional air carrier Gulfstream International Group agreed to pay the Federal Aviation Administration $550,000 over five years to settle proposed civil penalties. The FAA originally sought $1.3 million in penalties from Gulfstream, which operates more than 150 scheduled flights per day and charter service to Cuba, over alleged violations dealing with improper flight crew duty time scheduling, installing unapproved air conditioner compressors and improperly maintained vent blowers on some aircraft.
» Construction company Moss & Associates started a Carolinas division based in Greenville, S.C., by acquiring Warren & Associates Design-Build, whose executive team will lead the new division.
» The Florida Biomedical Research Program gave $2 million in grants to three Scripps Florida scientists to study cancer and tobacco-related diseases. Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health awarded two Scripps Florida scientists $2.3 million to help develop treatments for drug addiction.
» Former City Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman was sentenced to 51 months in prison after being convicted of bribery charges.
» Apollo Investment’s Innkeepers USA Trust, a real estate investment trust that owns five Florida hotels and 72 nationally, filed for Chapter 11 protection as it undertakes a prearranged restructuring. It will keep its properties and turn one of its largest lenders, Lehman ALI, into a holder of almost all of the equity in the reorganized company. Apollo bought Innkeepers for $1.5 billion in 2007.
» Property services company Castle Group won the bidding for WCI Communities’ property management business for Florida, a portfolio of more than 7,000 units.
» Private company 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels acquired the salvage rights to the 1715 treasure fleet from the heirs of legendary Florida treasure hunter Mel Fisher. The fleet was wrecked in 1715 in a hurricane off Florida. Terms of the deal were undisclosed and don’t involve the Atocha wreck off Key West.
» City Commissioner Patricia Atkins-Grad, 64, was arrested on bribery charges and suspended from her post. She allegedly accepted gifts from a developer.
WEST PALM BEACH
» The world’s largest sugar cane refiner, American Sugar Refining, acquired the European sugar cane operations of Tate & Lyle for $318 million. American Sugar, based in Yonkers, N.Y., is owned by West Palm Beach-based Florida Crystals and Belle Glade-based Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative. The deal includes refineries in London and Lisbon, Portugal, and rights to the Tate & Lyle brand name for selling sugar. American Sugar markets through Domino Foods with the Domino, C&H and Florida Crystals brands.
» Franchisor Juiceblendz, a smoothie and juice drink provider with 16 locations, signed a deal to open franchises in Irvine, Calif.-based LA Fitness locations nationwide.