U.S. Sugar Corp. will combine its marketing operations with United Sugars Corp. of Minn. Clewiston-based U.S. Sugar, which employs 2,500, is the state's largest grower of sugar cane, with 165,000 acres in south Florida.
Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, Tenn., moved its South American headquarters from Mexico City to Coral Gables, where it will hire about 30. Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics and employs 17,500 in more than 30 countries.
Republic Industries (NYSE-RII) acquired rental car company Snappy, of Tulsa, Okla., for $26 million. Snappy has 220 locations in 38 states. Republic also owns rental car companies Alamo, National, Spirit and Value. Republic agreed to acquire Dobbs Automotive Group, the nation's seventh-largest auto dealer, for $200 million and Anderson Dealership of Menlo Park, Calif., for about $40 million. Toyota is currently suing Republic to limit the number of dealerships Republic buys.
Sun Microsystems of Calif. acquired Fort Lauderdale-based computer company Encore Computer for $185 million.
Fort Lauderdale entrepreneur Mark Williams plans to launch The Original Sci-Fi Cafe & Emporium, a nationwide chain of science-fiction theme restaurants. Williams plans to build a restaurant in south Florida and Orlando and six in other major U.S. cities.
Neff Corp. agreed to buy the 26 construction and industrial equipment stores of Buckner Rental Services of Houma, La. Miami-based Neff rents and sells construction equipment.
Althin Medical, a Swedish biomedical company, is consolidating its U.S. operations and expanding its Dade County headquarters by 200 jobs. Althin, which will employ 550 after the expansion, will receive up to $1 million in Qualified Target Industry Tax funds.