Miami-Dade Business Briefs - Jan. 2010
» A newly created Miami company paid $15.4 million for 34 of the 45 units at the 3030 Aventura Condominium in a short sale.
CORAL GABLES —
» Dermatology products maker Stiefel Laboratories will close its 60-person Coral Gables headquarters in June. GlaxoSmithKline purchased the company in July.
» Miami Media, which publishes Latin Trade magazine and puts on the BRAVO Business Awards, purchased the Latin Business Chronicle, a subscription-based website. Miami Media is a subsidiary of New York-based Manhattan Media.
» U.S. Century Bank lost $14.1 million in the third quarter as it took provisions for loan losses. It was the first quarterly loss in the bank’s seven-year history.
» Canadian partnership Dadeland Investors reportedly paid around $18 million to buy 158 condominium units in the Downtown Dadeland development. Seller Goldman Sachs gained control of the mixed-use project after the developer defaulted on its construction loan.
» Tomas Regalado replaced outgoing Mayor Manny Diaz.
» City Commissioner Angel Gonzalez agreed to resign as part of a deal with prosecutors investigating a job he may have obtained for his daughter.
» The city’s police chief resigned.
» Financing was completed for the $607-million construction of the Port of Miami tunnel project — a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation, Miami-Dade County, Miami and a private concessionaire.
» Buyers with existing contracts at Related Group’s ICON Brickell condominiums received 30% price reductions in an effort to encourage closings. A group of the project’s construction lenders also promised to finance five-year loans for a limited number of buyers.
» Phillip Frost’s Frost Group paid $80 million for SearchMedia, the second-largest outdoor advertising company in China. Its acquisition vehicle, "blank check" public company Ideation Acquisition, will change its name to SearchMedia and trade on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol IDI.
» Continucare Corp. (Amex-CNU ) acquired two sleep diagnostic centers from Sleep Disorder Solutions.
Prelude by Barton G.
» Opko Health (NYSE-OPK) agreed to acquire Schering-Plough’s neurokinin-1 (NK-1) receptor antagonist program, including lead product Rolapitant, which just completed phase II clinical testing for prevention of nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy and surgery.
» Drug maker Ivax, which is now part of Israel-based Teva Pharmaceuticals, agreed to pay a $14-million fine to settle allegations that it gave illegal kickbacks a decade ago to a company that provided pharmacy services to nursing homes.
» Marketing communications giant McCann Worldgroup opened a new Miami-based company, McCann MIA, which specializes in the Latin American market.
» Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE-RCL) took possession of Oasis of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, and began cruises to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades.
MIAMI BEACH —
» Title insurers involved in financing the bankrupt Fontainebleau Las Vegas sued the Soffer family’s real estate holding companies. The insurers allege that the holding companies, which control properties including the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, amount to a single entity that should be liable for some $600 million in contractor claims covered by the insurers.
» An unidentified Miami hotel owner purchased the vacant 48-room Leslie Hotel in South Beach for $8.05 million.
» British hedge fund executive Chris Rokos paid $8.17 million for a 6,466-sq.-ft. condo/hotel unit at the W South Beach.
» Sales of existing single-family homes rose 44% as the median price fell 33% in the third quarter of 2009, compared with the same quarter in 2008.
» Jackson Health System announced plans to cut 150 positions, although only 93 employees will lose their jobs; the others will be reassigned. The county’s public health system is also cutting services and has put out requests for proposals to outsource correctional health services and find skilled nursing home care providers to take over two of its long-term care center operating licenses.
SOUTH FLORIDA —
» Forbes ranked the metro area last on its list of the safest large cities in the U.S., based on levels of violent crime, workplace fatality rates, traffic death rates and natural disaster risk.